It is time to write about baseball again.


So here it is… more bullshit, new distributors. However, before I delve into the current shitstorm, let’s review:

1) I grew up watching both the Oakland As and the San Francisco Giants.
2) I love baseball, and can appreciate amazing talent, crushing losses, and charisma regardless of the team a player represents.
3) I never make ad hom attacks on the Giants (or any other team) or their fans based on the lifestyle of the fans (or where they live).
4) I saw more games at Candlestick than a lot of the current Giant fans have seen – ever.
5) No one has ever been killed, maimed or handicapped at an As game.
6) When the As were winning there was never a need to shit talk the Giants – they were not even in the same league – as now – so it seemed/s silly.
7) The As – largely known as the best farm system in the majors – are what they are and that is the charm, small market, big fun, no pretense.
8) I have never heard of a mother and her young child be knocked to the ground by drunk As fans as happened to diehard Giants fans at AT&T Park who are dear friends of mine.
9) The Alameda County sheriffs said they consistently have more trouble at San Francisco events than they do at Oakland events, despite the “ghetto” image that is constantly bantered about in social media, and even some “mainstream” media.
10) I have never made fun of people for the sports teams they love except for (full disclosure) Duke Basketball, and people who say they cheer for a team because it is their alma mater when they never attended that school – but as those are both collegiate examples I hardly think they are relevant here…

Now… How are things going in the MLB this year? Well, let’s see:

– The As are young.
– The As are winning some games.
– The As are having more fun than most teams.
– The As announcers are still goofy and silly – and having fun. But make no mistake, Fosse does know baseball, and Kuiper is the brother of the revered Giants broadcaster, so the local vitriol seems so lame. (The Giants team Kruk and Kuip actually said the people in a particular stadium [not Oakland] made them want to puke. On the air. Classy.)
– Oh, and the A’s just took three out of four against the Giants, so I guess that is where all the whinging is coming from.

Par for the course in my book.

Here is what has me all irritated this time (yeah, I know annoyed again…) All year long I am listening to people, (we could call them fans, but I am not sure) talk about the Giants as if they were somehow on the field with the team when they smoked the Tigers last year. Polishing their virtual trophies and all such pomp and circumstance. And so good on them… what on earth does that have to do with putting down another team? Why can’t the focus be on your championship team without the shit talk about a team that your team (not you, fyi) didn’t even play?

Then there are the insults constantly levied against the East Bay. Remembering that I hang my hat in San Francisco, and I love this City, I also see the coolness of the East Bay, and those who cannot are not trying. Or lacking in some other capacities. The thing about all the things that this particular ilk of Giants fans post on social media (like what a shithole the Coliseum is, even by people who have more gravitas than some Twitiot) and about how the fans are so lowbrow, is that at the end of the day, it really does smack of racist snobbery and a lot of people outside of the Bay Area and baseball are starting to take notice of it. I loved pitcher Sean Doolittle’s response to it all.

Interestingly, Giants fans don’t seem to realize that the As take a lot of pride and enjoyment in their “green collar” image. The nuveau-bougie SF attitude is not really what either of these teams have ever really been about.

Then I got all irritated because someone sent me some tweets from the internet troll referenced above – who I have met in person, and is really, quite trollish, though I will stay away from mentioning his limitations – who has been barking on about how the Athletics have no talent. Seriously dude? Do you think you have a chance of even stepping on the field at the Coliseum you so disdain? Not.Even.Close.Bud. The pros are pros – and the shittiest one of them would make the world’s hugest fool of you.


And then case in point, one of my former students who is an As fan posts on her Facebook page about how the As took the first three of the series against the Giants. And so it starts. The game after which she made the comment had one of the most ridiculously bad calls anyone I know has ever seen in baseball. The local media described it gently by saying: Marco Scutaro hit an RBI double in the eighth as Gregor Blanco was allowed to score from first base, oddly enough, despite fan interference. Had the same thing occurred in Oakland giving the As a truly unearned run, it would have gotten ugly. And we would still be hearing about how it reflected the “shitty” Coliseum, the “ghetto” fans, and the generally  unacceptable nature of the Green & Gold.

In response to the original celebratory comment, many comments go back and forth. The typical reference to why the Giants are superior based on the recent World Series win. Fair play, they are the champs – but as Keith Olbermann said after the first one: Act like you belong there. So, I mention that trophies are as trophies do (check the books, who has more?) and this person says, “I can’t believe you “liked” the counting trophies and pennants comment… Shame on you. Here’s a fun fact, the A’s have 9 championships and 15 pennants. Not too shabby for playing in the worst city on the face of the planet. In a recent poll, downtown Baghdad had a higher rating than Oakland in quality of life. Oakland DID have a higher murder rate though. So they totally have that going for them. The Giants? 7 championships and 22(?!) pennants? Ruh roh. Somebody needs to fact check.” Bear in mind this came after he said: “The world of sports is all about “what have you done for me lately”. Unfortunately for the A’s, 1972 doesn’t count.” [Carefully neglecting the 1989 unfortunate demise of “his” Giants at the hands of… wait, who was that again? Oh, yeah. The As.]

Anyhow, I bring up this poor child’s bad logic because he a) proclaimed that history is irrelevant (which *any* truly storied program would agree is total horse shit, history is what makes us who we are and builds traditions – be it The Curse, or a legacy); and b) because on the heels of saying how ancient history is irrelevant, he counted wins for his SF Giants when they were in New York. That, young man is truly historical – and not even close to being the same club. In present situ, the As have 4 championships, 6 pennants, 16 playoff appearances; the Giants have 2 championships, 5 pennants, 10 playoff appearances. Should we mention that the As did it in ten fewer years? Or are we Not counting anymore?  Ruh roh.

Since when has it become necessary to cheer against a team rather than cheer for your own? That is Sportsmanship 101 (taught from kindergarten, I believe.)

In the end, the As and their fans have fun, maybe more fun, but I can’t really say. And maybe it is because those with the least to lose always do have more fun (key lesson from every ancient spiritual text you will ever get you hands on) – lose the ego… get the pie!

I like pie.



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