Unfamiliar territory

You’ll have to excuse me for being a bit awkward here, this is all very new.

No, not the part about writing another blog post. Smartass.

But this whole idea that the Giants and the Niners are both legitimate contenders at the same time… it’s a bit weird. You see, the last time both teams were seriously looking at title in the same year, back when the name “George Bush” referred to a president who was at least slightly less than awful, I wasn’t even in grade school.

Since then, the two clubs have taken turns being anywhere from frustrating to terrible. First it was the Giants in the early-mid 90s, and since then the revolving merry-go-suck that has been the Niners. We rooted for one team because we knew that tomorrow we’d have to endure the other one biting ass.

Now, it’s different. Now the Giants are cruising their we into October and the Niners are causing opponents to lose sleep. Matt Cain is getting run support and Alex Smith is throwing passes that are actually being caught by the guy he was aiming for. We can actually watch a Giants game on Sunday and know that it won’t have to tide us over while the Saints or Eagles spend an entire second half handing the ball off to run down the clock.

And that’s a little weird.

I’ve always felt that when one team is losing, we tend to root a bit harder for the other. In recent years fans have gotten so into the Giants because it was so much better than the thought of sitting at a run-down Candlestick and watching a 6-10 team crap away another game to the Cardinals or Seahawks. Now the Niners are something to look forward to.

Now we have to fight off the urge to turn into Boston sports fans. To get cocky, to somehow think that the teams are winning because we’re such great fans. Most of all, we have to understand how lucky we are. Winning is great, but it’s not an entitlement. If the Giants go down in the NLDS, or the Niners fall apart against New York again, we have no right to be outraged, or mad at the team.

We have to remember a time when they were both awful, and appreciate this rare window in which both teams are so much fun to see play.

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110 Responses to Unfamiliar territory

  1. shaman138 says:

    I’ll be enjoying the Giants for now, ignoring the total idiocy going on with that *other* football team I root for. I am looking forward to the 9ers beating down the tuck rule bitches in Boston but that’s not until December. If the replacement refs let Alex Smith live that long, that is. Anyways, Go Giants.

  2. xoot says:

    The precursor to Google Earth–I forget the name of it–became generally available sometime in 2005. I signed up, paid $15 or so, because I liked being able to jump from a shot of my East Bay roof top to the top of 1600 Penn. Ave. in an instant. Also, I needed some aerial photos of a North Bay industrial site to use as exhibits.

    While exploring the view of the Bay Area one day, I noticed a few things: The air was preternaturally still and clear, and the sunlight had a distinctive slant, so that the office towers cast long shadows. October, I thought. Also, there were no cars in the parking lots near my office building. Sunday?

    I scanned down the Oakland waterfront to the Coliseum. The freeway was empty, but the parking lot at the E. Coli. was jammed, and the stands, pre-tarp, were almost full. Players were discernible on the field.

    I zipped west across the Bay to China Basin. There were some cars on the City streets, but they all seemed headed to the ballpark parking lot; and if you zoomed down you could see a few of the Braves on the grass, playing catch. Somewhere there in the shadows of the upper RF stands, near the Splash Cam, my son and I were finding our seats, settling in to eat an early dinner–although I occassionally went back to the beer stand to watch the A’s and Twins on the tv, as they played what would be the final game of that Moneyball season.

    While I stared at that moment on the computer, I remembered something else. I slid the view south, to Candlestick, and found both the parking lot and the stadium full. Teams were on the field. The 9ers lost that game, I think, but made the second round of the playoffs (after the famous botched field goal by the NYGiants). No wonder the freeways were deserted.

    October 6, 2002. The Giants, A’s and 49ers all had good seasons that year.

    • mailorderwife says:

      What a wonderful post!

      I love that both teams are doing well, especially since I may be moving far away. However, I don’t want another Bay Bridge series. I was riding BART and underneath the bay when Loma Prieta quit, but I had a radio with me because of the ballgame…a true saving grace.

      Also, I wish it were Eddie D at the helm. I despise the Yorks.

