A's vs Giants, Battle of the Bay 1989 World Series, Spring Preview

Today we’re going to wrap up our 2018 spring training camp as the Giants head from Scottsdale back to the Bay Area. With us is the Jon Wilson, a is personal trainer and fitness coach who lives in the east bay and is a long-suffering Oakland A’s Fan. Jon talks us through his views on the Battle of the Bay rivalry and his thoughts Giants fans going into the 2018 season.


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Episode Transcript

Benjamin:            Welcome back to the San Francisco giants, additions of the for the fans by the fans podcast. In this show, we bring you your weekly dose of all things San Francisco giants. From the fans perspective, I'm a lifelong giants Fan and your host Benjamin Shapiro. Today we're going to wrap up the 2018 spring training camp as the giant's head from Scottsdale back to the bay area. With us today. We have John Wilson. John is a personal trainer and fitness coach who lives in the East Bay and as a long suffering Oakland a's fan. While he may still, where is Carny Lansford pajamas to bed. We're happy to have him join us here today, but before we get into our conversation with John, I want to tell you that this podcast is brought to you on behalf of our friends at fanatics. Fanatics is the global leader in licensed sports merchandising and they had the world's largest collection of official sports apparel from the leagues, teams and players that you love. That means if you're like John here and you want to Santiago Castilla, jersey, and either black or green fanatics is the perfect place for you were lucky enough to be fanatics affiliates, so if you want to help out this show, you can go to ftfbtf.com/giants. That stands for, for the fans, the fans slash giants and they'll kick has a couple of bucks to help us pay for the production of the show when you buy your giants or if you buy your gear. So that said that. John, it's great to have you here on the for the fans, the fans podcast

Jon:                           Santiago, because he had gone the green and gold before the orange and black.

Benjamin:            Yeah, that's nice. Three championships. Sorry.

Jon:                           And he's back on the east right now.

Benjamin:            I know, I know. That's why I bring it up, man. I hope you are enjoying the giants. Retreads. I'm sure that he is an effective member of your bullpen like he was for us for the year. Is Up until 2013.

Jon:                           Thank you very much.

Benjamin:            So first off, talk to me about how you became an oakland a's fan. How does that happen to them?

Jon:                           It. I was born in the early eighties and the A's and the giants were both hot as I was growing up and to be honest, there is a photo of me in a giants Jersey when I'm maybe six years old. I had saved up my allowance for maybe eight years time. Went and got the giants Jersey even drew number 22 clark on the back. But soon after that, in 1986 or seven, I realized the truth that green and gold mark mcgwire Rickey Henderson, Jose can say go all those guys coming up and jumped ship at early age and have rolled it out since then. We'll for the rest of my life glaze.

Benjamin:            So you started off down a good holy path and decided to go to the dark side. Who was the player? What was the event that when you were a kid made you to go go green and gold?

Jon:                           I was lucky enough to head out to a spring training when I was young with my brother and my family. I think we went to both parks, the giants and the AES. It's just a whole lot more excitement and that realness to the Oakland a's team. The big moment was probably when I met Ricky Henderson and it was starting to rain out there, are starting to wrap it up and he said, OK, last autograph to this guy here, and that was probably about 10 people away from me, and then he's great person, an athlete and player that Ricky Anderson is. He kept going down the line as far as he could. And then he said it one last time, well outside of Europe to this good man here, assigned my upper deck card and that probably sealed the deal forever there.

Benjamin:            So Ricky Henderson daughter went to my grade school. I think she was a little younger than me. I was probably in fourth or fifth grade when she was in first and he would roll up in a white Ferrari and up his daughter and sort of say hi to everybody. Um, he was an electric personality and a great baseball player, and as much as I fault him for being an oakland a, it got worse for him. He became a Yankee down the road.

Jon:                           That is true. Just like the rest of those great players,

Benjamin:            you know, you beat me to it. I was going to ask you, how does it feel to be the farm system for the New York Yankees? Hypothetically, your players have won more championships than anybody else's.

