World Series

Golden Gate Sports World Series Predictions

Oct 20, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of the field with logos before practice the day before the start of the 2014 World Series between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 20, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of the field with logos before practice the day before the start of the 2014 World Series between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The co-editors of Golden Gate Sports have each compiled previews for the 2014 World Series, which include keys to the series and a prediction. Click here to read my thoughts and prediction, along with the two other editors’ thoughts on the World Series.

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SFG: San Francisco Giants vs. Detroit Tigers Series Preview

Oct 28, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Members of the San Francisco Giants celebrate on the field after game four of the 2012 World Series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.  The Giants won 4-3 to sweep the series. Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 28, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Members of the San Francisco Giants celebrate on the field after game four of the 2012 World Series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. The Giants won 4-3 to sweep the series. Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants have fond memories of the last time they played the Detroit Tigers. During the Giants’ last visit to Detroit, they celebrated their second World Series victory in three seasons. The Giants were crowned the 2012 World Series champions after sweeping the Tigers, and the Tigers had to watch as the Giants celebrated on their home field.

Click here to read the rest of the story at Golden Gate Sports.

San Francisco Giants: Are They on a Collision Course with Oakland?

May 29, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) hits a single in front of San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28, left) during the fifth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants are currently the best team in all of MLB. They have a 42-22 record, and they’re currently leading their division by 8.5 games.The only team that comes close to the Giants’ .656 win percentage is the Oakland Athletics. The A’s have a 39-25 record, which equates to a .609 win percentage.

The Giants won World Series titles in 2010 and 2012, and the A’s won the AL West in 2012 and 2013. The Giants and A’s haven’t met in the World Series since 1989, but could the Giants and the A’s finally meet again in the 2014 World Series? It’s definitely a possibility.

Read the full story at Golden Gate Sports.

San Francisco Giants: 2014 Preview

Mar 12, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) is taken out of the game by manager Bruce Bochy (15) against the Chicago White Sox at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The San Francisco Giants have one mission for the 2014 season. The Giants hope to prove that the 2013 season was a fluke and that they’re ready to contend for not just a playoff spot but also another World Series title.

Here’s a preview of the Giants’ 2014 season:

A Giants’ Fan’s Perspective on the Dodgers Winning the Division

June 25, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp (27) speaks to San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) following the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The rivalry between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers is one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports. I came out of the womb as a Giants fan, so, from a young age, I’ve strongly disliked the Dodgers. Over the years, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly that comes with a rivalry like this.

This season’s rivalry with the Dodgers was bound to be a competitive one. The Giants entered this season having won two World Series titles in the past three years. Meanwhile, the Dodgers were off spending tons of money of any remotely talented player they could find, because that’s the only way they could try to win a World Series title. They couldn’t compete with the Giants’ chemistry, so they had to use their checkbook instead.

Before this season started, Brandon Belt was asked about the Dodgers’ big spending, and he responded in a way that caused a little bit of controversy.

“All I can say is, you can’t buy chemistry,” Belt said.

Matt Kemp of the Dodgers responded to Belt’s comments and fueled the rivalry even more.

“We really don’t care about what people say or how they feel…” Kemp said. “We’re going to be good. We just have to go out there and do our thing. So let them go out there and say what they want.”

This back-and-forth banter was actually quite ironic because the Giants have had a poor season, and the Dodgers won the NL West. It’s also ironic that the thing that made the Giants so successful these past few years and what Belt was referring to was one of the reasons why they struggled this year.

Besides fatigue, the Giants struggled this year because of their chemistry. They play for each other, and when one of them started struggling, others started struggling. Then when it became a team-wide slump, every single player wanted to be the one with the big hit with runners in scoring position, the one to make the big defensive play, or the one with a strong pitching performance that would turn things around for the team. Unfortunately, that never happened.

The Dodgers won the NL West not because of team chemistry, but because they have the largest payroll in MLB. They have the same philosophy that the New York Yankees and Miami Heat have. All of these teams spend the big bucks to get superstars or whatever big-name players are available, because they believe that it will lead to championships.

