The family is starting to worry.
The Dodgers are in the playoffs again. They even won a game. But, nobody has heard from our Little Brother Steve, who says he bleeds Dodger blue. We can only assume he does, having always resisted the urge to check as a family of Giants fans with a Dodgers fan in our midst.
Come to think of it, no one has heard much of anything from Dodgers fans around here lately. It seems the local Blue Crew boosters have gone mute ever since 2010, when the Giants won the first of two World Series in three years.
"Did they win?" Mom asked after the Dodgers won Thursday's National League divisional series opener in Atlanta. "Your brother didn't mention anything about it."
He probably won't, either, not until his Los Angeles Dodgers win their first World Series title in 25 years — not that we're keeping score, except yes, yes we are.
From 1988 to 2009, every debate, every argument, every paper-rock-scissor tournament between a Giants and Dodgers fan ended with the latter asking the former when was the last time their team won a ring.
Pennants didn't count. Wild-card games meant nothing. Finishing higher in the standings had no home in trophy cases.
We know this, because Dodgers fans have insisted on such ground rules ever since both teams moved west of the Hudson. Since '88 in particular, every conversation veered back to Orel Hershiser's postseason ERA, and Kirk Gibson's gimp, and Tommy Lasorda's linguine. Don't even get them started about the '70s if you have a dinner date to make.
All California's Giants fans ever had was Willie McCovey's line drive, Candy Maldonado's slide in right field, the Earthquake, the Florida Marlins (really though?), Dusty Baker pulling Russ Ortiz, and … well, a lot of other memories that have been mostly forgotten in therapy.
When the Giants won two of the past three World Series, Dodgers fans all but went underground. They became the ones asked to produce their most recent replica ring. They're the ones stuck with memories from a quarter century ago. Their last World Series is on VHS. Giants fans are watching their past two on DVR, apologizing for all the ticker-tape stuck between the cushions.
"I know, I know," Steve said, but only after ignoring the first phone call. "I've got nothing for ya. Until we win another one, what can I say?"
No mention that the Giants went from first to among the worst in the division this season. No mention the Giants have been working on their golf game for a week. Just a deep and unwanted appreciation of what it felt like to root for the Giants in the presence of Dodgers fans for 50-plus years.
So, go ahead and enjoy today's playoff game. Just remember that nothing kills a conversation like bringing up World Series history.