Jon:                           Uh, it's no skin off my back knowing that the Yankees are out there trying to purchase a world series each year and they've only done so once in the last 15 years. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy deep down, but there is a certain amount of resentment you should go to the a's organization from me, but I had directed towards the Yankees fans as well as I sprinkle some right directly to the giants fans as well. Just seeing our young talent and being shipped out as soon as their contract ends with the a's. Nonetheless, we carry on and keep fighting.

Benjamin:            There's an interesting thing that happens with the Oakland a's, you know, moneyball was a famous book and became a movie with Brad Pitt of all people in it, talking about how the spending habits influence the type of players that they have and their strategy for talent retainment. Talk to me about how you feel about the aes being a small market team and their strategy.

Jon:                           I love it personally. I feel, I don't know if I was born with that underdog mentality or just grew on me as an Oakland sports fan, but I embrace it and I feel like there's a lot of things that his fans have access to that most other sports teams fans don't and it's typically just getting more up close and personal with the players on the fuel. The stadium is rarely sold out unless the giants or the Yankees are in town, so just being able to kind of roam about in the concrete slab that we call the coliseum and then our fan fest that we have each year. From what I've heard and gathered around the country, we've got one of the best ones going just because of the access to the fans. Um, both of my sons got to uh, play wiffle ball with Matt Olsen the other day at the fan fest. And I feel like most other franchises with larger market might just not have the same access like we do. So I think it's a trade off then I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Benjamin:            So I'm interested to hear what you and what other a's fans think about the giants and giants fans. Tell me a little bit about how you view the relationship between the two teams and fan basis. Whoa,

Jon:                           pompous, arrogant, entitled, just joking. Most of my friends are actually giants fans. I grew up in Sunnyvale, California giants territory. Technically. Wow. Have definitely some choice. Thoughts about how the giants fans, our wine, drinking Kale, eating, just disconnected fans. I do appreciation for any baseball fan and especially, uh, the ones that I call friends who root for the giants.

Benjamin:            So how much of that is carry over from the wine drinking, eating feelings of the 49 or fan base and do you group the two of them together? Because as a giants fan, I don't think of myself as somebody that is primarily eating Kale. Maybe one I get, but talk to me about why the giants fans get saddled with the entitled feelings from the a's fans or is that purely just like your stadiums nicer than ours and it's a sour grapes.

Jon:                           It's maybe it is a combination of the city of San Francisco, maybe the most glamorous city in the world compared to Oakland, California, and maybe you could look at our stadiums as the difference. Maybe you just take a snapshot of the tailgates that go on for the game and I would assume or what I've seen is a nice bottle of a napa read probably on the tailgate of the giants and then over in the East Bay has got some beer drinking, barbecuing, passionate fans who are getting ready for a war. That is the a's and raiders game.

Benjamin:            I feel like going to the coliseum must feel like you are actually actively in more. Not to belittle what war means, but it's a special environment, so the giants last year had a one of the worst seasons, if not the worst season in franchise history. I think we won 68 games, lost a million and five, and the aes actually had a better record than the giants last year. On the flip side, we're coming off of the three world championships and then sort of been a regular playoff contender and we're in a competitive division as well. The [inaudible] is on the other hand, how, how was the acs and last year, why don't you tell me

Jon:                           the season was dismal. Are pitching, which has historically been the strength of our franchise is just atrocious right now. We do have some really good talent in the field up and coming at, which I'm excited about. I saw on an article the other day, the Aes may have the 10th best align up potentially this season coming up but are pitching has been horrible and we caught the injury. As I know the giants did last year as well, but yeah, the three world championships will tough to swallow as an a's fan, especially when none of them were deserving.

Benjamin:            OK.

Jon:                           Some of my ammo back at my buddies there.

