Monday, June 09, 2008

Looking for a sign of a Bonds signing

The few of you who check Giants Win regularly know that I'm fascinated by Barry Bonds. Aside from his massive contribution to the Giants, I can't think of a more interesting figure in sports. So I saw tonight that the Mariners had fired their hitting coach Jeff Pentland and replaced him with Lee Elia because they have an offense that's as lousy as the Giants offense. But there was no mention of Bonds as a possible solution in the Seattle newspaper article or in the 50 responses. However, there was a pretty funny comment from a poster named Wake Me Up When It's Over, who said, "I'm disappointed! I thought they would bring Mario Mendoza in as hitting coach! He can relate to them all."

So then I googled "Barry Bonds" and Giants and got a bunch of articles about Ken Griffey Jr. hitting his 600th homer. But I did find this fascinating piece titled "Green (and Gold) With Envy" by AJ Hayes in the Bay Guardian talking about the differences between the Oakland A's and San Francisco Giants. His major point is that the upcoming interleague games are more important to A's fans than Giants' fans and that although the A's have better teams, the Giants matter a lot more to more people. Here are some excerpts --

-- Check out the copy of this promotional flyer for the A's games this month: "June. The Month of Champions. Teams representing 16 World Series titles since 1968. The Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees, Florida Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies...and the San Francisco Giants." The A's and their fans never miss an opportunity to promote the fact that in the Giants have yet to win a World Series during their 50 years in San Francisco.

-- No matter how long the A's call the Bay Area home, be it in Oakland or Fremont or Santa Clara - bet on them staying right where they are now - they will always lag behind the Giants in attention. The reasoning is simple; the Giants were here 10 years before the A's. During that decade the Giants were able to build up a solid fan base and brand identity that has survived through the years. The affections for the Giants are handed down to generation after generation. You can do that when your star attractions remain with the club.

-- The Giants may not have a championship ring since 1954, but they tap into the romance of baseball like no other franchise going. Walk into AT&T Park and the first thing you see is something about the Giants gloried past. A wall painting honoring the Giants great stars, statues depicting the great Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal. The spot where Barry Bonds all-time bashed career home run 756 landed.

-- It's the total opposite in Oakland. Approach the Oakland Coliseum, and you can't tell if you're going to a ball game or visiting a nuclear plant as a disembodied monotone voice tells you all the things you can't do at the park. The grub is another story; a recent report stated that the Oakland concession had the second-most health code violation in baseball. Yummy.

-- But as good as they've done in the scouting end of the business, with the exception of the decade or so that the Haas family owned the team, the A's have struck out in the promotion department. These days the team seems more preoccupied with moving out of Oakland than it does promoting its current product. While the Giants celebrate their history dating back to their New York days, the A's believe history is best left in the past. The club rarely invites its star players from yesteryear back to the Coliseum for events.

-- Though the A's are currently in their 40th season of calling Oakland home, they've done the minimum in promoting their champagne drenched past. Sure they have a few promotions dropped scattershot through the schedule, but that's about it. The only constant promotion of the anniversary has been care of Marty Lurie's exceptional pregame show feature "40 Years of A's Baseball." And Lurie came up with that idea on his own. His show is produced independently of the A's.


Blogger Julianne Bell @ Family Blueprint said...

I read some of your posts today and I like SOME of what I read. The fact that you hate the Dodgers and seem to like Barry make it a challenge to ENTIRELY like this. However, rivals are fun. I married one, who proselyted this lifelong Dodger fan to the Giants fanclub with many "all is fair in love and war" tactics!

I really liked Benito Santiago and now I like Bengie Molina a lot. I cannot stand the Oakland A's and nothing would bring me greater pleasure than to see the Giants win a world series against them!

Thank you for your blog, overall I enjoyed it. I just get touchy about Dodger bashing. LOL! As for your comments about entitlement in a previous post...I find that to be true in EVERY place we have lived so far. Whining walks hand in hand with entitlement. It seems to have become a part of our culture unfortunately.

Blessings to you!

4:51 PM  

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