After the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres were two of the best teams in baseball last season, much of the same has been expected for this year. With that has come increased chatter of a budding rivalry between the National League West opponents.
However, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts refuted that notion ahead of facing the Padres for the first time in Spring Training. It’s a stance several Dodgers players have also taken, perhaps none more so than Corey Seager.
“I think it’s just another division series. All division series are important. You’re trying to go out there and win a series, win tonight, and that’s kind of where it ends,” Seager said before first pitch at Petco Park on Friday.
When asked if he views any opponent as a rival to the Dodgers, Seager answered, “I mean, you try and win every series. Every series is important, every game is important. That’s kind of what we preach, is winning series. So every series you’re going out there and trying to win.
“That’s kind of the mindset we have, it’s the mindset we’ve had for a while now and we’re just trying to continue it.”
Seager also downplayed the notion that playing well against the Padres this weekend could have an impact on future matchups. “I don’t really know. We try and play good every series, try and play good every night,” he said. “Where you’re at in the year doesn’t matter.
“You’re trying to go out and win a series and just play good baseball.”
Friday marked the first of seven games the Dodgers and Padres will play in 10 days. Like Seager, Max Muncy downplayed making too much of the opponent. “We’re here to play baseball. It doesn’t really matter who we’re playing,” he said Thursday.
“I feel like we’re going to have a really good team and go out and compete no matter who we’re playing. I feel like we have a really good chance.”
Price sees rivalry between Dodgers, Padres
Given how the series opener unfolded and the electric atmosphere on Friday night, Roberts said it felt like a rivalry. David Price took matters a step further to declare it as much.
“Especially more so after the benches cleared,” he began. “I was kind of thinking about that out in the bullpen. All rivalries in baseball are really good, but once you get that first bench-clearing, that’s when it kind of goes to that next level. “I’m sure we’ll be ready to play [Saturday] and so will they.”
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