Now is not the time for civility, though that was probably more than clear if you read any of the “sports journalism” in the San Jose Mercury News or San Francisco Chronicle regarding Phillies fans. But for some reason, I do feel obligated to point out the folks at McCovey Chronicles and Frisco Fastball know what they’re talking about.
Yet, living amongst the real, live Giants fans in their two-week-old hats and jerseys, I have discovered that they are some of the most baseball illiterate bandwagoners to accidentally watch a Giants game. So I give you, our betters, some tips for your World Series trip, a service that most Phillies blogs at this junction would NEVER provide.
1. Learn something, anything, about baseball; how it is played, what things mean, etc.
I’ve had the delightful misfortune of residing in the Bay Area for pretty much the exact chunk of time the NLCS was going on. In that time, I’ve had no choice to go to bars (darn!) full of Giants fans (actual darn!) to watch the games, and I’ve got to tell you, it can be like watching a game in a room full of children.
Now, as a Phillies fan, you’ve got to know I have a certain leniency before a stereotype is considered “fact.” I of course know that some of us from Philly are not going to do much worse than scream personal insults at an opposing outfielder fueled by information we got from trolling his Wikipedia page the previous afternoon at work.
So while the Bay Area press met their deadlines by penning unresearched smear campaigns against us, the general response was “Yeah well Giants fans are hippies and drink wine and eat sushi and aren’t real fans and oooooo we’re just so mad.”
And that seems just as ridiculous as lumping us all together.
But the point-blank ignorance I witnessed at several Bay Area establishments during these playoffs has been… staggering.
Here’s some of the worst offenders I overheard. Seriously. Can’t make this shit up.
- “Was that a strike or a ball?” “A ball.” “And that’s the one we don’t want, right?”
- [As Aubrey Huff is intentionally walked to create a force out at every base with two outs] “HA! Doesn’t he know Posey’s up next?! Their manager is an IDIOT!” [Posey struck out]
- [Rich Dubee, the Phillies pitching coach and therefore not the manager, comes out to talk to Roy Oswalt] “No, no, leave him in! He’s doing great! Ha-ha-ha!” [I mean, I'm no Giants fan, but thanks to paying even just the SLIGHTEST BIT OF ATTENTION, I know what their manager LOOKS LIKE].
- “Why are we booing Juan Uribe? Didn’t he just hit a home run!”
- At one point, a guy stood up and cheered a clearly foul ball as if it was a home run. Like, honestly. He jumped up, even as everyone else in the place was going “Ah, nuts,” and returning to their beers, and started cheering the screen, fist pumping; then turned to offer high-fives to the confused people at his table, brand new Giants cap and all.
And there’s plenty I’ve forgotten, I’m sure. A couple of these you’d forgive; everybody’s got bandwagoners and idiots in their fanbase. But the fact that these occurred over several different nights at a wide variety of places throughout the area… I mean, not even I was expecting that.
2. You are no longer the scrappy underdog
Sorry, I know that was about 95% of your appeal. I know its been a whole seven years since the last time you were in the World Series, but you happen to be playing one of the only teams who has never, ever, been there. Their owner is their most famous former player who also happens to have thrown seven no-hitters in his career. There’s a picture of him putting Robin Ventura in a headlock in their clubhouse.
If anybody is going to be scrapping and underdogging, its the Rangers. Everybody likes to see a new team get the trophy, especially if they have no one else to root for.
“The Cody Ross Story” just doesn’t have enough universal appeal.
3. The Rangers know how to score runs
Its fun and all to watch previously painfully mediocre players like Ross and Pat Burrell doing things out there, but the ability to poop out 3-4 runs and win a playoff game is a testament to your pitching, which is dynamo. Sadly, in the face of a team that can routinely score 10 runs a game if it wins to, your sporadic little run-squirts will not be holding up.
“But we stopped the Braves!” says you. “And your mighty Phillies!”
Right, that’s my point. You beat a massively crippled Braves squad and an offensively dead Phillies team. You did win, though; no one’s denying your victory. But you’ve gotten away with this because you’ve been playing teams who can’t score either, who match up perfectly to your formula of pitching onslaught + squeak out a run here and there = just enough to win.
Texas: 59 R in 11 2010 playoff games. (.281 team BA)
San Francisco: 30 R in 10 2010 playoff games. (.231 team BA)
In one more game, they’ve got almost twice the runs. It’d be hard to believe this colossal advantage wouldn’t come into play in some meaningful way. Meanwhile,
Atlanta: 9 R in 4 2010 playoff games (.175 team BA)
Phils: 33 R in 9 2010 playoff games (wait, what?) (.215 team BA) (oh, okay)
4. No matter what happens, you’ll be fine
Because you barely exist. Think about it. You’re a Giants fan.
You guys have it easy. Win or lose, at the end of 2010, you can hang up your cap and forget you were ever a Giants fan.
And you will, too. It’s exactly what you’ll do. You’ll get home, slightly bummed, pour yourself a glass of that wine Scotty and Rena got you from Napa Valley, and gosh, you’ll just relax. It’s almost a relief, isn’t it? For it all to be over? To not have to watch the game–well, every fifth pitch or so–and pretend to care… or actually care, but then feel like a fool for doing so, because it’s November–whose talking about baseball anymore?! Let’s go watch the Niners’ weekly implosion.
Yes, take a breath, Giants fans. Take a break. Put your feet up. Tomorrow, you can act like you never cared. The Giants? Who? Oh, right, our baseball team. Yeah, they had a good year, I guess. Hey, are you going to the opening at Dada on 2nd? I hear the artist spent six years in Bruges.
There are plenty of impassioned, interesting, and glorious people in San Francisco; but don’t tell me they got that way by investing in baseball.
So congratulations! You were the better team. But how will anyone ever remember?
5. You guys really shouldn’t be wearing Bonds jerseys anymore
Does someone actually need to tell you that?