Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sweeping the Bayside derby

In English soccer, they call it a local derby when two teams from the same area play against each other, so I've started referring to the the interleague matchups between the A's and Giants as "Bayside derbys" (pronounced DAR-bees, like it is across the pond).

Oakland had the better of the San Francisco in this year's Bayside derbys, sweeping them at AT&T this weekend and winning two of three in Oakland last month. The rivalry between the A's and Giants fans is more good-natured and chummy than it is in other two team markets (there probably aren't many Mets-Yankees hybrid caps in NYC), but there's still a lot of pride in beating the other team, especially from the Oakland side. The Giants dominate the media coverage so much around these parts with their nice ballpark and their superstar players, that the Oakland fans have something of an inferiority complex (no there there and all that), and they take great joy in sticking it to the Giants.

And this weekend was one big sticking-to! On Saturday and Sunday, the Giants managed a grand total of zero runs, and it's hard to win when you don't score any runs. And on Friday, after injuries to both catchers (and over-zealous substitution by Bruce Boche), they ended the game with third baseman Pedro Feliz behind the plate and center fielder Randy Winn at third base and a pitcher Noah Lowery in right field. Not surprisingly, they ended up losing that one as well.

The two Bay Area teams are like mirror images of each other this year. The A's (34-28) have as many wins as the Giants (28-34) have losses, and vice versa. That would have stayed true no matter how this weekend's games had turned out, but with Oakland starting a June surge (8 out of 9 baby! Just like I predicted) as SF starts their June swoon, it seems like these are two teams moving in different directions. The A's are playing just good enough to win in each game, while the Giants play just bad enough to lose. Their hitters are staying patient and waiting for good pitches to hit, while the Giants hitters hack away at 3-1 slop with the bases loaded. The A's fans yell and cheer constantly, while Giants fans sit and chomp their garlic fries. It has to frost Peter Magowan to hear "Let's Go Oak-land!" cheers in his own ballpark!

Today's game was on two different television channels, but in order to watch in HD, I had to endure Kruk and Kuip's G's homerism, but there wasn't a lot for K&K to cheer about today. If I was still a Giants fan, this weekend's performance would cause me to reassess my fandom. If you're going to lose, at least go down swinging (and I don't mean at 3-1 pitches outside and in the dirt)!


125records said...

The lady in the Kruk & Kuip jersey (with both their numbers on the back) was pretty amusing.

Steve said...

I forgot to mention the most annoying part of the Giants broadcast, running Cammy Blackstone's personal interest stories and fan interviews while the game is going on. Unacceptable! Do they do that during every home game, or was it special for the A's series?