The 2021 MLB season might be full of changes, but one thing is for certain: the historic rivalry between the Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers will be on full display.
The National League West could be one of the most competitive divisions in baseball this season, headlined by the 2020 World Series champions in the Dodgers. Los Angeles bolstered their stellar roster even more Friday by signing 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer to a three-year, $102 million deal.
While that certainly doesn't bode well for San Francisco's chances in the division this year, Giants announcer Mike Krukow believes it will only enhance one of the best rivalries in baseball.
"I’d like the Dodgers to be as strong as they can possibly be, and I want the Giants to go out and kick their butt, period," Krukow said on KNBR's "Murph and Mac" on Tuesday. "I love it when both teams are good, because that’s when the rivalry intensifies and that’s when it really means something."
For Krukow, Bauer signing in Los Angeles brings in a brand new component. For the first time since the Yasiel Puig era, Giants fans have a true "bad guy" to spite.
"You know what Trevor Bauer represents to me?" Krukow said. "A great bad guy. They got a guy who is going to put a foot in his mouth, he’s going to say some things, he’s going to do some things, and on top of that, he’s really good.
"The rivalry is the most precious thing that we have in being a part of the Giants or being a part of the Dodgers, and when you bring in a bad guy with that kind of reputation, … that’s an easy guy to not like as far as I’m concerned."
The Giants quietly comprised a solid offseason full of bargain one-, two- and three-year contracts that provided quick fixes to the glaring holes in their roster. However, that pales in comparison to what the Dodgers and the new-and-vastly-improved San Diego Padres have done. San Francisco is projected to finish fourth in the division, per PECOTA.
Still, San Francisco believes they can play the role of underdog, and hope to spoil any chance of the Dodgers repeating as champions in 2021. With a controversial player like Bauer in L.A.'s rotation, the rivalry between the two teams will surely continue to elevate.
It should be a fun season, indeed.