San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies Officially Heated Rivals

Since their NLCS battle last year, there has been talk over whether or not the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies constitute a true rivalry.

There are those who think they do not because they play in separate divisions, but I do not believe  geography should be the determining factor of what makes a rivalry, particularly one without historical standing. No, new rivalries are formed out of tense competition and what at least appears to be a genuine dislike of the other side. And the Giants and Phillies have certainly got that.

Last year, the Giants defied expectations, battling out a tough victory over the hyped Phillies to reach the World Series, beating vaunted pitching stars Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt all along the way.

The two teams boast quite possibly the two best pitching staffs in the majors, though Phillies manager Charlie Manuel may not agree, apparently unimpressed with Giants starters Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain.

Manuel’s dissing of a back-to-back Cy Young Award winner/last year’s playoff MVP and a man who allowed no earned runs in last year’s postseason was not the only swipe taking at the Giants by a member of the Phillies’ coaching staff.

Pitching coach Rich Dubee was among those in the Philly set who attacked Giants manager Bruce Bochy for using Halladay and Cliff Lee in this year’s All-Star Game. Instead of appreciating him using their rotation’s biggest stars to help the NL to victory, Dubee et al took it as an underhanded conspiratorial move against the Phillies. Quite frankly, I don’t know what it says about them if they really think the likes of Halladay and Lee can’t handle an exhibition inning or two.

San Francisco took the first series between the two teams this year, winning two of three in Philadelphia.

Now, the Phillies have come in to AT&T Park to take the first three of a four-game set.

In the second game, the tension boiled over.

With Philadelphia leading 8-2 in the sixth, Shane Victorino was hit just above the waist by a Ramon Ramirez fastball.

Victorino took a step towards the mound, prompting catcher Eli Whiteside and home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski to rush in front of him. This did nothing to diffuse the situation.

The next thing you knew, Whiteside was tackling an onrushing Placido Polanco and players were streaming out of both dugouts and bullpens.

It was more shoving and trying to stand one’s ground than a real all out  brawl. By the time it was over, Ramirez, Whiteside and Victorino had all been ejected from the game.

Manuel offered up this ridiculous explanation for Victorino’s actions.

“[Ramirez] hit Vic and then came off the mound at him. Vic almost has to go, unless he wants his teammates to call him chicken,” Manuel said. “That’s the way baseball works. I’ve been playing for almost 50 years. He pretty much called him out.”

Maybe “that’s the way baseball  worked” 50 years ago, but things have changed. Bean balls and retaliation have not yet gone completely out of style, but they are not a part of the game today the way they once were.

Watch it all unfold by clicking here.

The Giants’ most hated rival is, of course, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yet, this year when everyone from both teams was gathered on the San Francisco field, it was not to fight but to join together to promote peace and tolerance and to discourage violence.

San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers Encourage Respect, Discourage Violence

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  • axel

    i enjoyed the article up until this stupid comment:
    “[Ramirez] hit Vic and then came off the mound at him. Vic almost has to go, unless he wants his teammates to call him chicken,” Manuel said. “That’s the way baseball works. I’ve been playing for almost 50 years. He pretty much called him out.”

    Maybe “that’s the way baseball worked” 50 years ago, but things have changed. Bean balls and retaliation have not yet gone completely out of style, but they are not a part of the game today the way they once were.”

    so you’re saying just because retaliation pitches aren’t as common as they were before, he had no right to defend himself as a batter? bochy said it best, things happen fast, there’s tension, things happen…its easy to say things when you’re sitting back on your couch.

    you’re up, 8-2 and the pitcher is salty because he’s letting up hits, i would be just as mad if i got nailed.and the post explanation that rollins stole a bag with a substantial lead is bogus.if they were mad about base stealing, why wouldn’t they plunk polanco? but no, they hit victorino,who crushed a homer earlier in the game.

    post game, Victorino said he walked towards the mound for an explanation as to why he was being targeted, not trying to start a brawl.things just escalated way too quickly because the SF catcher was an idiot and starts jumping around like muhammad ali ready to box and that immediately reads hes ready to “go”…if Victorino had started sprinting to the mound then its a dif story, i say let punches fly lol.

    and if you even knew anything on this rival, you’d realize there is a long history of SF pitchers throwing pitches at PHI batters.back in 2009, Sanchez almost taking off Utley’s head where Utley answered with a homer on the 3rd pitch…then obviously the NLCS where he plunks Utley…and now this?

    so i dont see how manuel’s response is exactly, “ridiculous”.

    PS-Rich Dubee complaining about Bochy usin the halladay n lee is valid.You don’t want your pitchers to get injured during those exhibition innings…where was Lincecum? hmmm? he was on the all star roster was he not? why didn’t he pitch? yeah, way to leave the details out on that one there.

