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Giants and A’s unite to create participation trophy

The annual winner of a geographic rivalry gets a trophy.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at San Francisco Giants Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody asked for this, but, the Giants and A’s have decided that the “winner” of annual interleague matchup between the two teams should be awarded a trophy. It’s called The Bridge Trophy, and it’s to serve as an incentive for the fans to care about the Giants-A’s interleague series.


It’s the position of this site that while fun is good, a trophy for the winner of a six-game series in the middle of a 162 game schedule is inherently frivolous, but then again, so much of what we do in this life (including watching people play baseball) is inherently frivolous, that perhaps I’m being too hard on this whole idea.

No, no. It’s the franchises who are wrong.

This is a marketing gimmick for both teams, or rather NBC Sports and the broadcasters who now have something to use in promoting their game broadcasts. Maybe this is a response to the fact that the Giants are coming off a 98-loss season and the A’s are perennial reloaders, and maybe this is even in response to Madison Bumgarner missing almost half the season; whatever the reasoning behind this decision, it sure doesn’t feel organic.

The Giants-A’s interleague matchup has been a slog. It has been marked by mostly boring games and a very close series matchup (59-55 tilting towards the A’s). A trophy made out of bits of the old Bay Bridge doesn’t really help move the needle, I’d think. Besides, there’s only ONE TROPHY that matters... right?

And, oh wait. There are rules. Did I mention the rules? Via NBC Sports Bay Area:

1. The Bridge will be awarded to the team that wins more games in the regular-season Bay Brdige Series.

2. If the series finishes tied, the winner of the final game shall win The Bridge.

3. If one or more games is postponed and the series has not yet been clinched, The Bridge will not be awarded until the postponed game(s) can be made up. If the postponed game(s) can not be made up, the standing of the series at the end of the season shall determine the winner of The Bridge. Whether or not postponed games are made up, if the series ends in a tie, the team that wins the final game will be awarded The Bridge.

You might say, “Hey buddy, why do you hate fun? This is a fun trifle in the midst of a long season?” to which I might reply, “The Bay Area metropolitan area is already heavily divided along class lines and it seems silly for us to engage in propping up a territorial war between two wealthy paper entities. What is the value of tribalism in this case?” And then I’d get punched in nose.

Baseball is all about tribalism and hate and rooting for laundry. And now, apparently, midseason trophies.