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By TED SILLANPAA

I rarely listen to sports-talk radio, but when I do … I hear something slightly annoying.

The other afternoon on the Fitz & Brooks Show on KNBR, Rod Brooks said all good things about the Oakland Athletics’ mind-blowing run to the AL West title. Then, for reasons that lead to KNBR hosts being called Giants’ homers, Brooks said, ” … the A’s are a great companion piece to what the Giants have accomplished this year.”

The A’s have nothing to do with the Giants. They’re two separate, very intriguing, stories. The Giants stand alone. Heaven knows the A’s, after coming from five games out with nine games to play, don’t need to piggy-back on some other team’s tale or have some club attach itself to them.

The least interesting story I can imagine reading is about the possibility of another Bay Bridge World Series. Yet, that story is popping up all over. The Oakland roster is filled with kids even true baseball fans know very little about and we’re reading about the 1989 Bay Bridge Series and a potential 2012 Bay Bridge World Series.

Somebody go talk to those A’s starting pitchers, beginning with that Cub Scout-looking ace Jarrod Parker. I want to know more about those guys. Or, tell me in detail about left fielder Yoenis Cespedes. He’s a beast. The ball park crackles when he simply walks to the plate. More about Cespedes please.

It’s easier to write about a Bay Bridge Series because all the Giants’ stories have been told and it’d be work to go really get into the A’s, right?

I have no earthly idea why Giants’ fans seem to automatically despise the A’s. I understand Oakland fans having a little stadium-envy and being worn down by how their boys were in the Giants shadows until that historic two-week burst. The A’s deserved equal attention all through August and September.

That reminds me, a PD reader contacted us to complain that the Giants have been ignored in our pages the last couple of weeks. We spoke this summer about how we felt like we were ignoring … the A’s! So, when they burst onto our front page, we felt like we were doing our jobs well. Throw in that the Giants clinched their division title nearly two weeks ago and the complaint comes out sounding like we’re wrong for featuring a playoff-bound A’s bunch over a Giants’ team playing, truly, meaningless games. (The Giants never made a serious run at the Nationals and Reds for best overall record in the NL.)

Back to the idea that A’s and Giants fans feel threatened by each other …

When the A’s moved out here from Kansas City for the 1968 season, it gave me an American League team to follow. I was ecstatic. More baseball. More players to get to know. More games on TV and radio. It was magic. The Giants were the team I’d followed first and longer, but I didn’t view the clubs as rivals.

Of course, I couldn’t cheer for both teams during the 1989 World Series. But, only a pinhead could’ve had a gripe about those glorious A’s teams.

A good friend who is a great Giants’ fan hates the A’s. He said he hates them because he felt like the A’s of the 1970s nearly drove the Giants to, first, Toronto and then to Tampa Bay. I told him that those Giants teams of the 1970s were brutal. I followed them, too. It was mismanagement and an inability to compete that nearly cost San Francisco the Giants.

There’s room for both teams.

 

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Comments

6 Comments

  1. Matt

    “I have no earthly idea why Giants’ fans seem to automatically despise the A’s.”

    I think you’ve got it the other way around, Ted. And if you need a reason, here’s one: The 1989 Bay Bridge Series. I could care less about the A’s. As I’ve told you already, I grew up in a family that pulled for ALL bay area teams, including the A’s. I didn’t start to shift until I realized how despised we are by A’s fans. Oh, and I wasn’t crazy about the way that series and it’s outcome -not to mention their string of championships- has been rubbed in our face repeatedly, pretty much until 2010. Now that they’re in the playoffs it’s starting up again.

    October 5th, 2012 8:10 am

  2. Matt

    For clarity: Oakland Athletics (3723-3436 W-L, 1968 – 2012) – 4 World Championships, 6 Pennants, and 15 Playoff Appearances- Source: baseballreference.com

    The Giants, as we know, didn’t win a championship until 2010.

    October 5th, 2012 8:16 am

  3. Dar

    I grew up in Oakland, but was almost born at Candlestick (mom’s water broke at the stick). My folks were always SF fans but we rooted for all bay area teams (except for the Raiders because they were the L.A. Raiders my entire childhood). The baseball issue only came up in the Battle of the Bay as there was no interleague games back then. I still root for all bay area teams unless they’re playing each other, then it’s all SF!!

    Go A’s!

    Go Giants!

    October 5th, 2012 11:54 am

  4. overtime

    Dar….Thanks for the story and the thoughts. Breaking water at the ‘Stick! I hope it wasn’t one of those freezing cold night games…for your mom’s sake. Stay in touch. Ted

    October 5th, 2012 1:37 pm

  5. Cara

    For 18 years the A’s have played in a division with only 4 teams. Cetaris parabis, any team in a 4 team division has a 25% greater chance at winning said division vs a 5 team division.
    That said, Go Green and Yellow!!

    October 5th, 2012 2:01 pm

  6. overtime

    Cara…Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. Anyone who responds using Latin to a sports-related story is aces in my book! TED

    October 5th, 2012 4:21 pm

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