Bay Area baseball has been absolutely horrific this year. However, fans of both the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants will still turn out in droves over the next several days to take part in representing their respective team during the annual Battle of the Bay series.
Unfortunately, this year has to be one of the saddest crosstown series that I can recall. Ever.
As of this writing, most A’s fans are keeping a close tab as to where their star pitcher, Sonny Gray, will land before the trade deadline. It’s literally the highlight of the season, if you want to call it that. Should a transaction take place, then Gray will be the last recognizable player on the team to go. From here on out, A’s fans will simply have to resort to using velcro on previously purchased jerseys to root for all of the newly acquired players and rookies. Long gone are the glory days of Donaldson and Cespedes, or any other player name of value — let’s just not go down this road.
The Giants, on the other hand, have just about every recognizable player you can think of on their roster — Bumgarner, Cueto, Posey, Pence, Belt, and the list goes on. Heck, they even brought back The Panda — Pablo Sandoval. However, don’t make the mistake of equating household names to good baseball, because the Giants are no better than the A’s. Both teams sit at the bottom of the division in their respective leagues, and the tale of these two organizations this season couldn’t be any weirder.
For most of the 2017 MLB season, both fanbases have luckily been somewhat tranquilized by the championship hangover of the Golden State Warriors, the lone basketball team. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if a good amount of fans showed up to the games in neutralized Warriors gear. At this point, Bay Area sports fans are clamoring for the slightest glimmer of hope — anything really. It’s almost as if the gap between the NBA and NFL seasons couldn’t be squeezed together any tighter. NFL preseason anyone?
For what it’s worth, both casual and die hard fans of the A’s and Giants will rightfully use this opportunity to not only rally behind their respective team, but also represent their turf in the Bay Area. From San Jose to Sacramento, and everywhere in-between, the Battle of the Bay is bigger than baseball itself. There may be little in the way of a competitive series to root for this year, but tradition is tradition and the green+gold and orange+black team colors will still be worn with pride throughout the region. The only thing left to do now to make this series sound more realistic is to dial it back from the ‘Battle of the Bay’ to the more humbling ‘Bay Bridge Series’.
(This article was originally published on July 31, 2017)