Giants fans may not see the A’s as your rival, but A’s fans do, in a weird “Oakland is the stepchild of San Francisco” way. Rooting for the Giants, especially now, is like selling out and jumping on a bandwagon. I don’t jump on bandwagons. As BANG columnist Tony Hicks mentions in his column, yeah, A’s fans are a bit jealous. We don’t do panda hats. We don’t care for giant Coke-bottle slides or bad facial hair. And really, we’re just as sick of the torture as you are.
We’ve been watching and perhaps even taking a silent interest in your playoff run. But your bandwagon is far too crowded. Maybe we don’t want your team to fall apart. But if two or three wheels came off the wagon while barreling down championship hill, dumping a few thousand people who wouldn’t know Orlando Cepeda from Orlando, Fla., onto their freshly painted orange heads, you’d see no tears over here.
Jealous? Hell yes, we’re jealous. And hell no, we won’t wear orange and black, even if it is Halloween.
But here’s the real torture for us. You have a future. We don’t. Not as the “Oakland” A’s.
A’s fans don’t want to celebrate what Giants fans have — a shiny new stadium, great attendance, a successful team that can poke out a run or two and an ownership that actually embraces the main fanbase. We want it to ourselves. A’s fans watched in the background as the Giants broke ground on Pac Bell SBC AT&T Park, made the World Series run in 2002 and as they cheered for every Barry Bonds blast that went kerplunk into McCovey Cove. We saw a Moneyball offense that was barely good enough for Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito to manage a few wins, a tight-fisted ownership in the early part of the decade that wouldn’t pay for budding stars, a handful of first-round playoff exits and later an owner who has not exactly been secret about his disdain for Oakland.
When it comes down it, really the only two things the A’s have over the Giants are the four championships and the fact that Brad Pitt will probably never play Brian Sabean in a movie. Tim Lincecum could walk any most any store in San Francisco and be mobbed. Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez? Maybe only some A’s fans could pick them out of a crowd.
As a native New Yorker and Mets’ fan who spent a good portion of my childhood skulking around and moping during the Yankee Glory Years – 1970s version, I say, “I’m with you, brother.” But as a current Giants’ fan who has adopted the team wholeheartedly and has been waiting a long time for a title, I say, “Tough noogies!”
But I don’t want to add any fuel to this fire. In New York, Mets vs. Yankees is like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Fox vs. MSNBC, or Apple vs. Windows: best not to bring it up unless you’re ready to go to the mat. I think cross-Bay baseball relations are a titch better…