The leather-lunged rivalry between Giants and A’s fans has cooled a bit since Barry Bonds retired, depriving East Bay boo-birds of their favorite target. There’s also the small matter that the teams have moved in opposite directions, with the Giants winning the World Series in 2010 and primed for another playoff run while the chronically payroll-challenged (though once-mighty) A’s have reached .500 just once in the past five seasons. The annual Bay Bridge Series, which marks the return of baseball season and spring to the Bay Area, has a strange wrinkle this year: The teams cross swords – er, bats – in these exhibition games afterthe A’s open the regular season in Tokyo on March 28-29. Ah, but why let logistics get in the way of a revenue-generating day at the ballpark, especially when it goes to a good cause? (Keeping Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain in Giants uniforms.) Tonight’s tiff is the first of a three-game set that goes to Oakland and concludes Wednesday afternoon at AT&T Park. These games promise to be especially exciting because, as with any rivalry, the caliber of the squads has little bearing on who wins. Last year, for example, the Giants swept the A's when the teams played in San Francisco, but later in the year when the Giants visited Oakland, the A's took all three. Speaking of vengeance: The A’s return May 18 for a three-game series that counts toward regular-season standings – and also in the accounting ledger.
Mon., April 2, 2012