The last time I spoke about the San Francisco Giants, I was preaching the virtues of simply not caring about them anymore. The A’s were in the midst of their second consecutive strong season, and the Giants were floundering in their defense of their second World Series title in three years. Who cared what was happening in San Francisco, the A’s were vastly superior? I’ve held that same stance this year, even as the Giants have gotten out to just as strong a start as the A’s have (Oakland currently has a better record by 1/2 a game). Funny thing is, though, the San Francisco Giants always seem to find a way to creep back under my skin one way or another. Today, they have accomplished exactly that.
A report this morning from Susan Slusser in today’s San Francisco Chronicle indicates that the Giants and the current Athletics Triple A affiliate Sacramento River Cats may have eyes for each other. The affiliate contract between the A’s and the River Cats expires after this season, and it appears as if River Cats CEO Susan Savage may be seeing dollar signs. The report states that she’s been playing hardball with the A’s, and that the San Francisco Giants are reciprocating their interest in some fashion.
I don’t have to tell you how brutal a blow this would be to the Athletics. Not because they’re beholden to the River Cats, as no Major League franchise would be to their minor league affiliate, but because having a Triple A team in Sacramento is simply perfect. The proximity to Oakland and the ease with which the A’s can call up players is an ideal situation for the A’s. Presumably, the A’s would take over the Giants current affiliate, the Fresno Grizzlies, as Slusser speculates, should this all come to pass.
The impact of such a move, though, goes far beyond minor leaguers having to travel an extra hour to get to Oakland. We’ve all closely examined the beaten dead horse that is the Athletics stadium situation, and it’s common knowledge that the Giants are largely responsible for the figurative, and sometimes literal quagmire the Athletics find themselves in at the severely outdated O.co Coliseum. If it weren’t for the Giants, and using their infamous territorial rights, the Athletics could be building Cisco Field in downtown San Jose as we speak (I know, stAy people… I know). But alas, they are not, and the O.co Coliseum has gone from bad, to worse as the MLB brass has sat on its hands for half a decade.
Despite their success on the field, the A’s woes continue, with no end in sight. It’s all the Giants fault really. So as power and greed once again seek to leave the Athletics hanging in limbo, at the hands of the Giants, I give my blessing to wish ill upon our neighbors across the bay. Maybe if they do successfully steal the River Cats, they get stuck with Daric Barton as well (maybe it’s Sacramento itself that he’s attached to, and not the A’s?). Maybe Tim Lincecum throws another no-hitter, and earns himself a 10-year $500 million contract. Maybe Pablo Sandoval eats Lou Seal. Maybe Michael Morse is is revealed to be a half-brother of Josh Reddick. Or maybe the A’s just prove that they can’t be taken down by shady business dealings. That might be sufficient punishment.
So, as the San Francisco Giants seek to potentially wield their powerful sword, and impose their will upon the A’s, I ask this. Haven’t you done enough?
UPDATE: The River Cats released a statement regarding the report via their official Twitter account, view here.