A friendly beginning-of-baseball-season message to Giants fans from an A's fan. First of all, a hearty congratulations on your second World Series title in three years. Very impressive. As the new season gets going, though, I have one small request: Let's retire the notion that your team is torture.
I understand that when Duane Kuiper coined the phrase, the Giants had just lost to the Padres despite having only given up one hit. That's frustrating. I also understand that until 2010, the team had never won the World Series in San Francisco. And I understand how excruciating low-scoring games can be when everything is riding on the ninth inning, something that does seem to happen to the Giants a lot. But at this point, with two titles under your belt and a beautiful stadium on the water, maybe it's time to rethink your catchphrase.

If you want to talk real baseball torture, come to Oakland. Try having the lowest team salary in all of baseball. Try enjoying games under the looming threat that your team will soon leave the city where you grew up. Try sharing your lovely baseball grass with the Raiders, or looking around the stadium during the regular season at all the empty seats. Try watching your best players leave for other teams every time they get the chance. Then perhaps we can talk about torture.
I was only a year old in 1989, so I don't have any memories of being in the World Series. What I do remember is learning some hard life lessons through my A's fanhood. Like how sometimes you just have fewer resources to work with and you have to do your best to compete anyway. Or how you have to accept that you may lose the people or players that you love when better opportunities pop up elsewhere, and you must forgive them. Of course, these challenges also mean that when we overcome our obstacles and defy the odds, the victory is even sweeter. Being a real A's fan is tough, and it takes faith that often goes unrewarded.

So next time the Giant's are down one run in the ninth, remember that I am across the bay still pining over Marco Scutaro, and please, think twice before adding that hashtag.  

With a Perspective, I'm Dana Varinsky.

Dana Varinsky is finishing her master's degree in journalism at New York University and will be wearing her A's jersey at tonight's opening game in Oakland.

  • Great piece! As a Giants fan I’m proud of what my team has accomplished since the days of Barry. Winning may assuage the torture a bit, but it doesn’t take away from the anticipation of another season of white knuckle anxiety.

  • Shaun

    Great job Dana a woman after my own heart!

  • Paul Staley

    I’m a Giants fan and I totally agree with your sentiments. I lost patience a while ago with my Boston in-laws who cling, despite all those Super Bowl titles, banners in the Garden and now two World Series Championships, to this image of themselves as suffering beleaguered fans. But I have to say that if we want to talk about fans who have endured true suffering and torture, we have to bring Cleveland into the conversation. That’s been a tough road!

  • Chris

    Go Oakland! It’s bittersweet seeing ex-A’s players doing well on other teams, especially so close to home.

    I used to be a fan of both the A’s and Giants, but after seeing the Giants bully the A’s over territorial rights and roadblocking a new stadium in San Jose, I’m now strictly an A’s fan.

    Btw, while we still have a measly salary, we aren’t the lowest in all of baseball anymore. We can’t even claim to be the lowest in our division anymore, that goes to the new AL West Astros. But still, knowing we’re #28 in salary still puts a smile on my face when the A’s beat teams paying 4x more (cough Yankees)

  • Niru

    This is EXACTLY how I feel as an A’s fan. You have given words to all these feelings so well. Thank you! Let’s go Oakland!

    • Niru

      And, I STILL pine over Marco Scutaro too!

  • Howard from Oakland

    Wow!! That sure sums up my feelings exactly. In fact, it coudn’t be said better, or more articulately. Beautiful! Everyone should read it.

  • Howard from Oakland

    Give up, Leo. Your on the wrong aide. Time to convert and suffer real torture!

  • Howard from Oakland

    i meant side.

  • Ron Parodi

    As an A’s fan who is twice the age of this author, it should be noted that for two decades before her birth the Giants were insufferable to watch… so much so that they came up with an anti-mascot to allow fans to vent their frustration. I invite the author to google Dave Dravecky to help understand the sense of dread that Giants fans felt for many years. Then the Barry Bonds era was a tragedy for San Francisco baseball, as the franchise ignored winning and made a farce of the game. Being an Oakland fan is frustrating in that we can’t resign talent and the ownership hates us, but so long as the seats are cheap and the team is fun to watch we don’t know a thing about torture. Talk to a Cubs fan.

  • Margaret

    Try being a Cubs fan.

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