When the San Francisco Giants open the 2018 season at Dodger Stadium, it will mark their ninth consecutive Opening Day on the road.
So the question will be asked “Why don’t the Giants ever open at home?”
And the standard answer is that it’s the Giants choice. They prefer to play games at home later in the season than earlier.
But nine years in a row?
The last time the Giants opened the season at AT&T Park was on April 7, 2009 against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Giants won the game 10-6.
Since then, the Giants have spent four Opening Days in Arizona, one each in Houston and Milwaukee and this season marks the third Opening Day in LA.
I get the inclination to want more home games later in the season than earlier. But is there really a big difference between opening at home on March 29 and April 3?
You’d think that a franchise that had such a lengthy streak of “sellouts” it wouldn’t matter when the home games are played.
This decision by the Giants has robbed fans of some special Opening Days in 2011, 2013 and 2015. When they should have been hoisting a World Series banner at home, the Giants instead opened at Dodger Stadium in 2011, Dodger Stadium again in 2013 and in Arizona in 2015.
Since opening their ballpark by the bay in 2000, the Giants have only played four Opening Days there – in 2001 vs. the Padres (the Giants won 3-2), in 2005 vs. the Dodgers (the Giants won 4-2), in 2007 vs. the Padres (they lost 7-0) and the aforementioned game in 2009 vs. the Brewers.
To make matters worse, Opening Days in Dodger Stadium have not gone well for the Giants. They have managed to score just one run in three openers there since 2008.
This season marks the 60th anniversary of the both the Giants and Dodgers on the West Coast. And that first Opening Day back in 1958 was played in San Francisco. The Giants beat the Dodgers 8-0 in April 15, 1958. Shouldn’t the 60th anniversary game also be played in San Francisco?
The Giants and Dodgers didn’t play in another Opening Day matchup against until 1976.
Since then, they have meet on Opening Day in 1977, 1982, 1988, 1992, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2013.
Overall, the Giants are 6-5 on Opening Day against the Dodgers, although LA has won the last three.
The last time the Giants won on Opening Day in LA was in 2002, when Barry went yard three times.
The only time I have ever spent Opening Day in a big-league ballpark was at Dodger Stadium in 1988, when Dave Dravecky beat Fernando Valenzuela.
The Giants return to Chavez Ravine for another Opening Day on Thursday. Hopefully, they’ll score a run. Heck, maybe even two, if we dare to dream.
But at least we can be thankful of one thing – thank God the Astros beat the Dodgers last fall, or else the Boys in Blue would be hoisting their own World Series banner.
Instead, they’ll just hoist a National League pennant.
And the Giant fans can watch, tilt their heads to the side, glance at three World Series rings since their last Opening Day at home and say “Aw, isn’t that adorable.”