Facing a most unusual October, the A's are out and the San Francisco Giants are in the post-season. Which leaves the question above as the one I know I am not alone in wrestling with over the next week. Do we go regional or do we go negative?
As an East Bay Arean, I resent the hell out of the Giants largesse. They got the waterfront ballpark, they have the 50,000 watt radio station, they have the daily newspaper, they have an advertising budget, etc. I am drowning in the coverage and the ubiquity of their existence throughout the 162 game season. Why fall for them now?
In some ways rooting for a team is a zero-sum game. If they win, doesn't that make us bigger losers? We're rivals, two teams playing it out in a market built for 1.5. But here's the thing. I have friends who are Giants fans. They're really happy. They were agonized over the weekend, believing that they are uniquely tortured (feh), but they are really into their team right now. And ultimately, I like baseball fans. When people are fired up about hardball during football season, that feels like a victory.
The fact is that most Giant fans don't wish evil onto the A's. Truth be told, they are more generous than we. Just about all the fans dusting off old Giants gear or scuffing up new togs to look old, say to me that they would be rooting for the A's if the Giants weren't in, and that we are their second favorite team.
That's nice. They seem authentic about it too.
So, I'm going to root for the Giants to extend their season for oh, about a week. Let them beat the Braves. (I'm going to root for Bobby Cox, convicted spouse abuser and Atlanta?). Then come the Reds, a proud, old franchise, that's been gone too long, or the Phillies, the one team capable of beating the inevitable New York Yankees in the World Series. I figure the West Bay Bombers get one series win and then call it a season.
Just because I wish the Giants some success, doesn't mean I want them to have all of it. Got to leave something behind for 2011, hard by Hegenberger Road.