A message to the rest of the baseball world regarding the shit that goes on in the Bay Area.
“We tend to think of true fandom as a virtue and of bandwagon jumping as a vice. But why? What’s so great about pulling for a team even when it does poorly? And what’s so bad about pulling for a team even when it does well? Humans rightly value loyalty. Being a loyal friend means being a friend even in bad times. Fair-weathered fans are like fair-weathered friends. They display a culpable lack of fidelity. Conversely, one who exhibits genuine fan-hood displays the same exact virtue of a good friend. For the good friend has a reasonable hope and expectation that the friend to whom he/she is being faithful to in the tough times would do the same for them.”
–Thomas D. Senor
I despise the Giants. It isn’t the panda hats and the Disneyfication of baseball. It isn’t the fact that their two biggest stars, Willie Mays and Barry Bonds are crotchety assholes and everyone knows it. It isn’t even the obnoxious, loudmouthed “fans” who couldn’t tell you why you would want to hit a ball to the right side of the infield with a man on second. These same fans use the Giants World Series victories as a sort of personal bourgeois self vindication. (“We live in San Francisco, a world-class city…Oakland sucks.” Whether they be educated and wealthy or not– a typical, though not uniquely American way of group-thought.) This self-vindication has led to some serious deep-rooted racist and classism issues. (seeing Dodger Stadium or the Coliseum as “dangerous” and “full of gangsters” read: blacks and Latinos, while ignoring the multiple murders and beat downs that have happened outside of Pac Bell, which are strangely swept under the rug.)
Baseball is a business, but it’s one made possible by the illusion that each of us has a personal connection to their team and its place. Apparently, this “illusion” has made some fans blind as well. Most Giants fans refuse to acknowledge the territorial rights given to them (for free) by the Oakland club when the municipality extortionists/owners threatened to move the Giants to Tampa Bay in 1992. (once again–loyalty issues.) The Athletics thought it would be in the best interest of baseball to have two teams in the Bay Area. Conversely, over a decade later when the Giants had a sparkling new ballpark of their own, they refused to even sell the rights back to the Athletics ball club, no doubt secretly in cahoots with commissioner Bud Selig in order to get the Oakland ball-club to leave Northern California for good. I will take my leave with a quote from Homer when he wrote The Odyssey some 3000 years ago; “Home is all the sweeter when you’ve braved adventures to get back to it.”