Benjamin:            We just lucked into being the team of the decade. You're right,

Jon:                           giants fans. Use the term dynasty. I don't see it. How you can be a losing team every other year and then fall into a world series championship on the odd years or was it the even years and call yourself a diocese more power to you. Bye. It is tough to swallow, especially thinking back to the Aes in the late nineties, starting to gain some steam and then the year 2000 with [inaudible] coming onboard and the big three soon to follow Miguel to hotter. The team going to the playoffs five out of six years straight I believe, and then just getting bounced in that first round one and done with nothing to show for it after all those years and the giants key emerging soon after that and arguably not being the best team in major league baseball but still winning at all. A little bit of a tough pill to swallow, but hey, we have 1989 to throw it back in the giant space.

Benjamin:            I was wondering how long it would take for us to get there and I think we're a good 10 or 15 minutes in. I was going to just lead with the question of can you tell me your thoughts on the battle of the base series? Why don't we start with this? What were your top three moments of the battle of the base here?

Jon:                           Battle of the base series. Very enjoyable. I've got some good memories of it. We're watching on TV. I know my uncle always tells the story. He had tickets to that earthquake game and never got to attend any of the games, but Dave Stewart comes to mind. I guess dominating what was his era, maybe a point four in the entire world series. I'm Dennis Eckersley with a big fist pump at the end with the ground ball to Tony Phillips. I believe it was ending that world series and completing the sweep of the giants and then I guess just the utter look of disbelief and agony on each and every giants. The Oakland a's, [inaudible].

Benjamin:            It's funny. In my head the earthquake is the most notable part. The earthquake had a large effect on how the series played out, partially because stuart wells were dominant pitchers and I don't know how the back of the rotation was for the Aes and we saw Stuart and Welsh four times in four games and that was sort of it for the giants. Talk to me about who your favorite player is on the a's and let's just get a baseline there.

Jon:                           You're talking to for all the players already mentioned it before with Conseco and mcguire and meeting Ricky Henderson. Carny Lansford was always my guy and I don't know if it was his, his crazy batting stance and approach to the plate when I was watching, when I was younger or his position in the field, basically with his nose to the ground at third base. I grew up playing third base as well. I knew that he was from the bay area as well, so I felt like I had a special connection with Carnie last year.

Benjamin:            Carny Lansford also a former giants hitting instructor. I know that and that was a painful right before we got good

Jon:                           seeing his orange beard and match the, the orange and black consumers that are a little bit. But Hey, we got the good years out of the party.

Benjamin:            So talk to me about if you had to pick one who's your favorite giants player of all time?

Jon:                           Oh Gosh. I'd probably have to go back to the days when I didn't know any better and we'll far. We'll throw those, the pride of the giants and yeah, something about his swing and his stance will always be kind of burned into my memory. Um, he just exuded a whole lot of energy and confidence that it's no wonder why he's one of the giant grades. If I had to say so probably will.

Benjamin:            Let's talk about something that's a little bit more comfortable to both of us. Who's the dodger player that you hate the most? Her Gibson. When our biggest tragedy of all time. What a drama queen against the man. That was the publicity stuff wasn't that? I still think he was just hung over, hung over. Limped. He had gone,

Jon:                           yeah. Unbelievable though. The Sky to be Kirk Gibson and the nerve, a nice slow trot around the basis with I think additional fist pumps as he went and that just a game one or two. So it wasn't even wrapping up the series, but that just snatched the heart and soul out of the Oakland a's. You could tell

Benjamin:            you want the good news. What's that? Do you remember what year that was? That was [inaudible]. OK. We're going to do a little math lesson. If that was 1988 and this is 2018. How many years has it been since the dodgers have won? A world championship that is very true. That's a big [inaudible] buddy, so you know, just remember that. That's the last shining moment. Dodgers history and I think all giants and a's fan, bay area sports in general, we can all appreciate that it's been 30 years

Jon:                           true. Despite them winning the division the last several years, they just can't get over the hump there.

Benjamin:            That's kind of a chronic thing for the giants were there was a great moment on social media where the dodgers fans decided that they were going to celebrate their nfl championship and they raised a banner and of course all of San Francisco kind of snickered and said, well, isn't that cute? Congratulate your and Al Virginia Championship and you're pennant, but we count rings over here and I think that's probably how the a's fans feel as well.

