Sorry A’s fans, but I gave in. I went to a Giants game.
However, I figured that at least through all the torture of submerging myself into the “fans” of the black and orange, I might as well keep a journal of my unique experience. Being a lover of baseball, I did my best to enjoy a game from across the bridge, something I can honestly say I haven’t done for over two years.
Yet, the one thing I could not do was disregard my East Bay bias in writing this chronicle of events, so I apologize in advance to any Giants fans that stumble upon this piece of what you may label as garbage. Its not that I don’t like all SF fans, I actually have a decent amount of close amigos who love the Gigantés and our friendships haven’t been dampened by it. Also, I would like to say that the majority of my comments in this piece are aimed at specifically city fans. I would describe my relationship with whatever those legion of SF fans calls themselves as such: You seem like nice people, but whenever we interact I don’t have fun.
Luckily for me, the goal of this specific journey was to view document this game from an Oakland Athletics fan bird’s eye view (literally), and for only $7 tickets! (Only way you’d catch me dead at one of these)
So the first thing I had to do was garner the BART experience of a Giants fan, and I’ll tell you what man *Jon Gruden voice*, you could find more enthusiasm at your local Bowling Alley during “Old Timers Night.” Not to say A’s fans are bouncing off the heavily stained cushioned seats before they even get to the field, but they get rowdy enough for you to think they’ve taken public transportation to a ballgame before. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen more Amazon – Kindles on BART before in my life. I know books aren’t in with the cool kids anymore, but how about at least a magazine.
Once I got off at the Embarcadero Station, I figured I’d get another perspective from taking the Muni Train to AT&T Park. Along the way I saw a couple things I thought were a bit disheartening.
- Two middle-aged fans arguing about who was starting for the Giants with both hell-bent on letting the whole train know who was right. One of them thought it was Tim Lincecum and the other thought it was Matt Cain (who hasn’t pitched in a game since July 9th, 2014). Correct answer: Ryan Vogelsong.
- Four college-looking friends (three guys and a girl) playing catch out near the water, which would’ve given SF a big thumbs up in my book … except for the fact each one of them threw like the dad in that 2013 Volkswagen Passat commercial.
After I got off the Muni, I met up with a couple of my buddies a couple blocks away from the ballpark. Quick side note: Those of you looking for a place to pregame, apparently Beacon Plaza (I believe is the name) on King Street is one of the most revered. Just walking by there, I saw at least three groups, each sharing multiple brown bags from Safeway and even one of them asked us if we wanted to help them kill a bottle of Jaegermeister (we respectfully declined).
When we made our way through the gates of Willie Mays Plaza, it didn’t seem as bad as I remembered. In fact, I was reminded AT&T is actually awesome. The ballpark itself as one of my fellow die-hard A’s fans admitted, “is probably the best I’ve seen out of all 30 teams.” However, he made sure to mention that, “the fans are in the 30’s.” This was confirmed the moment I saw a young couple wearing twin Zito jerseys. I mean the dude balled out across the Bay, but if you’re an SF fan, you can’t rock a jersey for a guy who got paid by your team NOT to pitch in the playoffs.
Once the game started, I was in my element. Seeds, Peanuts, Nachos (which were a hell of lot smaller than I would’ve wanted for $8), and the smell of overpriced Beer. On top of that, it was a great game. Both Vogelsong and Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole were carving, while both offenses were able to scrap out a couple runs on each side. As the flow of the game moved along, there were also some aspects of the presentation that I noticed in comparison to Oakland.
- Giants play Frank Sinatra in between innings. Oakland plays MC Hammer.
- Giants have free Wi-Fi. A’s can’t afford it.
- Giants bullpen ball boys look like they can’t field a ground ball. A’s ball boys look like they take pre-game infield/outfield.
- Giants fans didn’t heckle me.
While #4 had nothing to do with the rest of the category, it bothered me. I wore my A’s beanie and made it known the entire game that I came from the other side of the bridge, yet I received no jeering. The only people that even seemed to recognize I was wearing any green and gold were my buddies I came with. If anyone rocked even so much as a G-men pin at the O.Co, they would hear about it. Playful taunting and chatter was definitely something I think contributed to the overall non-traditional tradition that some consider going to a Giants game. I mean there was no yelling at Pirates fans, no calling them bums, no banter, no nothing. What’s up with that? Especially after they won a close game (which by the way brought me immense pleasure), you got to let the opposing team’s fans have it. You don’t have throw a brick at a guy to let them know your there, but don’t be afraid to get under someone’s skin. The performance in what minor trash talking I did see from any Giants fans would be classified by my friend as, “soft as puppy sh***.”
Yet, despite my inability to understand how one truly enjoys baseball as a city SF fan, you guys are still technically a part of the Bay Area, so I guess you couldn’t be all bad. But in general, I like to channel my inner Dr. Seuss when thinking about how the other half lives:
“Baseball fans come in all shapes and sizes from the young and the old, to the tall and the small, but trying to be a Giants fan, that’s the toughest of all.”
— Sir Dangs A Lot