    • shaman138 says:

      All of those teams, including the Raiders, had terrific seasons only to choke HARD in the post-season. That was harsh.

      • xoot says:

        Oh man, I completely forgot about the Raiders SB appearance after the 2002 season (the bipolar meltdown in the Tijuana cantina? Gruden’s revenge, etc.). 2001 was the Raiders’ year, from my pt of view. I actually went to the first playoff game against the Jets that season and thought the Raiders looked unbeatable.

        • shaman138 says:

          They WERE unbeatable…they got completely fucked over by an east coast biased NFL and media that wanted to see a team called the Patriots go all the way after 9/11. Then Al’s stubborn ass loses Gruden and, lo and behold, guess who we face in the Super Bowl. IMO, the Raiders STILL haven’t recovered from that damned game.

          • Chico says:

            Sandy, 6 of your comments were removed last night. Either email VK or take it easy. For instance, a reply to LaRubia about “Pix” will probably justify a removed comment, according to VK’s standards. I know it’s fucking stupid as shit, but either let the man know what’s going on or tread really lightly. I’m sure there are some Giants fans on the Splash that report abuse – they’re probably not in the mood to hear from a Dodger fan, however cool you are (some of those guys don’t know who you are).. Take it easy with the comments and if they are removed – VK will have no choice but to reinstate your comments because they won’t even remotely come close to a violation and you’ll have a valid argument. I’m sticking that place out until the end of the season, that’s it. Whether it’s here or somewhere else (I’ll always post here), I’m finding a new Giants home to talk baseball, especially game blogs in real time, which I enjoy the most.

  3. JDR says:

    DIVISION CHAMPIONS!

    Anchor Steam is always good, but tonight it tastes that much sweeter. The NLDS looms, but in the meantime, the Dodgers playoff hopes may come down to that last series with the Giants. Not that eliminating them from the Wild Card chase would be special or anything…

    • Winder says:

      That would be sweet, i still remember Lasorda’s face when Morgan hit that homer in 82. I didn’t think I was that shallow but I find that I am. Just think of all the Dodger promo that will come out next year, it already makes me sick.

  4. Chico says:

    Fuck yes!

  5. JDR says:

    Ugh. It seems Minnesota has found the Niner D’s weakness: slow white guys.

    • shaman138 says:

      They seemed totally unprepared for today’s game–total trap game, for sure. Meanwhile, if the Raiders’ D can pull its thumb out if its ass they might actually win this one.

  6. shaman138 says:

    YESSS! Da Raiduhs!

  7. JDR says:

    Hey Chuck, care to clear up the following claim from the phony Splash coed?

    ” ninergal16:32 PM on September 23, 2012
    As unca and others know from FB, I am allie.”

  8. shaman138 says:

    Two things:

    NinerAl’s bullshit is starting to get way out of hand but it’s also getting more and more hilarious calling him out and humiliating his ass. The dude clearly is some sort of weird cross-dressing masochist or something and loves the attention so why not give the idiot what he wants and amuse ourselves in the process.

    Second: The “replacement” officiating in what I now dub the National Fiasco League is also getting way out of hand, and tonight’s bizarre ending in Seattle was the most egregious display of poor officiating this year so far. The thing is, the Chesseheads got totally screwed, but how many times over the years have visiting teams gotten screwed over in Lambeau Field? Countless times, so I really have no sympathy for their cheesy asses–Fuck ’em.

    • xoot says:

      The hail mary call in the end zone–with one ref (or judge?) with a good view of the whole play waving touchback (i.e., interception and down) and the head ref moving in a bit late on the play and shooting his arms up for a touch down–has to be the worst call of all time. I know it’s an early season game, not a sudden death playoff game, but the gaffe was so bad the ref’s name should become as well known as poor Bartman’s.

  9. unca_chuck says:

    Hah! Yeah, Soph told me a while ago that there was a building named after her grandma at Bryn Mayr. She also siad her grandma graduated in 1905.