Jon:                           Honestly, besides that [inaudible] series, I almost have this sense of allies with the dodgers fans against giants fans these days. However, anytime I see a dodgers fan up here in the bay area and I've got my a's gear on, I'm getting dirty looks from them. It must just be their utter disappointment

Benjamin:            themselves. Well, I don't know. I think, uh, it had been 30 years since I won a championship. I'd probably be pretty bitter and honestly before 2010, that's pretty much how I felt about baseball as well. But giant turned a little bit of a different position now. So let's talk about the 2000, 18 season. You mentioned that the pitching staff last year was bad. I know you as a's fans have Chris Davis, uh, you know, power hitter that to Simeon, the shortstops also good hitter, a couple other big bats sprinkled around the lineup. How do you guys think you're going to do and do you think you're going to be better than the giants this year?

Jon:                           We don't have a better record. Always better than the giants.

Benjamin:            Now explain that to me.

Jon:                           That's more or less a joke, but I think I'm talking in terms of our fan base. It's green color baseball. We're out there to enjoy the sport of baseball, enjoy each other's company. The fans out there in Oakland and he can't find a more real, especially with the state of the franchise right now, you only get a real fan of showing up as opposed to the corporate big wigs to show up to the giant stadium and log on and don't watch a single pitcher in the game.

Benjamin:            We went for the playoffs. I'm just joking around, but so critical of the giants, tech fans going to the games know last time I checked it was me, my dad, my buddy adam going and having a beer and rooting for the orange and black. But Hey, whatever gets you through the night and if you end the 17 other people that go to the Oakland Coliseum during the week to watch a baseball game, have to huddle up in a corner together. I'm, I'm excited for you.

Jon:                           We have thousands of people that attend games. OK? At least [inaudible], plural.

Benjamin:            I'm talking about in a game, not in a season.

Jon:                           Well then you're one of the real ones though. I've been to a game with you and you're locked in and dial down. So you're one of the 17 fans who are actually watching it.

Benjamin:            Let the record show that there are good baseball fans in San Francisco and I know that there are in Oakland as well. But tell me about the team realistically Gimme the scouting report, which, uh, giants fans be looking for the green and gold across the bay this year. And who should we be paying attention to this week in the battle of the bay series?

Jon:                           Well, I don't want to give away all our secrets. Just getting a. One of them is our secret weapon. We just signed to a minor league deal. Watch out breadth. Handerson is coming back to the AES. That's a joke. I know most fans are not excited about him coming back, but

Benjamin:            patching with his left or his right arm now doesn't matter.

Jon:                           Yeah, Hill is back on the roster. We had a drill. Cotton was actually in our starting rotation. We got him, I believe, from the Reddick, traded to the dodgers a few years ago and he is out with Tommy John Surgery before the season even starts. Pretty devastating. We've got Trevor Cahill to kind of solidify the rest of the staff. You've got Kendall Griezmann and Sean Minaya at the top of the rotation of with some good promise. They're looking good pre-season. The rest of the pitching staff is struggling a bit. We've got young guys and Daniel, linkedin and Gossett who are a little bit shakier at this point. Paul Blackburn is a guy that nobody knows who had some good upside in the season last year, but has been really hitting this in spring training this year. Our lineup is what we're excited about that we've got the two cornerstones of the franchise here. Both mats. Matt Chapman over at third base.

Jon:                           Matt Olsen at first. What we're gonna deliver a lot of power. I think Matt Olsen set some Babe Ruth numbers and his first 57 something games last year with a 24 or 26 home runs, so just bringing a ton of pop to the line up along with Chris Davis, who I'm 40 plus home runs last year. When you mentioned market, Simeon has improved in the field drastically in the last couple years and he brings some pop. Jed Lowery might be my favorite guy on the a is just a professional hitter coming out of Stanford. His from both sides of the plate, led the League in doubles I believe last year and just super excited about him. Look out for Steven to Scotty. He came in that trade with the cardinals just a couple months ago. Great story about the cardinals arranging this trade for him to move closer back to home, I believe pleasant in California where he grew up as an and part of the reason for his move back is because of his mom being diagnosed with als. So him coming back home to join the a's and bring some power play in right field, I believe it is. And also be there to support his mom. So good stuff. Our Bolton is looking strong and uh, and I think we're primed for a good season. I think playoffs are in the cards for us this year.

