Too much traffic on too many freeways, far too many people and polluted air. These are things I hate about Southern California. Oh, and let’s not forget the Dodgers.
Some people live in a world where things are black and white. In my world things are black and orange.
I’m the minority down here – a Bay Area-born San Francisco Giants fan. It’s hard to be a Giants fan in the midst of Dodger country, especially now that playoffs have started and the Giants have shelved their bats and gloves for the season.
But the point of this column is not to complain that San Francisco didn’t make it into the playoffs, although they did come close; they had a tough run this season.
When preseason started I was worried because the Giants were not the same team I had known and loved in previous seasons. Manager Felipe Alou had done a once over on the team. I dreaded the fact that Benito Santiago was off to the Royals and Rich Aurilia, my favorite player, to the Mariners (and later traded to the Padres).
And when the Giants sat in the last position of the National League West standings in mid-May and eight games behind the Dodgers and Padres, who were tied for first place at the time, my fears were coming true.
But in June, things started to pick up. I had acknowledged the talent of new players like A.J. Pierzynski, Michael Tucker and Deivi Cruz, and I accepted them as my team. After all, a true fan must learn to accept the turnover in players.
I was glued to the TV for four straight days that month watching the Giants-Dodgers series. It’s one of the best rivalries in baseball, and this summer things got heated. The almost fight between Michael Tucker and Jeff Weaver that led to Eric Gagne almost beaning Tucker in the head. Classic. It was intense to watch, even on television.
But I smiled as the Giants prevailed. That week they accomplished two feats. San Francisco swept Los Angeles in a four game series, or the first time they had done so since June 1975. They also took over a lead in the NL West of two and a half games. It was unbelievable. They had won eight of nine games and had gone 24-9 since their mid-May drought. I was hopeful for the remainder of the season.
Soon the Giants were up three games on San Diego (the Dodgers had dropped down to third), but their lead started to dwindle. My hopes, however, did not. As it was, they didn’t finish the regular season too far behind - two games behind LA in the NL West, but only one game back from Houston in the Wild Card race.
You’d think I’d be faced with the dilemma of choosing a team to root for in the playoffs. But instead, I’m taking the approach I took last season. It doesn’t matter (as long as it’s not L.A. or Anaheim). And yes, I am still bitter about the World Series 2002, where the “Halos,” as they are annoying now refered to, took the championship from my team. They didn’t have fans before that. I refuse to jump on the bandwagon as is the trend down here. And this is where I reach my point.
You’re either a fan or you’re not. Just because the team you live near suddenly starts winning or moves on to the playoffs that doesn’t mean you can call yourself a fan. It’s about loyalty. I’m a true fan of this team, no matter what. Although San Francisco did not move on to the playoffs, I will root for them next year. I am not jumping on the bandwagon with either L.A. or Anaheim (who by the way each lost their first playoff games much to my delight). I’ve seen it all too much.
So the Dodgers may be going to the playoffs, but the Giants took the last game of the regular season, 10-0 over the Dodgers on Sunday.
Let the rivalry live on!
Chrissy Zehrbach, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.