As I’m apt to do from time to time, I’d like to take this opportunity to don my Oakland A’s fan cap here for a moment. While I have absolutely no delusions about my place in the baseball world, I do try to keep things on the up and up here at Swingin’ A’s and remain professional. So it is a rare occurrence that I use this medium to address the fans of the Athletics, rather than discuss the Athletics themselves.
May 27, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Adam Rosales (17), left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52), second baseman Jed Lowrie (8) and center fielder Coco Crisp (4) celebrate after the win against the San Francisco Giants at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the San Francisco Giants 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
It’s no secret that life in the San Francisco Bay Area can be difficult at times for an A’s fan, the area is dominated by the San Francisco Giants and their fans. I’ve detailed in the past my own grievances and how I am made to feel like an outsider when living in the market in which my favorite team plays. Every A’s fan likely has encountered something like this at one point.
There’s no doubt that the Giants are in a tough spot right now. They find themselves at 38-40, 2 games under .500 this late in the season for the first time in 5 years. They’re in fourth place in the very pedestrian looking NL West, and are just 2 games away from being in the cellar. That said, they’re also just 4 games out of first place if that tells you something about the division. They just suffered their first sweep in Los Angeles versus the Dodgers since 2009, and right now things couldn’t be much worse for a defending World Series Champion.
Meanwhile, the Oakland Athletics are having a very successful first half of the season, and sit at 46-34, just a half game behind the first place Texas Rangers. The two teams have been locked in seesaw battle for first place over the last few weeks, and the expectation is that the battle will rage on until game 162 just like it did in 2012.
So what’s the point of all this?
Since the Giants have begun to struggle over the last month or so, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend that has only gained steam as the Giants woes have increased. Many supporters of the green and gold seem to take more pleasure in a loss from the Giants than they do in a win by the Athletics.
It’s been a widespread epidemic throughout all facets of social media, and my fear is that it will lead to only bad things happening once again. Many of you probably recall a meme style picture that made the rounds many years ago of an empty trophy case with a Giants logo on it, I know I did and I used it as ammunition in various battles with Giants fans. Look where that got us all, the Giants now have not just one, but two trophies in that case. While it took them over half a century to finally bring a title to San Francisco, their two titles make that long wait a distant memory. The A’s do still have twice as many titles in the Bay Area, but none of that matters in the minds of many.
I also understand that many A’s fans grew up in the East Bay, and have a loyalty to their team that runs very deep. While I can’t claim residency in the East Bay, I have been going to A’s games since I was a little kid and that loyalty to the green and gold runs every bit as deep. So when they won the World Series in 2010, I was devastated, the sky was literally falling. I remember to this day exactly where I was, what I was doing, and who I was with when they recorded the final out. That moment haunted me for nearly two years. Then something changed, the A’s got good.
While I wasn’t particularly thrilled that the Giants won their second World Series in three years in 2012, I wasn’t anywhere near as upset as I was in 2010. I really didn’t care that much. The A’s had just completed an amazing season of their own, one that no one expected to happen, and the prospects for more success in 2013 were pretty good.
Now with the good first half for the A’s, my baseball focus is entirely on them and the race in the AL West. There’s no telling what the second half will have in store, but if the Athletics continue their winning ways we will all be in for a fun time. You wouldn’t want to miss out on it because you’re fixated on what those guys on the other side of the bay are doing would you?