Benjamin:            So let me ask you to guess. What do you think of Las Vegas? Thinks in terms of total wins for the Aes this season.

Jon:                           My guess is gonna be 80 six wins,

Benjamin:            80 six wins, which is roughly a competitive for the second wild card spot. Las Vegas has the a's at 75 and a half winds, which is five-ish games under 500. So they are expecting the Aes to. I continue to struggle. It's an improvement from the record last year and it sounds like you are a little bit more optimistic. Are you saying that because that's what you want or what do you actually think the team's going to do?

Jon:                           Yes. I'm not a betting man and I was high balling it right there for Vegas by 80 six. So I w I, I'm surprised to see the biggest even has them at 75 because typically the isn't again embraced that underdog role and we enjoy shocking the world just like we did in 2012 when we won the division on the last day of the season. Having not lead it the entire season and then going on and really solid run there with Donaldson says for this

Benjamin:            2012 as an interesting year. Do you remember who won the world series that year?

Jon:                           It had to be. Is that the cardinals that year? I'm joking. I know it's the San Francisco giants.

Benjamin:            So from an is perspective, just to give you some background, giants had a terrible year last year. They brought in on Gloria mccutcheon, Austin Jackson as a center fielder. Watson from the. We used to be the pirates and then the dodgers as a relief pitcher. You know, from an outsider's perspective, how do you think the giants are going to be this year?

Jon:                           Terrible. I think you can buy happiness in this world and uh, the teams that you had a going and you're even years there. Um, I know you added a couple pieces of cody Ross and these guys who just played out of their minds in the playoff run, how propel you to the world series championships, but more or less of the team was homegrown, I believe, right? With buster Posey and Brandon Crawford and all those guys, I think it's going to be a little bit watered down and a sense of, uh, just uh, discussed and hopelessness on the giants part. Realizing that, oh, we can't, you've got to build them.

Benjamin:            Vegas updated their, the rankings for the giants and they have at [inaudible] wind so that it looks like there's a, almost a 10 games spread between the a's and the giants in terms of what the book thinks is gonna Happen this year, but we're going to have to let it play out on the field or you go into any of the battle of the big games.

Jon:                           I am not going to any of the pre-season games coming up, but we are for sure are heading out to a oakland that least can afford to go to San Francisco in July. It actually lands on my son's birthday. My sons are both huge baseball fans playing in little league right now, ages six and four. Um, last year we had my son's birthday at the coliseum, Brian Heeley. It's a walk-off home run that we've had lots of magical moments at the coliseum and especially a against the giants, so we'll be heading out there for my son's seventh birthday this year. Lands on the giants coming too, so that should be a special night. We always play well against the giants, but it should be fun.

Benjamin:            Ain't that the truth? Well John, thank you for being on the podcast. I hope you enjoy baseball season. As we get into the regular season, I will be not necessarily pulling for the a's but observing them from afar and you know, good luck when you play the dodgers and I hope you and the family enjoy the season and thanks for being on the podcast. That actually my first comment, anyone who's a baseball fan is a friend of mine, even if they're wearing the orange and black, even though I say have to give them a hard time once in a. understood, ma'am, good to talk to you. Thanks for being on the show, Jason. OK, that wraps up our show today. Our plan is to do this every week, so if you want more giants, baseball and your podcast feed as we get into the regular season, click that subscribe button. So since we're just getting started, we'd love for you to leave a rating in the apple itunes store or send us any questions or suggestions at for the fans, the fans.com, or just go to f, Taf, Btf, [inaudible] lands at the same place thanks to fanatics. If you're going to go buy your giants gear had to fps BTF dot coms last giants, and for that x will kick us a couple of bucks to help produce this show and until next time, swaying into miss and that's it.