A friendly beginning-of-baseball-season message to Giants fans from an A's fan. First of all, a hearty congratulations on your second World Series title in three years. Very impressive. As the new season gets going, though, I have one small request: Let's retire the notion that your team is torture.
I understand that when Duane Kuiper coined the phrase, the Giants had just lost to the Padres despite having only given up one hit. That's frustrating. I also understand that until 2010, the team had never won the World Series in San Francisco. And I understand how excruciating low-scoring games can be when everything is riding on the ninth inning, something that does seem to happen to the Giants a lot. But at this point, with two titles under your belt and a beautiful stadium on the water, maybe it's time to rethink your catchphrase.
If you want to talk real baseball torture, come to Oakland. Try having the lowest team salary in all of baseball. Try enjoying games under the looming threat that your team will soon leave the city where you grew up. Try sharing your lovely baseball grass with the Raiders, or looking around the stadium during the regular season at all the empty seats. Try watching your best players leave for other teams every time they get the chance. Then perhaps we can talk about torture.
I was only a year old in 1989, so I don't have any memories of being in the World Series. What I do remember is learning some hard life lessons through my A's fanhood. Like how sometimes you just have fewer resources to work with and you have to do your best to compete anyway. Or how you have to accept that you may lose the people or players that you love when better opportunities pop up elsewhere, and you must forgive them. Of course, these challenges also mean that when we overcome our obstacles and defy the odds, the victory is even sweeter. Being a real A's fan is tough, and it takes faith that often goes unrewarded.
So next time the Giant's are down one run in the ninth, remember that I am across the bay still pining over Marco Scutaro, and please, think twice before adding that hashtag.
With a Perspective, I'm Dana Varinsky.
Dana Varinsky is finishing her master's degree in journalism at New York University and will be wearing her A's jersey at tonight's opening game in Oakland.