Oakland Athletics

Bay Bridge Series: not as intense as Giants/Dodgers, but just as entertaining

If the Bay Area wasn’t electrified by this weekend, there’s something wrong. I was at O.co Coliseum Sunday, and I paid particular attention to who was in the stands and what the cheering was like.

But before I even got to the stands, I took a good look around the parking lot. This was the first game I have been to this season since I made the almighty, perhaps mentally unhealthy decision to attend college in Oregon. In any case, the tailgaters were out in full force. Interestingly enough, 28 of the 31 groups I observed had a mix of Giants and A’s fans. Mostly bigger groups, the tailgaters all intermingled and there was no hostility observed between the two fan groups.

This intermingling continued in the stands as well. It seemed to be pretty even in the amounts of orange vs. green, but the numbers were not indicative of the cheering going on at the ballpark.

When Matt Cain was announced as the Giants’ starting pitcher, he got a louder ovation than any Athletics starter. Granted, Matt Cain recently threw a perfect game, but that still says something about the fans in Oakland, and around the Bay Area. If anything, it said that most of the people in the crowd were Bay Area baseball fans first and foremost.

When Buster Posey went yard in the first inning, it sounded like a home game for the Giants. Only one cheer was louder throughout the whole game, and it didn’t come until the ninth.

Sitting right in front of me was an A’s fan. He was the kind of guy that every baseball fan loves at a ball game — he offers peanuts to you, he high-fives those around him, and he’s always looking for a good ballpark chat.

Two rows down, there was a loud Giants fan wearing a Pablo Sandoval jersey. He wasn’t obnoxious, but he certainly was not shy about showing his San Francisco pride.

Throughout the game, the two went back and forth with friendly trash talk. The A’s fan even threw peanuts at the Giants fan, but not once did things lead to anything more than a laugh.

Still, Mike Krukow said in the post-game show that he thinks A’s/Giants is just as intense as Giants/Dodgers. Marty Lurie said something similar in his postgame show, but I think “intense” is too bland of a word to describe what is going on. There may have been just as much emotion at the ballpark today as there will be next week when the Giants play the Dodgers, but it’s a different kind of emotion. At Giants/Dodgers games, the emotion is fueled by hatred. At A’s/Giants games, the emotion is fueled by enjoyment.

My sister, who is not a huge sports fan by any means, actually made a very astute observation at the game that I think puts things in perspective: the Bay Bridge Series is a tame rivalry, but it’s one of the most enjoyable sports weekends in the Bay Area.

She’s right.

Even if the rivalry isn’t as intense in terms of hatred and hostility as some others around the baseball world, it’s still a fun one that a lot of people care about. Maybe the rivalry could be more hostile, but where’s the problem in the way things are now?

When Derek Norris hit his first career homerun to win the game for Oakland in the ninth, what followed was the loudest cheer of day — even louder than the cheers for Cain’s introduction. As I looked around, everyone was cheering. Not just A’s fans, everyone.

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17 Comments on "Bay Bridge Series: not as intense as Giants/Dodgers, but just as entertaining"

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Tru
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Tru

No, any real A’s fan hates the Giants. The Matt Cain reaction was fine, he’s a seemingly good guy, been around a while and just threw a perfect game. But, the split cappers are a part of the problem. I’m not a fan of rooting for whoever’s winning.

JZ
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JZ

As a Giants fan, I don’t know if I could ever reciprocate the hatred. I’m grateful for having two baseball teams. I mostly attend A’s games because of the cheaper prices, smaller crowds, and a fan base that is more in tune with what’s going on on the field rather than treating a ballgame like a social event.

3rdKing
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3rdKing

im a real a’s fan and a real giants fans…..boo

Slam
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Slam

I’m a huge hat guy, have about 80 hats on the wall in my garage, and I hate the split hat. Just not a fan.

Pick a team, just one.

T
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T

The loudest cheer of the weekend was Friday night when the Giants scored 4 runs in the 9th inning and when the Giants got the final out. The loud cheers for Norris was NOTHING compared to Friday.

Stan
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Stan

What does it say that the owners who claim the area wont support the team and also that they have a small budget…WOULD NOT REMOVE THOSE TARPS. They could have had 54,000 on a nice sunny Oakland Sunday vs the Giants.
Lies,lies lies..all Beane, Wolff and Fisher know is, keep telling lies…

Slam
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Slam

The flaming Liberal conspiracy theorist Stan speaketh the truth this time.

Blaster
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Blaster
Not as intense as Giants / Dodgers? Why? Because people aren’t beating the hell out of each other in the parking lot? You can still have an intense rivalry without spitting venom or throwing punches. REAL Giant fans made a trip across the bay to enjoy probably one of the most exciting series that I’ve ever seen (in my 33 years). The problem I have is with this new bandwagon group. I dare to say a lot of old school ‘Stick fans who were priced out by the new park and grossed out by panda and giraffe hats everywhere rolled… Read more »
Joey
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Joey

Blaster,

That’s what I’m saying. I would rather have an awesome rivalry fueled by emotion than a hostile rivalry with violence. I think those are more enjoyable. That’s why I said “intense” may be too bland a word to describe what is going on.

Blaster
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Blaster
Ah. I guess I processed it differently. It is a long standing rivalry, but you have to remember, has only really been “counting” since 1997 outside of spring training and the World Series. Growing up on the playground, it was always “My A’s could beat your Giants” and vice versa, Interleague play hadn’t begun yet, so the rivalry was just friendly verbal banter. Related to long standing rivalries, this one is still rather infant. To be quite honest, I have a bigger gripe with Giant fans then with the team. Post 2010 fans with the stupid hats and face paint,… Read more »
Joey
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Joey

I totally agree. I have a few friends that bandwagoned to the Giants after the 2010 playoffs, and they just frustrate me because they’re not real baseball fans. It’s a social event for them, not a ball game, and that’s just not good for hardcore fans.

Blaster
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Blaster

Good read at any rate, Joey. You got me to think and comment after reading. Keep it up. Look forward to seeing your pen develop throughout the blogosphere.

Joey
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Joey

Thanks Blaster. Had to reply to my own comment since there was not an option to reply to yours. I appreciate the kind words and encouragement, and I hope I’ll get you to comment more as time goes on.

John Sports
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Very well said Blaster, I agree with you 100%. Most all Giant fans that I interacted with over the Weekend were pretty cool and knowledgeable. A lot of fun ribbing each other back and forth. Seems like the ones I ran into were old-school Candlestick fans.

3rdKing
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3rdKing

many fans are A’s and Giants fans and have been so for decades….

no rivalry at all, sucks one has to lose each game…..

Stan
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Stan

Oh,I beg to differ. The rivalry is real. Even the players admitted as much..this was like a playoff series.
And like masterblaster said,this was the best in a very long time. I would say talent wise this was THE best series ever. And that they seem to be evenly matched was fun to see. Remember,how it was said early this year that the A’s were a version of the Giants?..and it looked like it..lots of good pitching.

Slam
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Member
Slam

As a hardcore Giants fan lives in CoCo County, has tons of A’s fan friends, and goes to about 5 AT&T games a yr, I go to at least one Bay Bridge Coliseum game every year. The good natured feeling is fantastic.

I went Friday Night and Saturday afternoon.

Hate the be a “glass half empty guy”, but my one complaint is how DRUNK the 4pm Saturday crowd was. Raider Nation was well represented. Lou Wolfe wasn’t complaining about concession sales I bet.

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