    Which means her grandma had her mom when she was 75, and her mom had her when she was 75. She then backpeddaled and said ‘of course I meant my great grandma.’

    Good times.

    As far as th refs go, it’s obvious that defensive players are taking bigger shots at QBs and WRs all over the place in the hopes they won;t get called. A Smith nearly gets his head taken off and Wendling gets a $7,875 fine. A Smith gets a $15,000 fine for wearing a Giants hat. DHB nearly gets killed in the end zone, and the ref doesn’t even throw a flag. Shuab gets a piece of his ear knocked off. It’s totally clear the refs have no handle on the speed of the NFL game.

    Word is, 3 of the refs were previously fired from the Lingerie FootballLeague for incompetence.

    • Chico says:

      rofl. He’s actually a successful troll. He spews so much bullshit but still backs it up after the fact that he’s been outed. VK lets him get away with it, too.

      “Word is, 3 of the refs were previously fired from the Lingerie FootballLeague for incompetence.” I heard the same thing. I can’t take these games seriously with these D-Bags in there. Aikmen said it best last night via twitter — These games are a joke—.

    • unca_chuck says:

      Too fuinny. . . . If it wasn’t so awful

    • shaman138 says:

      That’s pretty hilarious. And from what I’ve heard, as of today, they’re only still having “tentative” talks to get the regulars back. This shit is already WAY out of hand and it’s only going to get worse if we don’t get the real refs back. There’s some big games coming up this weekend (particularly the Bronco/Raider game) that I guarantee will be a total trainwreck if those WWE refs are still around. I sure as hell don’t want my team taking cheap shots at Peyton to try to fuck up his neck again but they just might if they feel like they can get away with it.

    • xoot says:

      You guys see this in the sfgate story?

      “Lance Easley, who signaled the touchdown that wasn’t, [is a VP in Santa Barbara] with BofA . . . .
      “Easley does have some sporting experience, including as president of a local high school basketball association, a referee at high school and junior college football games, and a recent graduate of the Stars and Stripes Academy for Football Officials in Salt Lake City, which does not provide training in NFL rules.”

  10. sandy32koufax says:

    FUCKING A!

    This comments deleted shit is ridiculous

    • xoot says:

      Something went wrong with the moderation on The Splash last night (as if anything’s ever really been right). You might email vk about it, see if he explains. He and I aren’t communicating anymore. I am thinking about contacting the people who actually run the site, but that would be after the PS.

  11. unca_chuck says:

    Man, I don’t get the angst around the Splash. When the trolls outnumber the cogent 4-1, it ain’t even worth reading. What’s the nitch now? The Giants didn’t clinch a month ago? Bochy’s a fool who got lucky his team reached the playoffs?

    I don’t know if JDR posts over there anymore, but really. Give this blog more attention, and just blow off the Splash.

  12. Chico says:

    I’m sticking it out until the end of the season, whenever that happens to be. It’s just not enjoyable anymore and it’s become a major pain in the ass just to talk baseball over there. The other night a lot of our comments were removed for nothing. I had 2 comments removed for saying that I was in Sacramento, and another asking if anyone tweets on the Splash.

    Oh, and user “MelkVP” is barryforever / WBB… He’s easily spotted, especially when you read his comments complaining about “noise pollution” in regards to fleet week. Too easy.

  13. unca_chuck says:

    Didbn’t peg you for a Zappa fan, Xoot . . .

    • sandy32koufax says:

      Aren’t we ALL Zappanites?

    • xoot says:

      We are all Zappatistas of one sort or another. I didn’t pick the new screen name for that reason, however. It’s a mild pun, just as Zappa’s title was.

      Chuck, I know you are a serious Zappa fan. Can you tell me if this is true? In concert one night Zappa asked the audience whether they wanted to hear something beautiful or something gross. Gross! Gross! was the clear response. Zappa then stuck his finger down his throat, vomited into a bucket, and flung the contents over the fans in front. True story? I’ve heard it told over and over for years.

