OK, so over the years there has been a great debate over what Bay Area baseball team reigns supreme. While the A’s have four World Series titles since coming West in 1968, the Giants have won one recently in 2010. I’m here to settle it here and now in our new feature called Tale of the Tape. ESPN used to do this in the late ’90s and early 2000s, but they don’t anymore,so I will!
Here are the 10 things we will look at for both teams…
Giants- They play in beautiful AT&T Park, which opened in 2000 and became an instant hit with fans everywhere. In 2011, the Giants sold out every one of their 81 home dates and were third in overall league attendance with an average crowd of 41, 818.
A’s- They play in the outdated and cavernous Oakland Coliseum (or whatever the hell it is named now). The stadium is boring and lacks imagination and pizzazz. The A’s finished dead last (30th) in attendance in 2011 with an average crowd of 18,232 (but we all know that crowds were really usually less than that).
Things Haven’t Been the Same Since
Giants- Buster Posey was injured. The 2011 season could have fared a lot better for the Giants had Posey not been bowled over by the Marlins’ Scott Cousins. However, it is something that Giants fans need to get over if they haven’t already. It’s sports,injuries happen.
A’s-The 1980s. The A’s last made it to the World Series in 1990 but were swept by the Reds. Sure, the A’s have made the playoffs numerous times since then but you don’t get a ring for winning a division title.
Advantage-A’s. Buster Posey is coming back, Mark McGwire isn’t.
Advantage-Giants. Sorry, but I’m a Lou Seal fan. He sits on my toy shelf as we speak.
Greatest Play in Franchise History
Advantage-Giants. That play was in the World Series,yo!
Choices that make us shake our heads in disbelief
Giants- Barry Zito getting $126 million. Every year since his arrival in 2007, there’s no question Barry Zito has underperformed and the Giants are on the hook for him for another two years. His contract may be the reason the Giants have been and are gunshy about signing free agents to lenghty long term deals because of how this one has worked out.
A’s- Trading away (insert player name here) in the prime of his career. The A’s do this too early and too often. I could give you the long list of guys that “genius” Billy Beane has given to other teams so that they can win the World Series, but had Beane and the A’s kept a few of them they would probably be bragging to Giants fans that they have six or seven World Series banners hanging in their crappy stadium while the Giants have one.
Giants- Tim Lincecum. Clearly Lincecum is the face of the Giants’ franchise given the fact that the team is built around it’s stellar pitching rotation. Not only that but he is the guy that many regard as the player the Giants need to “lock up” long term.
A’s-General Manager Billy Beane. Solely because of the continuous fire sales the team has and other than Kurt Suzuki and the worst starting pitcher in the major leagues, Dallas Braden, I can’t name anyone else on the Oakland A’s. Beane is the A’s leading superstar. He was the subject of the movie Moneyball and since Braden sucks as a starting major league pitcher (and is a complete asshole) and Suzuki is always hurt, Beane is the face of the A’s.
We really need…
Giants- A big bat in the line-up. The Giants had a .242 team batting average in 2011, which ranked next to last in the National League (the Padres had the worst at .237). The team has struggled offensively despite winning a World Series in 2010, it’s not like they haven’t tried to address that situation, it’s that it hasn’t worked out like they’d hoped. The team does need someone who could mash or else they’re going to have to do what every Giants fan fears: Bring in the fences at AT&T Park.
A’s- A new stadium and/or fans to actually show up to games. Here’s what I think is happening: If you’ve ever seen the movie “Major League” (one of my favorites), you’ll know what I am talking about. In that movie, the owner of the Indians tries to get attendance to drop below a certain number for the year so the team can move to Miami. Sound familiar,A’s fans? I thought so. I’ll explain why in the next category.
Giants- Another NL West title. Though I don’t think the Diamondbacks’ 2011 season where they won the NL West was a fluke, the Giants still have a shot at it in 2012. They’re healthy and if they can stay that way I think they’ve got a shot at the division crown.
A’s- San Jose? The “Major League” scenario is exactly what is happening to your team. Lew Wolff and Billy Beane are losing and getting worse intentionally in my view. They don’t want you to show up at the ballpark. They want to get to San Jose so bad that they’re already envisioning loading the moving trucks and driving down 880 to their dream home,whether or not you’ll stick with them as fans is another story and one neither of them could care less about.
So when it comes down to it, the Giants have the advantage. Cheer up,A’s fans, you get a chance to re-learn a whole new roster and see them while you can before those players are shipped off to better teams. That’s it for our first edition of Tale of the Tape. See you next time!