Although this philosophy works at times, it’s not the respectable way to win. The Giants won because of their team chemistry. That’s the right way to win.

Not only do the teams have different philosophies, they play different styles. The Giants play as a team and for the love of the game, and the Dodgers play for the spotlight and the fame. For example, they signed Brian Wilson, who’s the poster boy for chasing fame. Many Giants fans were crushed when news broke out that he had signed with the Dodgers.

Sep 24, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Brian Wilson (00) pitches the ball against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning at AT

However, he’s not worth mourning over. Yes, he was a big part of the 2010 World Series team, but that’s in the past. He needs to be forgotten. The Giants don’t need that egocentric maniac.

To add even more fuel to the fire, when the Dodgers clinched the NL West at Chase Field, they decided to jump into the pool out in center field to “claim their territory” or for some other dumb reason. Thankfully, the fans had already left, so there weren’t any witnesses…besides several camera crews.

They knew that this incident would be played on SportsCenter and other sports shows, and this gesture showed who they really are. The Dodgers always want to be the center of attention. They’re a bunch of drama queens who feel entitled to fame. Just look at Yasiel Puig and all his drama and theatrics. That’s also exactly why Wilson immediately fit in.

At the end of the day, this incident isn’t really that significant. However, it was disrespectful, and it proved how cocky and arrogant the Dodgers really are. Again, this just shows a different team philosophy.

The Dodgers deserved to win the NL West, because even if it’s painfully obvious to say if your a Giants fan, they were the best team in the division. The Giants dealt with injuries and struggled all season, the San Diego Padres played like the Padres normally do, the Colorado Rockies started off strong but faded, and the Arizona Diamondbacks were never better than just mediocre.

With that being said, that doesn’t mean the Dodgers will win the World Series this year. They don’t play like a World Series team, and there are other teams in the National League that have more experience and are more suited for a championship run, like the St. Louis Cardinals, for example.

This also doesn’t mean that the Dodgers will win the NL West next year. The Padres certainly won’t be in contention, because they are still in re-building mode. The Rockies are so dependent on everyone being healthy, but their star players, such as Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, are injury-prone. The Diamondbacks could contend for the NL West title but most likely won’t win.

Next season’s NL West title will come down to the Giants and Dodgers. The rivalry will be better than ever, because both teams will have something to prove. The Dodgers will want to show why they’re reigning NL West champions. The Giants will want to prove that their World Series titles weren’t flukes, and that they are prepared to get back to the playoffs and win another World Series.

The Dodgers might have won the NL West this year, but I’m just going to sit here and enjoy my team’s two World Series titles in the past three years.

A San Francisco Giants Fan’s Perspective on Bandwagon Fans

Aug 22, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants fans hold a Cainer Babe sign as starting pitcher Matt Cain (18) leaves the game after being hit by the ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fourth inning at AT

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

This might sound repetitive, but the San Francisco Giants have had a disappointing season. They currently have a 63-79 record and are 20.5 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.

After bringing back a very similar roster as the one that won the World Series last year, the Giants have struggled to capture the same magic this season. Many key players have been injured at some point, but they have had some more serious issues, besides injuries.

As a diehard, lifelong Giants fan, there has been one slight glimpse of hope to come out of this disappointing season. A poor season from a reigning World championship team can result in a reduction of the amount of bandwagon fans that came along for the ride when the team started to win and become popular. Less bandwagon fans mean less frustration for the lifelong fans.

There are several reasons why bandwagon Giants fans cause the frustration that they do. First of all, most of them aren’t that knowledgeable. It’s unfair to expect every single fan to know all the latest news and rumors about a team, but it seems like most bandwagon fans lack knowledge of not just the team, but also the game itself.

They normally don’t follow the team as much because they didn’t previously care or know much about baseball. They become fans of teams like the Giants because it’s a “popular” choice, not because they previously watched baseball or admire what the team has done in the past.