  14. sandy32koufax says:

    I say we call HIS bosses on Monday and out the cocksucker

  15. Chico says:

    Cal needs a new fucking coach!

  16. shaman138 says:

    Guess who scored tix to NLDS game 1? Woohooo! I’m pumped!!!! And fuck the splash! And fuck Jeff Tedturd! Lost to Arizona state?? Idiot!

  17. xoot says:

    I prefer the discussions here to even uninterupted days on the Splash, personally. I look forward to some troll-free intelligent comments on Kaepernick mixed together with seasoned evaluation of Lincecum’s last regular season start.

    • mailorderwife says:

      Just saw that the Giants are the ones who can knock the Dodgers out of playoff contention. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

    • JDR says:

      I like the new look Kaepernick gives them with the read-option. I’m not looking forward to the deluge of idiots who will on Monday undoubtedly call for him to immediately replace Smith outright.

      I think people are reading WAY too much into Bumgarner and Zito as of late. Least we forget that two years ago the kid took the mound in hostile territory in a pivotal World Series game and absolutely shut down the Texas Rangers. He’ll have things right come playoff time.

      • shaman138 says:

        They did hold a pretty solid Jets offense to zero points today. That is impressive. Meanwhile, the Raiders are predictably getting spanked by Peyton…time to turn off the telly and go for a walk or something.

        • sandy32koufax says:

          I was working in the yard to get as much done before the heat so I didn’t see any of the 49er game.

          Regarding the SF vs LA series: unless LA sits down today and doesn’t get back up, these games have absolute meaning. SF isn’t exactly making a positive statement so far in SD as they head into the playoffs. Go BLUES!

          Go drinking. Try The Shoe. Hot babes n semi-cheap brews on game days.

  18. unca_chuck says:

    Speaking of playoffs, MOW, are you in line to score tix? I’d pay face value.

    Never heard that story, Xoot, but I did see him decapitate a Raggedy Ann doll onstage at the Greek. Sounds a little much even for dear old Unca Frank . . .

    http://tinyurl.com/9n76vl4

    • mailorderwife says:

      I do have tickets but they’re all going to long time friends. I had lots of people who want to bring their dads to a game. I plan on going up for the WS though. My apologies.

  19. unca_chuck says:

    Going 2 of 3 on the road isn’t a positive statement?

    Going 13-17 since the trade is?

  20. xoot says:

    Looks like vk didn’t see my weekend posts until after lunch today. Adios, sfgate.

  21. Chico says:

    Shaman, I got a good source (as good as it gets) that Tedford will be fired DURING this season. Donors are already ponying up the $$ on the buyout. Best news I’ve heard all year about Cal football.

  22. Chico says:

    Atta boy Scooter!

  23. Chico says:

    This place will probably need some changes if we are to get it up an running with more traffic. For starters, it would be a lot easier for newcomers if they simply had to provide an email address and a username – without having to create a wordpress account. I’m sure JDR has his reasons behing that, but I think that would hinder growth here. Food for thought.

  24. shaman138 says:

    Sandy, your Bums live to fight another day. So,uhh, congratulations (….?). And the Coli is rockin tonight…those Dumbeat stains don’t deserve this team.

    • sandy32koufax says:

      I use my gmail acct to sign with.

    • sandy32koufax says:

      OOPS on the misplaced comment.

      Yeah, we live up the hill from the ecoli and we heard the crowd up here.

      • shaman138 says:

        It was just as electric tonight there. Those are 20,000 good A’s fans supporting their team. I guess the rest are staying at home whining to vk and gnashing their remaining teeth over 2010.

        • sandy32koufax says:

          A’s fans are a fickle bunch. I wish more Raiders fans were too though. Dodger fans, mostly, stayed away after all of McDickhead’s shenanigans came to light. Good on the A’s though for being all they can be in spite of Wolffco

          • sandy32koufax says:

            send me an email shaman…we live damn close to the coli. you could come up the hill or I’d pick you up. have some Steel Reserve 211 🙂

  25. xoot says:

    The A’s are impressive, although that idiot Ray Fosse sort of tarnished the moment tonight by claiming that 20,000 at the E. Coli were as loud as 40,000 elsewhere. The dodgers are fighters, too. Interesting season, all around.

