It's 9:00 on a Wednesday morning, and here's your yearly update on the status of the A's/Giants rivalry:
- A lot of A's fans really hate the Giants
- Giants fans don't really think about the A's
This has been your yearly update on the status of the A's/Giants rivalry.
I used to not care about the San Jose territorial dispute. Now I have Big, Important Opinions. And one of these days, I'll really get into them. I was talking with Tyler Bleszinski, the founder of this whole wacky operation, recently about doing a roundtable on the subject one day. Until then, here's a little anecdote. I've probably told a variation of it before, so apologies.
When I was growing up, the A's were the dream organization. They were winning the championships. They had the nice park with the nice weather. They were the center of the baseball world. The Giants played in a dystopian hellhole. When I would visit the Coliseum and wear one layer during a night game, I was so jealous. Walking around the promenade, where you could actually watch the game being played as you walked from one spot to the next, was baseball heaven.
Going from that to the current situation took a lot of work. It took a lot of heroes and villains, a lot of rich folks making rich-folk decisions, baseball people making baseball-people decisions, and a lot of stupid ideas and decisions from a lot of people who may or may not actually be stupid.
Blaming a single bogeyman seems a little facile.
I get it would be better for the A's if the Giants would give them San Jose. It would probably be better for baseball. It would probably be better for the Bay Area. But it wouldn't be better for the Giants. The Giants are being selfish at the A's expense, which isn't helping the A's any. But "business entity looks out for its own interests" is a pretty dog-bites-man story. Perhaps the least surprising story possible.
Even if you believe that Walter Haas gave up San Jose as a magnanimous gesture and not a calculated business strategy, that's not who wants San Jose back. The odds are outstanding that the current A's group is like the other 29 ownership groups: a group that's excellent at looking out for its own interests.
The Giants are a contributor to the current stadium misery of the A's. That's not disputable. If the Giants decided to cede San Jose, they would make the A's happy. But if the rabble rousers in Fremont didn't fight Cisco Field, that would have made the A's happy. If the landowners around 66th Avenue would have sold their land, that would have made the A's happy. There have been a lot of people making decisions that didn't turn out well for the A's. There have been a lot of ways to make them happy.
I'm not sure what you or I as Giants fans have to do with all that up there, though, or why the Giants are the one and only Sauron in A's world, trying to spread evil and malevolence through the A's formerly pristine land. People have to blame someone, and I guess I wouldn't understand because it's not my team that's in the tough spot. My position would probably be different if the roles were reversed. Of course, the position of A's fans would probably be different if the roles were reversed. It's almost as if ... as if ... people can shift positions based more on what benefits them directly instead of some intractable moral code.
No, no. That can't be. Forget I wrote anything.
(An aside: I wonder how many of the super-angry A's fans are also Raiders fans. Because if the goal is to hate the teams responsible for the A's not having a nice stadium ...)
It's worth remembering that the positions were reversed at one time, though. The A's were up, and the Giants were almost in Florida. To get from there to here took a lot of doin'. I can understand why A's fans dislike the Giants. I can understand why the territorial rights issue is a big deal and qualifies as reason enough to root against a team. But to be so monomaniacal about it? It's odd and fascinating and misplaced.
The Giants are a chapter in the book of why the A's still don't have a nice stadium. Pretending they're the entire book is a way for a few fans to focus their rage, I suppose. That doesn't mean it's rational.