Second of all, most bandwagon Giants fans aren’t as dedicated as lifelong fans. This might sound like an obvious statement, but bandwagon Giants fans don’t stick around when times go bad for a team. Shocker. For example, this season, many bandwagon Giants fans stopped consistently watching Giants games back in July or August when it became clear that the Giants weren’t going to make the playoffs.

September 6, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Yusmeiro Petit (52) is shown on the video board being congratulated by teammates after a one-hit shutout against the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT

The Giants still rank third in MLB with an average attendance of 41,648, but that counts the number of tickets sold, not necessarily how many fans actually attend a game. Many fans bought tickets to games at the beginning of the season when they were eager to watch the reigning World Champs. Now that the team is almost officially out of the playoff hunt, many fans, especially bandwagon fans, have stopped attending games. Many times recently, AT&T Park has looked fairly empty compared to last year or earlier this season.

Bandwagon fans started rooting for the Giants when they were consistently winning games. It makes perfect sense why these bandwagoners aren’t watching as many games and have lost track of the team.

Fair-weather fans and bandwagon fans are very similar. What’s the difference between them though? Bandwagon fans think they’re more superior. Bandwagon Giants fans claim to have been fans for a long time, even though they didn’t watch games during all those seasons that the Giants had losing records.

At the end of the day though, it’s their loss that they’re bandwagon fans. The diehard fans that have been fans since birth have been through the ups and downs with the team. The Giants’ World Series win in 2010 was that much more special to lifelong Giants fans, because they knew how hard it was and how many Giants teams in the past have tried and failed to get that first World Series win since 1954.

The World Series win in 2012 was shared with more bandwagon fans, but it was still an incredible ride for the Giants. Bandwagon Giants fans reached their peak after the 2012 World Series win, but, with the disappointing 2013 season, their presence at games and in social media has started to dwindle.

They used to take over AT&T Park last season. They’d flood the stadium with their uninformed questions and childish shrieks. They’d also try to start a wave at AT&T Park. Sigh.

Aug 16, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; A San Francisco Giants fan cheers on during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

There are some bandwagon Giants fans who know their material and have come to fully understand the strategy and idiosyncrasies of baseball. Those bandwagon fans should be commended for their efforts, if they are still watching games and following the Giants.

The bandwagon Giants fans who don’t know what they’re talking about, in terms of baseball, and only talk about Buster Posey’s adorable qualities, Brandon Crawford’s hair and Hunter Pence’s awkward tendencies, can sit out the rest of this season. And perhaps next season too. The real Giants fans can take it from here.

A Giants’ Fan’s Perspective on the Oakland Athletics

Kyle Ohlin, of Oakland, is part of a very vocal but small group of fans watching from left field during the Oakland A’s game against the Blue Jays in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, May 8, 2012. Photo: Sarah Rice, Special To The Chronicle

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The Battle of the Bay is a rivalry full of irony. There have been some interesting, ironic contrasts between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics in the past few years. The rivalry isn’t as heated and competitive as the Giants-Dodgers rivalry, for example, but it has become intriguing because of these two teams’ records, the attendance at their stadiums, and their fans.

In 2010, the Giants went on a significant run in the last couple months of the season to steal the NL West from the San Diego Padres and sneak into the playoffs. They finished with a 92-70 record, and, as we know, the Giants won the World Series in 2010. The A’s finished the 2010 season with a 81-81 record, and they didn’t qualify for the playoffs.

In 2011, the Bay Area didn’t see great baseball from either team. The Giants went 86-76, but they didn’t qualify for the playoffs. The A’s went 74-88 and didn’t make the playoffs either.

Both teams started playing quality baseball again in 2012. The A’s went on an incredible run towards the end of the season, just like the Giants did in 2010. They stole the AL West title from the Texas Rangers and finished with a 94-68 record. They matched up with the Detroit Tigers in their divisional playoff series. They put up a good fight, but, unfortunately, lost the series 3-2.

