Good day, Giants fans. I'm an A's fan, wondering how you all feel about the ongoing nightmare we A's fans are enduring at the hands of SF Giants ownership. Given last week's owners' meetings and the ongoing series between our two teams, I figured this would be a good time to ask.
Over at your sister blog, Athletics Nation, it's become quite common over the past year or two to recite a rallying cry, "fuck the Giants". I echo these sentiments, but my anger is not in any way directed towards to Giants fans, or the Coke Bottle, or Lou Seal, or Buster Posey, or Clam Chowder. Actually, it's a little directed at Lou Seal. The point is we A's fans (the ones who want to move out of the Coliseum, at least, which is most of us) continue to be infuriated by the actions of Giants ownership in their sustained obstinateness regarding their quasi-legal claim to Santa Clara County. Also know that the only reason the Giants are playing in beautiful SF right now and not in Florida is because A's owner Walter Haas granted the South Bay territorial rights, the ones that are now in dispute, to Giants ownership because he felt it was in the best interest of baseball. And now the 32 individuals who own the Giants are refusing to give those rights back, and we A's fans are left reading mortifying articles speculating on the loss of our franchise for greener pastures outside of the Bay Area. All so that the Giants owners can be a little bit wealthier.
Before accusing us of typical Little Brother Syndrome, please keep in mind that I was able to live happily for 25 years without having any problems with the Giants. Except for that one time at the Bay Bridge Series in 2001 where some guy in a black leather jacket with cutoff sleeves threw a beer at my dad for applauding an A's hit. I always viewed the A's-Giants rivalry as a kind of fake rivalry. Your rivals were the Dodgers, ours were the Angels. The "Bay Bridge Series" was for fake baseball fans who only watched a few games a year.
Now, however, it pains me to look at the state of the A's franchise. It wasn't always like this, you know. For those of you too young to remember, in the decade before the opening of Pac Bell Park, the A's and Giants drew a nearly identical number of fans. All I can think about is how decrepit our stadium and finances are. And all I want is to be able to enjoy an A's game the same way you all enjoy Giants games. When I go into enemy territory at China Basin, I (like many of you I'm sure) get to the park a few hours early, have a beer at Gordon Biersch or Momo's, enjoy the view of the Bay Bridge, and stroll around McCovey Cove. When I go to an A's game, I get there 10 minutes before first pitch and my postgame routine involves getting to my car as fast as humanly possible, and seeing if I can get to 880 before the winning team finishes their handshakes on the infield. It's a shame.
Not to get too partisan, but when I reverse the situation in my mind, when I imagine it's the A's who have a beautiful park and a fresh World Series trophy and are the dominant franchise in the Bay Area, and they are the ones whose owners are stepping on the throat of the weaker franchise with a steel toed boot in the name of making ownership ever so slightly wealthier, I can't help but think that I'd be embarrassed by the actions of my team's ownership. It's hard for me to envision a scenario here where the Giants are acting in any way beyond their own self-interest, regardless of how destructive that self-interest is to others in the community.
So I'm asking you, Giants fans, how do you feel about the ongoing territorial rights drama? Do you support the ownership, and if so why? Pure spite of the cross-Bay rivals? Because you feel that the A's are wrong to ask for the territorial rights back? Or do you think the Giants ownership should cede the rights to the A's? Vote in the poll!