Today In Poorly Formed Thoughts

Yesterday, Bruce Newman of the Silicon Valley Mercury News used his column on the San Francisco Giants and their World Series trophy tour through San Jose to hype an imaginary turf war between the Giants and the Oakland Athletics.

On Tuesday, the Giants brought their precious metal mantelpiece to San Jose to mark their territorial rights in the most public way possible.

I’m not exactly sure when trophy tours became the equivalent of dog piss, but isn’t San Jose the closest city to San Francisco other than Oakland?  Wouldn’t it make sense that the team would visit such a nearby town on a tour that also brought them to pretty much every other community in the vicinity, not to mention New York?

For three hours, the Giants’ local fan base filed by the glittering cylinder at home plate of Municipal Stadium, where the San Jose Giants — the big club’s Class-A farm team — plays.

Wait a minute.  The Giants have a Minor League affiliate at this location too?  Wouldn’t the stench from that particular brand of canine urine be a little more potent than a one time visit with the World Series trophy?  And wouldn’t it also, you know, kind of justify the visit entirely?

The San Francisco ballclub has been embroiled in a two-year turf war with the Oakland Athletics over who should control territorial rights to San Jose, where A’s owner Lew Wolff has said he wants to move his team. But after 2,375 locals lined up for hours just to touch the hem — metaphorically, of course — of the Giants’ championship robes, there was little doubt who owns this town.

Just under a million people live in San Jose, and a couple thousand of those people showing up to see the World Series trophy means nothing.  The fact that the Giants have a Minor League affiliate located in the city and they themselves play less than 100 miles away speaks far more to the ownership of the town — metaphorically, of course.

And is it truly necessary to use “metaphorically, of course” when speaking of something that doesn’t actually exist?  I think it’s somewhat safe to give one’s readership a little more credit than that.

The Giants’ website asserted that the team had “partnered with the civic leaders and local governments” to allow every hamlet in the Bay Area to clutch the gilded globe to its municipal bosom (still metaphorically!). But civic leaders were in short supply in San Jose, where local officials have lined up in lock-step behind Wolff.

This might mean something more if Newman had actually attended any of the other stops in the Bay Area, counted the number of public officials and compared it to the number that showed up in San Jose.  But he didn’t.  Also, are public officials in California supposed to announce their presence whenever they enter a room or something?

And once again, seeing as though municipalities have no bosom unless their mayor is a complete tit, it’s likely unnecessary to write “still metaphorically” even if an exclamation point is included.

If there was any doubt that the Giants will dig in their heels to protect their territory, managing partner Bill Neukom made the trip down to the South Bay to put it to rest. “This county is the heart of our marketplace,” Neukom said. Then he got on the public address system and told the fans the trophy was really theirs.

I don’t live in California, and I don’t understand all the intricacies in the relationship between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics.  But I do live in Toronto, and I think a similar situation exists with the city of Windsor which happens to be about five miles south of Detroit, but still a part of Canada.  While I doubt either the Blue Jays or Tigers would ever be interested in moving their team to the border town of a quarter million people, I fully expect that if either team were to win the World Series they would plan on going to Windsor, without ulterior motives, to celebrate and show off their trophy, or as Newman describes it throughout the article: precious metal mantelpiece, what you might get if you asked Tiffany to design a gaudy fire hydrant, and gilded globe.

Someone’s thesaurus has been working overtime.

Newman’s column reads to me as though he had formed his opinion and may have written most of his article before he even went to the ceremony.  I’m a fairly cynical person, but sometimes a celebration is just a celebration.

I get that the Athletics are looking at moving to San Jose, and I’m sure that the Giants are aware of it, but if the team was truly interested in using the trophy to increase their market share they’d travel to Oakland with it and lure all of the jilted Athletics fans that the team is attempting to leave behind.

Comments (6)

  1. Oakland and San Francisco are almost exactly the same distance from San Jose.

    In a way, I can understand the Giants’ discomfort. If Oakland moves to San Jose to become NewTeam, the people of Oakland will not suddenly convert to become Giants fans and the people of San Jose are more likely to become fans of NewTeam.

    Therefore, if there are three points of access to baseball fandom in the Bay Area, the NewTeam will have connections and history to 2/3s of that love triangle. On the other hand, how is it good business for MLB to keep a team in Oakland where the stadium is falling apart, the fans don’t care and the team generates no revenue?

    And doesn’t it seem a little weird that an owner is complaining about a team being moved further away from his home market?

  2. Is it lazier to write a poorly thought out article, or to constantly pick apart poorly thought out articles?

    At least Newman gives his thoughts on something, as supposed to Parkes consistently pissing on other writers and occasionally quoting fangraphs whenever there’s baseball analysis to be done.

  3. You could learn a thing or two from this guy, Parkes. I’ve actually been meaning to ask you to explicitly label your metaphors for a while now.

  4. The shittiness of this article does kind of overshadow a really interesting topic, though. I’m certain that the Giants’ trophy tour had absolutely nothing to do with this “turf war” but this whole situation is a bit of a mess for everyone involved.

    The A’s will almost inevitably need to relocate, but where? If you completely move the franchise from the area Expos-style, then the Oakland fans totally get screwed, but if you move the team to San Jose, the Giants totally get screwed. Either way somebody’s going to be very unhappy.

  5. Beind from Windsor I can say with some confidence that both teams would in fact visit down here. The town is split in its allegiances as any city in such a situation would be. In fact, there may be more Jays fans than Tigers fans.

    Every Tigers’ game I’ve been to where the Jays are in town has a very strong contingent of Jays’ fans. Very strong.

    San Jose is likely very similar, just as cities like Chicago, New York, LA, and any small mid west town near St. Louis, Kansas City or Cincinnati would have split fan bases.

    Whaaaaat a moron.

  6. “Newman’s column reads to me as though he had formed his opinion and may have written most of his article before he even went to the ceremony. I’m a fairly cynical person, but sometimes a celebration is just a celebration.”

    This is sort of similar to the way that sportswriters sometimes approach comparisons between players. They start with an answer to the question of which player is better and then attempt to present the information that proves their conclusion correct.

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