    The Giants pitchers need to step up. I think it’s just that siimple. They can do it.

    • unca_chuck says:

      Funny, Xoot, one of my peeves in the 80s was that 8,000 at the Stick was louder than 35,000 at the Nausoleum. The few A’s games I went to back then, every time the loudest cheers of the night was for the dot races.

  26. Chico says:

    Are the A’s even on TV?

  27. unca_chuck says:

    The Dodgers fought their way out of the playoffs. This late run won’t get them in. Before this current streeak, they were 8-17 after the infamous trade. They’ll likely lose out on Kershaw because of all the money they just threw away.

    • sandy32koufax says:

      Well, on the playffs, probably right. On Kersh, we’ll have to wait and see what it is new ownership is really about before making that call. And they DO have the kale to throw at him…

  28. sandy32koufax says:

    Happy Birthday, MOB/W…you’re 29, right 😉 ?

  29. xoot says:

    Just in case anyone has the dodger blues tonight, this may help:

  30. shaman138 says:

    Sorry, Sandy, it just wasn’t meant to be, but what a great run this year. They surprised the living shit out of everyone, especially the Giants, and they looked good to go after they swept us at home in late July. But Ned and Co. over-reacted after we swept them in L.A. and made that amazingly awful trade with Boston, and there went the season. But at least it was fun.

    Now, on the other hand, the Raiders…….SF is now charging ten cents for paper bags. Better scrounge up a dime.

    • sandy32koufax says:

      Like I’ve been saying, surprised the piss outta me that the Dodgers were in it up til an hour ago.

      Eff the SF BOS idiots. I have a TON of old TJ bags not to mention those damn ”reuseables” from conferences and seminars!

  31. xoot says:

    The dodgers had a great season. The franchise seems completely revived. You can’t forge a team in a couple of weeks, even with (hell, maybe especially with) stars, but they came close. Hanley Ramirez isn’t a perfect player, but he’s damn good (and he was a terrific upgrade for the bums). I’ve always like AGon. That play he made last night, stretchiing half a mile to take a throw but keeping his foot on 1B, showed his athleticism and drive to win. Combine them with a healthy staff and the original big guns, and the bums will be a front runner. For now, I’m glad the Dodges and Giants played good, tough entertaining baseball at the end of the season. Bodes well for the bums next year, and for the Giants next week. 😉

  32. unca_chuck says:

    The Dodgers had a great season? Really? I think they failed miserably. They took on $260 million in salary and then tanked. Once the division was lost, they started playing better. Still not enough to get the WC. For a team that was in sole possession of 1st place for 4 months, they didn’t finish at all.

    • xoot says:

      Wow. Chuck and I disagree. When has that ever happened before? 😉

      I wrote the bums off in December. The McCourt disaster would do permanent damage for years to come, I thought. But they had two of the best players in the NL, and with some luck they overachieved for most of the season. The sweep of the Giants mid season was a wake up call. And they certainly didn’t “tank” at the end. What happened to the bums after the trade deadline this season fairly resembles what happened to the Giants after the Beltran trade in 2011. (The big difference is in the long-term contract obligations, of course.) No shame in going for it. The bums did. As to the salary, like the Angels, the bums suddenly have tv money to burn. Obviously, they will. Hanley R and AGon are exceptional talents who will make Kemp even better. The bums truly are the Yankees of the west now, and that fact makes the rivalry more fun than ever — especially when the Giants are the winners.

      • unca_chuck says:

        These posts aren’t ending up where they are supposed to . . .

        Beltran was hurt shortly after he got here, so the comparison is not really the same. The Dodgers dropped serious coin for A-Gon and the Dodgers played worse after he and the others got there.

        8-17 after the trade is a pretty big tank job. They went from near 1st to out of the WC hunt. The last 8 games (7-1) barely matter. They’d already sealed their fate, so the pressure was off.

