It Takes a Lot of Balls

The San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics have shared many things over the years. Former Giants outfielder and manager Dusty Baker, for example, ended his on-field career in Oakland. Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti worked as a relief pitcher on the East Side for part of a year before hanging up his cleats. Vida Blue, a starting pitcher who helped Oakland win three World Series in the 1970s, must have thought west was best because he finished his days on the mound at Candlestick Park. But one thing the Giants and A's have never shared is a fan base. And don't start about the people you've seen wearing those (silly) caps split down the middle, half-Giants, half-A's. Those people are all named “Sybil,” and they don't know the first thing about being a baseball fan (or about headwear). Baseball isn't “nice” in that regard. New Yorkers, for example, don't root for the Yankees and the Mets. Chicagoans don't pull for the Cubs and the White Sox. Ever. In fact, fans often despise the crosstown squad worse than they hate the rival teams they play far more often. So scream yourself orange in the face tonight at the San Francisco Giants vs. Oakland Athletics. It's the first game of the annual Bay Bridge Series, which marks the end of spring training. The regular season starts in a few days, so each team has made nearly all its cuts. That means the lineup you see tonight is what you'll see for much of 2011. This is also a good opportunity for all you fans who didn't know San Francisco even had a baseball team until, oh, about three weeks before it won the World Series last year. When the 2011 postseason arrives, you'll know these Giants well.
Mon., March 28, 7:15 p.m., 2011

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