Saturday, August 21, 2010

I'm hedging my bets

So here's the deal.

It started last season, the whole giving up the Astros thing. I felt a little guilty because let's be honest, they're my hometown team and I'm required by fandom law to love them best. However, the team sucked, management sucked, the owner and front office suck, so screw them. I'm not gonna invest time or money in a team that doesn't care.

(Then I went to four games in the first week, but we'll blame that on Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito, and a boring weekend near the end of the school year.

But that's neither here nor there.)

So I was left with the A's, the team I chose, and we got along pretty well until I forgot how to watch baseball and what the commitment of a game was and my account was languishing. I'm notoriously fickle like that, going months without thinking about a sport and then BAM! A Chinese gymnast gets her medal stripped from 10 years ago and I'm right back on board. Or, you know, Michael Phelps ceases to exist as the best swimmer in the world only to be replaced with Ryan Lochte, of all people. And then, of course, I care again.

(Really though I always cared, I just forgot about how much.)

During the All-Star Break, as happens every year, I really missed the game and promised myself I would be a hardcore fan. Really hardcore. And I have been! Unfortunately for me, the A's have been hovering around .500 and about 7 games back since then. Which kind of wreaks havoc on a girl's patience.

Anyway, somewhere in there I actually started watching Lincecum's starts again. I'd always been keeping track of Zito (hey what, don't judge me, he's finally good again!), so adding another dude onto the list wasn't too difficult. Then I started to care about how the Giants did on days not pitched by Tim or Barry and then realized what was going on.

In dropping the Astros, I'd trimmed off some dead weight, sure, but I'd also eliminated a potential post-season team. Not that they'd actually do it, but the potential was at least there. And in picking up the Giants, unwittingly, I was putting myself into a division and wild card race. Again. This also happened after I'd admitted defeat for the A's 2010 season (too early, it appears, as the Rangers are having difficulty with the Orioles and the A's are dismantling the Rays).

All of that to say: I don't think being a fan has a lot to do with geography. I've been saying this for a long time, actually, four years now at least. It's got a lot to do with relationships. It's got a lot to do with the affection one feels after watching failure after failure and then that heart-lifter of a win right when one was about to lose hope. It's got to do with spending an hour in the Oakland airport with a yogurt and a new mug and lanyard representing one's favorite team. And finally not looking out of place.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Boy Prince Take 2

I'd like you to recall an entry I posted back in July of 2007. I announced (and I wasn't the only one, that was for sure) the arrival of the next great Giants pitcher -- Tim Lincecum. The kid (for I have been asked twice at games if "that guy over there" is Tim Lincecum and had to tell the questioner, "no, that is the batboy.") is now the two-time reigning National League Cy Young Award winner.

The Freak, The Franchise, whatever you want to call him, he's shown up. He's dealt. He's thrown over 800 changeups in the last season plus and only one has left the yard as a home run. Only 34 have gone for hits.

Back in July of 2007, the average baseball fan couldn't tell you who Tim Lincecum was. Now he has little kids wearing his jersey in Houston.

Let's just not talk about his last two starts.