May 29, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28, right) hits a single in front of home plate umpire Brian Knight (91) and Oakland Athletics catcher John Jaso (5, center) during the fifth inning at AT

The Giants also finished with a 94-68 record. They faced a total of six elimination games in the playoffs. After their torturous first two rounds of the playoffs, the Giants swept the Tigers to win their second World Series title in three seasons.

This brings us to the 2013 season. Here’s where the irony comes in. The Giants entered the 2013 season with a very similar roster to the one that earned them a World Series title last year. Despite that, they’ve had a disappointing 2013 season. They are currently 59-74 and 19 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. They have faced a multitude of injuries to some key players, but their problems extend way beyond that.

The A’s, on the other hand, have been doing well all season and currently have a 75-57 record. As of now, they are 2.5 games behind the Rangers in the AL West.

Despite playing quality baseball all season, A’s fans haven’t been showing up to games as much as they should be. Ironically, the A’s rank 25th in all of MLB in terms of average attendance this year. On average, only 22,766 A’s fans attend each game, which is just embarrassing given how well the team has played this season.

The Giants have never had trouble getting fans to attend games, even this season when they’ve played so poorly. The Giants rank third in MLB with an average of 41,655 fans attending each game.

Part of this discrepancy in attendance is due to the fact that the A’s have one of the oldest, most run-down stadiums in all of MLB. The A’s have had several issues with O.co Coliseum over the years, including the actual playing field, the tarp, sewage, etc.

May 29, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52, right) hits a RBI-triple to score center fielder Coco Crisp (4, not pictured) in front of San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28, left) during the first inning at AT

In contrast, the Giants have arguably the best stadium in all of MLB. AT&T Park is constantly rated one of the best stadiums in MLB because of its picturesque views and certain attractions within the park like the Coca-Cola bottle and the giant glove.

In addition to how these two teams have played on the field in the past few years, there have been some interesting contrasts off the field too. It seems as if most A’s fans strongly dislike the Giants and their fans. Whereas, it seems as if many Giants fans don’t have a strong opinion of A’s fans. With that being said, some Giants and A’s fans are fans of both teams or just view it as a friendly rivalry.

Personally, I don’t hate the A’s or their fans. I find that some A’s fans can be overly bitter towards Giants fans though. However, I believe that A’s fans mostly dislike the bandwagon Giants fans, who became fans when the Giants started winning in 2010 or 2012 and aren’t quite as knowledgeable and dedicated as diehard fans. I don’t blame them for being bothered by bandwagon Giants fans, but they must recognize that not all Giants fans are bandwagon fans.

One of my best friends is an A’s fan. She’s taught me a lot about the A’s and their fans, and, I have to admit, she’s changed my opinion of their organization as a whole. I have a greater appreciation now for the team and their fans. Not that I used to hate the A’s, but I certainly thought the Giants were superior, mostly because I was born a Giants fan.

My friend and I are diehard, lifelong fans of our respective teams, but our friendship proves that we can still appreciate the other person’s passion for their team, even if we disagree or dislike the other team. I respect her love of the A’s, because she’s been a fan her whole life. If you are a lifelong fan of a team, I respect you, no matter what team you’re rooting for. Ok, maybe except if you’re a Dodger fan.

As with any rivalry though, no matter how intense it is, I do believe that Bay Area fans should be fans of one team or the other. I personally don’t understand how some people can be fans of both teams. There can be respect for the other team, but that’s not the same as being a fan of the team.

I would possibly root for the A’s in the playoffs against another AL opponent. However, if they make it to the World Series, I will most likely root for the NL team, except if it’s an NL West rival. If the A’s and the Giants ever played each other in the World Series, I wouldn’t say, “I’ll be happy with whoever wins, because I’m just happy that a Bay Area team will win.” No way.

I bleed orange and black. Although I have a greater appreciation for the green and gold than I used to, I will continue to be a diehard Giants fan for the rest of my life, no matter what their record is.