        • xoot says:

          The last 8 games hardly mattered? Pressure was off? Your dodger hatred has blinded you. They played as hard as they could at the end in an attempt to salvage the year, with their starting pitching in the fucking hospital.

          Otherwise, you’re nit picking. Of course, the precise reasons why the Giants go-for-it push in 2011 failed are not exactly the same as the reasons why the more expensive dodger version failed in 2012, but the principle’s the same. And I’m looking at all of the moves the dodgers made, including Hanley R., whose offensive numbers for the bums were not bad. 63Gs, 10 HR, 44 RBI, .274/.327/.456/.783. The bums’ went bust at the end of the season in part because of the injuries to the starting pitching. Blanton and Beckett weren’t much of a rescue, although the bums certainly made an effort there.

          The important thing is — the Giants whipped em, no matter how much money they spent.

          • unca_chuck says:

            Han Ram was a good move. A-Gone? No. Beckett? Ehhhh. A-Gon did well in a non-pressure environment. he was part of the problem in Boston.

            The pressure will be on them to start fast next season. If not, they’ll do what Boston did and shed salary.

  33. unca_chuck says:

    Ahhh. Weird. My posts are up under Xoot’s.

    Frankly, I think the Dodgers are in trouble. They lost some good farm talent, and saddled themselves with intractable salaries. Throwing money at problems more often than not causes problems. At some point soon, they’ll be forced into dumping a lot of salary.

    JDR, what happens on my blog is if a post is deleted, the timestamp gets screwed up, and posts don’t go to the bottom of the list.

  34. mailorderwife says:

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/10/dodgers-prepared-to-spend.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter – Dodgers are going to spend money during the offseason…but not on what you might think.

  35. unca_chuck says:

    Beltran was hurt shortly after he got here, so the comparison is not really the same. The Dodgers dropped serious coin for A-Gon and the Dodgers played worse after he and the rest got there.

    8-17 after the trade is a pretty big tank job. They went from near 1st to out of the WC hunt. The last 8 games (7-1) barely matter. They’d already sealed their fate, so the pressure was off.

  36. shaman138 says:

    The Team of the Tarps is getting their asses blown out. While I’m happy for the A’s making the playoffs, it’s great to see those Drumbeaters about to feel the heart-break of the Rangers clinching another division title in their house. Ha Ha, suckers!

  37. unca_chuck says:

    Criminy, the A’s, left for dead by their owner and GM to start the year, just came back from a 5-1 deficit in the 4th to tie it.

    Never been much of an A’s fan but what they’ve done this year is hard to believe.

    • shaman138 says:

      Holy fucking shit, that team is unbelievable. Dempster is an idiot, for sure. I’m stoked for the A’s but those assholes who left their team for dead to hate on Giants fans don’t deserve this. This really is straight out of “Major League”

      • xoot says:

        The A’s believe they can hit a HR off of any pitcher any time, and they swing away. Defensively they’ve got holes, their starters are all rookies, and some of the guys in their bullpen seem unusually enraged. But they win — and they win on the road. Crazy team. Meanwhile, the Chronicle reports that the Coliseum Authority is negotiating with the A’s for a 5 year lease extension.

        • unca_chuck says:

          FWIW, if you click ‘reply’ under the last post here, your post will go to the bottom. This won;t get fixed until JDR starts a new thread. That should be in November (I kid, I kid).

  38. unca_chuck says:

    This is Major league (the movie) in real life.

  39. shaman138 says:

    Wow. I don’t know what’s more unbelievable–the motherfucking A’s or the weather in the city this afternoon. It went from 85 and hot to 60 and foggy in literally two hours. Today is one weird day.

  40. sandy32koufax says:

    JDRers rejoice, for tomorrow the NL West shall be formidable.

    I’m taking an extended leave of posting…everywhere.

    Too damned wi-fi-ed, wired and online.

    Enjoy the PS run, however long it lasts, even IF that means the Jints get WS title #7.

    “Too hip, gotta go!”

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