On the Battle of the Bay

My pal Karen Datangel, in a thoughtful piece on the A’s-Giants rivalry:

Today marks the first game of the only four games in the regular season where the two Bay Area baseball teams face off against each other and the games actually have an effect on each team’s win-loss record. But with the amount of animosity I see from fans on both sides, you’d think the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics were part of the same division, battling it out for the top spot in the West every year. It’s a fun and healthy regional sports rivalry, until you feel like the trash talk is without substance or fact. Or when fans on either side make you feel like you’re not a real fan of your team because you’re actually nice to the other team.

Karen nails it, a sentiment that could also be applied to fans of the Niners and Raiders. I’ve never gotten caught up in the fandom, but in general I pay more attention to the Giants and 49ers. In fact, most people I know are Giants and Niners fans. For whatever reason, I know far less A’s and Raiders fans. (At least nowadays. Back in the late ’80s when the Bash Brothers led the A’s to three consecutive World Series appearances, the entire Bay Area seemed to favor Oakland.) In any case, one thing is certain: never be on BART during these Battle of the Bay series. Ever.