San Francisco Giants fans woke up this morning to some interesting news:
For those paying attention to Ramirez’s recovery timeline as reported yesterday, this development puts Ramirez’s injury in the “worst-case scenario” zone. And for many San Francisco Giants fans, this development is cause for celebration and, of course, lots and lots of jokes. However, there are reasons to pause before outwardly expressing this completely normal reaction, and not because we should feel sympathy toward a fellow human who’s experiencing physical pain. Ramirez’s thumb will be fine.
This isn’t a post about jinxes, either. Just because you pour champagne all over yourself on a street corner while dancing around a Ramirez jersey that’s on fire doesn’t mean players on your favorite team are more likely to get hurt. Injuries often don’t make sense, and they are never the result of karma, jinxing, or other such nonsense. This post is about two other reasons why Giants fans should take this injury in stride, act like they’ve been there before, insert your favorite cliche here.
This rivalry has never been as intense or interesting since both teams moved west as it is currently. Giants vs. Dodgers is ahead of Red Sox vs. Yankees in terms of sheer baseball relevancy (just don’t tell the folks in Bristol, they’ll call you a “damn liahhh”). It’s true — the Giants are winning championships and the Dodgers are the team that’s going to allow Scott Boras to buy his own island someday (if he hasn’t already). Meanwhile, the Red Sox blew up a good thing and the Yankees have wilted since George Steinbrenner passed away.
Take an ascending traditional and regional rivalry, then add all the different ways strangers can now razz each other on their phones and computers. The more Giants fans take advantage of the Dodgers’ early season misfortune, the worse they’re going to get it later in the year when certain Giants get hurt. Do you really want to rile Dodgers fans up, only to see their reaction after Jeremy Affeldt’s foot gets crushed under the wheel of his son’s tricycle?
(I’m just trying to cut down on my future annoyance levels in the future, people. I can’t just up and quit Twitter and Facebook on a whim.)
Be better than the AZ Snakepit guy
Less than 24 hours after Buster Posey was left in a heap of screaming, shattered-ankle mess, a TRU FAN named Jim McLennan wrote a post titled, “Buster Posey and Shadenfruede” for SB Nation’s D-Backs site. If you don’t want to give this post any pageviews, here’s a sampling:
But, let’s be brutally honest. While on one level, it’s a terrible thing, there’s a dark corner of just about every non-Giant fan which woke up this morning, read that Posey could be out for the season and gave a little fist-pump. Because their team’s chances of dethroning the Giants as World Series champions just got a little bit better.
“There will never be a perfect storm like this again,” wrote Grant Brisbee. “Posey is a guy who helped break an organizational drought for hitters and championships, he played a position that the fans were repeatedly told was almost impossible to do well, and he is possibly the most likable personality on the team, combining perfect amounts of seriousness and charm in a goofy clubhouse.” To which I reply, succinctly: “Suck it, Giants fans. Suck it long. And suck it hard.” I didn’t notice an angst-ridden piece from Brisbee when divisional rival Jorge de la Rosa was lost for the year, So don’t expect any sympathy when you lose your young stud.
There’s a huge impact gap between losing Posey for the last four-plus months of the season and losing Ramirez for eight weeks, but there is also a difference between thinking, “Well, that’s a fortunate turn of events for my favorite team,” and replying loudly (and succinctly), “Suck it, Dodgers fans. Suck it long. And suck it hard.” For those looking for an excuse to gloat, wait until the first series of the season at Chavez Ravine if the Giants take two of three.
If part of the unwritten rule book for fans states, “Cheering for injuries, regardless of opponent, is implicitly forbidden unless the injury is to said athlete’s pride,” then maybe it’s time to take post-injury snark off the table as well. Yes, even “goggles” jokes. There are so many different things one can make fun of when it comes to the Dodgers that have nothing to do with tendons, bones or ligaments … Don Mattingly’s working knowledge of the actual rulebook, for instance.
One last thing that has nothing to do with the Giants or Dodgers: I’ve also seen some who are almost gleeful that Ramirez’s injury took place during the World Baseball Classic. The attendance for the semifinals and final game was spotty at AT&T Park. (A mid-March series in San Francisco was cold, wet and overrun by seagulls … WHO KNEW???). But really, what’s the harm in the WBC? Players get hurt in Spring Training all the time, and nobody wants to cancel that. The WBC didn’t rule my days this time around (I attended one game at Chase Field, Ryan Vogelsong’s start against Team Italy, but I wasn’t about to sit in the rain), but I liked the chance to see the different ways people play and watch baseball in high definition, as opposed to grainy YouTube footage. I hope the WBC stays around, even if Team USA doesn’t inspire people in this country.