    • Danielle Parenteau

      If Dubee’s complaint is valid, then why has no one else ever said it about any other player? If Bochy had used Lincecum instead, he would have been accused of being a homer, the way he was for naming Ryan Vogelsong to the team. Plus, Manuel has got to realize baseball has changed. I am aware of the history and of what Victorino said. You seem quick to dump the blame solely on Whiteside, but him jumping around would have been nothing more had Polanco not rushed in. From the looks of it, Whiteside misread Victorino’s intent — he saw him take a step towards the mound and was showing he was ready to defend his teammates if provoked, which he was. By the way, I would think you as a Giants fan would be able to name the catcher- Eli Whiteside. I agree the base stealing thing is a reach. No, I was not saying he did not have a right to defend himself as a batter, bur has he never heard of taking the high road? If he’s been hit because he hit a homer and the Phillies are winning and getting hits off Ramirez, he should be glad to be in that situation (winning, not getting hit), to know he/his team have gotten under the opponent’s skin. I can understand him wanting an explanation, but he should have realized how stepping towards the mound would look. He wants an explanation, he’s pissed off, fine but have some sense.

  • axel

    ps i am a giants fan, but i am baseball fan first and i know when to be unbiased unlike this article.

    • Danielle Parenteau

      I also know when to be unbiased, but I also am entitled to an opinion, as are you. Were I writing about this as a professional journalist for a newspaper or whatever, the piece would be completely different because my opinion would have no place there, but this site is for both straight news and opinions.

  • Dee

    Phillies fan here. I have to agree with Axel on this one. Bochy using Halladay and Lee in the ASG wasn’t really a huge gripe, but the fact that he left them in for 2 innings a piece when he had other options was. The longer they’re left in the game, the higher the risk of injury. Bochy had plenty of options, and I don’t think anyone would have took it as favoritism if Lincecum or Voglesong came into the game. It seemed as if he was purposely “saving” his guys so they would be well-rested and fresh for after the break. It wasn’t just our team that took exception to him leaving your starters on the bench, either. The Braves organization wasn’t exactly thrilled with the usage of their staff either, particulary Venters and Kimbrel, who at that point in the season had been already been used quite a bit and could have used a few days off to rest. That being said, it was a great game and it was nice to have the NL take the win again this year, so his management was pretty on-point in that regard.

    As far as the “rivalry” goes, I’m pretty sure that perception is being fed by the media, and aside from the two benches clearing incidents between our teams in the past year, the Phillies aren’t a team that frequently gets involved in that sort of activity. In the incident Axel described above 2 years ago, Sanchez threw at Utley’s head. He was mad, but instead of charging the mound, he got his revenge via a home run. The incident in the NLCS, again with Sanchez and Utley, only this time he hits him. Utley flips the ball over towards the mound, Sanchez takes exception and the benches clear. The latest incident, also in a game started by Sanchez, a scrum breaks out, and well you know the rest.

    I honestly don’t know what the deal is here but it does seem like Sanchez is the catalyst for the supposed “bad blood” between these two teams. Now I know that Sanchez had left the game by the time this had happened, but you don’t know what was said in the dugout during the game. Sanchez could have relayed something to Whiteside about something that Victorino had done earlier in the game that irked him. Had Sanchez stayed in the game, I think that Victorino still gets plunked, it was thought out beforehand. I don’t buy into the excuse that the beaning was retaliation for Rollins stealing second base at all, otherwise Polanco would have been plunked. I think Victorino did something that rubbed someone the wrong way and Whiteside signaled Ramirez to plunk him. Instead of taking his medicine, Shane reacted poorly. As did Whiteside afterward.

    The funny thing about all of it is if it had been any other guy on the team who had gotten plunked, it probably wouldn’t have been a big deal. Victorino is a hothead and absolutely hates getting thrown at. So they picked the right guy to hit if they were looking for trouble lol. As for what Charlie said about Shane having to charge the mound or else he’d be called chicken was also takent out of context. He was referring to the way Ramirez had stepped off the mound towards Victorino immediately afterward, and the way Whiteside started jumping around. In that situation, hell yes, you better stand up for yourself, otherwise just take your base. Charlie isn’t the sort of manager that encourages his pitchers getting involved in beanball wars, either. You may have noticed that there hasn’t been any retaliation by any of our pitchers since Victorino was plunked. That’s not our style. For the most part, the Phillies play good, clean baseball.

    Sorry this is so long, just wanted to clarify a few things and insert some of my own opinions in there, too. Thanks for giving me the opportunity, and here’s to some more exciting games between our teams.

    • Danielle Parenteau

      Thanks for sharing your opinion. I appreciate you saying what you think with resorting to attacks on me or the Giants, unlike some people. (I’m not referring to axel here, in case he sees this.) As for the All-Star Game, it just seems a bit ironic that people (fans, at least) usually complain about someone not getting in and now it’s the other way around. I actually wish Bochy would have put Vogelsong in…who knows if he’ll get another shot? I hope you know hitting people is not the Giants’ usual style either; the games are usually much more peaceful! But, you’re right, there is no denying games between the Giants and Phillies are always very exciting.

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