That has to be the way many A’s fans feel these days, and have felt for quite some time. How many times have I been the target of sarcastic remarks by some random Giants fan on the street, at work, literally anywhere while I’m simply minding my own business? More times than I can count. I’ve certainly had enough of it, and I imagine a lot of others have as well.
Today’s game versus the Texas Rangers was a perfect example of that phenomenon taking place. The Ballpark in Arlington has always been hostile territory for the A’s, and bad things seem to always happen there. Today it almost did, in a perfect example of why MLB needs to implement some kind of replay system beyond just the home run calls, home plate umpire Laz Diaz ruled that Brandon McCarthy failed to catch Elvis Andrus’ pop up bunt, allowing the go ahead run to score. It was a miscarriage of justice that may very well could have cost them the game. I loved seeing Bob Melvin and Brandon McCarthy come unhinged in Diaz’s face, surely Diaz had no intent or bias against the A’s, but that seems to be the way things go in the world of Oakland Athletics baseball. I give major credit to the resilience of the A’s to come back and win that game, Josh Reddick for continuing his All-Star caliber season thus far, Ryan Cook for his 2 innings of shutout baseball, and the Kila Monster for smoking a ball against Mike Adams to take the lead in the 10th. This was a beautiful win, and desperately needed going into the ultimate enemy territory… AT&T Park.
It’s no secret the A’s are in a fight for their lives. It’s been hotly debated as the stadium situation continues to stew and we are left with no answers, some want the A’s in Oakland at all costs, some simply want the A’s to stay within driving distance (I fall in this category), and some want us gone (the San Francisco Giants). The last few years have been difficult for A’s fans because of a perfect storm of adversity that has run the team into the ground, and their most bitter rival into the stratosphere. Prior to 2010 at least we could immediately retort sarcastically that the Giants hadn’t won a single World Series since they were the New York Giants. Now with the Giants riding the high of their championship still, and their fans still gloating, wearing a an A’s logo is akin to wearing a scarlet S right here in our own backyard.
If you go on any given baseball site, any article about the A’s with a comment section, I guarantee you will see comments from people taking shots at the A’s. It’ll either be about how they have poor attendance, they trade all their good players when they start to get expensive, Moneyball never worked and Billy Beane is a joke, or they haven’t won a World Series since 1989 (the most common Giants fan insult now). The remarkable aspect of this is the fact that these cheap shots are being taken by Reds fans, Royals fans, Marlins fans, anyone. What in the world do these fans have agains the A’s? A team they claim is so inept and insignificant, yet they strike a nerve with them by virtue of their very existence to take to the internet and blast the team. I honestly don’t know why people hate the A’s, but they really do seem to.
This all brings me back to this weekend series against the Giants. For this writer, it’s not just about bragging rights, it is personal. The Giants are the major player standing in the way of the A’s and their continued success, and I want the A’s to take out all our frustrations on them. It won’t save the team, but I’d love to see Josh Reddick take a lifeless Tim Lincecum fastball into McCovey Cove Sunday afternoon, I’d love to see Ryan Cook strike out Buster Posey in a clutch situation with an unhittable slider, and I always enjoy seeing the A’s pound Barry Zito into oblivion. Jarrod Parker leads the A’s tomorrow night against the aforementioned former A’s lefty. The “yard” is sure to be rocking, and I hope the A’s fans who brave the sea of orange and black, ridiculous animal hats, and the Giants bandwagoners make their voices heard. I want to see WWE Championship belts for Reddick, rage dancing for Grant Balfour, 707 signs for Jonny Gomes, and hear tons of “LET’S GO OAKLAND!” chants ringing throughout that place. It’s about time the A’s fans get rowdy and bring down the newest evil empire.