Thursday, September 08, 2005

When Giants Collide

I could be talking about the Cubs@Giants matchup, but I'm not, since neither team is much of a "giant."

No, I refer instead to an idea I always return to, an idea from childhood, where you spend some amount of time arguing over whether Superman or Batman would win in a fight. This always happens when one of my three favorite teams (Giants, Cubs, Nationals) come together for a series. Who do you root for? Who do you despise? How can you get upset over a play when you want the best for both? You dig Superman. You dig Batman. You want each to bring his best to the table and exchange the upper hand. In those old DC matchups, it was invariably a draw, and not a very gratifying one. Once, just once, I wanted Superman to crush Batman's skull in his hands. Or Batman to whip out the kryptonite dagger and plunge it in Superman's heart. I was always vivid that way.

I had the pleasure of watching the Nationals step all over the Giants at SBC last May. Since I was at those games and am ostensibly a hometown Giants fan, I, of course, wanted the Giants to win. But in my heart, the birth of the Nationals was far more interesting to me, so I held my traitorous fandom close lest some thug from San Leandro konk me over the head. When the Nationals took that series, I leapt for joy.

I'm traveling to D.C. later this month to watch the Giants at RFK stadium with my pop, who joined me for my spring training trip in Scottsdale. And again, I'll feel that sense of odd treachery. Root for my hometown team? Or for the team that represents the place of my birth, a place that went without baseball for nearly my entire life.

Today, the dilemma is Cubs and Giants. I lived in Chicago for enough years to qualify as a hometown boy. Admittedly, I didn't follow the Cubs while I lived there, but I've since become one of those masochistic Cubs fans, always hoping for candy in my stocking, instead getting only coal chips. If this season's Giants and Cubs were my kids, the Giants would by my little failures, on whom I'd heap all kinds of stern words, while the Cubs would be the children whose faults I never seem able to see, coddling them beyond all reason, which does neither of us any good.

Tonight, as I listen to the game, you could say I'm in a sort of reverie. I mean, it doesn't get much better than this: Favorite Team #1 versus Favorite Team #2. Every play is reason to yelp and go "Doh!" The game was tied for a little while. That was fun.

Carlos Zambrano, whom I lovingly call the Angry Baby Giant™™ over on Small Ball, pitched a bitchin' game in 7 innings with 6 angry strikeouts and only 6 hits. Unfortunately, Young Lowry didn't fare as well, and now I sit twiddling my thumbs while F. Alou does the eminently predictable...work the bullpen the way Nike works underage foreign girls. Oh, wait, I think Tyler Walker was on the mound for 0.007 seconds. It's the 9th inning with lots at stake. Hell, why don't they bring out Jeremy Accardo so they can grind him even further into the ground?

Frankly, I don't care who wins, since neither team is going anywhere at this late date. It's all in fun when giants collide.

4 comments:

Daniel said...

You know what, Andrew? I don't think I care that much either, except that the Cubs seem to be there a lot, ripping the heart out of the Giants when it matters most.

I don't want to hate the Cubs like I do the Dodgers, Yankees, and White Sox, but they aren't leaving me much choice, are they?

And Neifi makes the final out of last night's game, too, in addition to Jerome Williams keeping them in check.

Stupid Cubs.

Nick Schulte said...

I'll have to check, but I'm pretty sure it's illegal to have three favorite teams, it's against city ordinances or something. I think you're in violation.

Daniel said...

What's worse, Nick, is that they're all in the NL, too -- Andrew's got a big juggling act on his hands.

Andrew said...

It's particularly bad when the Cubs and Giants compete. They're so incestuous it's like a mega-team just playing itself. Dusty, Jerome, Neifi, LaTroy, Moises...half the time I forget who is on which team.