October 31, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Tony Bennet sings "I left my heart in San Francisco" in front of the San Francisco Giants team during the World Series victory celebration at City Hall. The Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers in a four-game sweep to win the 2012 World Series. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Why the San Francisco Giants Will Be Better than the Oakland Athletics in 2014


I do love a civilized debate, especially when the deck is stacked in my favor. Therefore, when I read Jason Burke’s article “Why the Oakland A’s Will Be Better Than the SF Giants in 2014,” I said, “Deal Me In.” This should be as easy as taking eight out of nine of our last World Series games. The Oakland A’s are, in fact, not a better team than the San Francisco Giants; quite the contrary, the Giants are definitively the superior club and here are five reasons why.

The Oakland Athletics have been good enough to make the playoffs the past two seasons, but have lacked that which is necessary to drive the peg home. The Giants have won World Series Championships two of the past four seasons. Why bring up 2010, when only the past two seasons are under the periscope? The answer is because there are nine players on the current Giants’ squad, who have been on both of those two world class rides, since you have described AT&T as an amusement park. Three of those players are starting pitchers. Our starters have thrown four shutouts during the last two world series. Enough said.

Secondly, the contention that the Giants have not “added enough to their roster to significantly improve” is simply incorrect. The Giants’ left fielders last year combined for five home runs. Last season, during the month of April alone, Michael Morse hit nine home runs. That is “significant” improvement. Barry Zito never won a start on the road last season. By your own admission, “Huddy [sigh] is a solid pitcher and they are lucky to have him.” Again, that is “significant” improvement.

Third, I do not know that the Giants considered Mike Kickham to be their “most qualified pitcher” when they brought him up last season. It’s a moot point. I think Edwin Escobar will be more likely to get the nod than Kickham. All Escobar did was produce a 2.67 ERA with a 9K/9 and 4.15 K/BB, after a mid-season promotion to AA. With the acquisition of southpaw David Huff, projected to be the Yankees’ fifth starter before they acquired Masahiro Tanaka from Japan’s Rakuten Golden Eagles, the Giants feel they have strengthened their pitching staff considerably.

Meanwhile, what have the A’s done to improve their pitching? I mean of course, besides losing the 28 victories that Bartolo Colon has supplied them with the past two seasons. Depending on whom you talk to, the A’s have seven guys trying to fill five pitching slots. All five Giants starters are All-Stars, with a dozen appearances among them at the mid-summer classic. That even sounds gaudy to me.

Finally, the Giants are the better team because they have Bruce Bochy. Bob Melvin has done an excellent job-no doubt about it-just not quite good enough. In Bochy, the Giants have a master at the helm, to ensure the ship delivers.

This year the star ride at the amusement park, otherwise known as AT&T, will be a playoff run culminating in yet another Crown, while the A’s tally up their win totals for the last three years and say, “Yep, we got the most wins.”

Tags: Featured Oakland A's Popular San Francisco Giants

  • Eric Kung

    I’m sorry, but the highlight of Morse’s season last year were those 7 homeruns in April. Add in a team built on the same compromised platform of last year and a top heavy/soft bottom rotation, and you have a mediocre (at best) team.

    Good try that, Sabean

  • Mark ONeill

    Zounds! An Oakland A’s fan! Morse’s nine dingers in his first thirty games last year still represents four more than the Giants left fielders had all season. Even if Morse only plays 120 games, it still amounts to a veritable gold mine compared to last season. And exactly how “soft bottom” the Giants lineup is, remains to be seen. At least the Giants know who their starters are; the A’s are still scratching their heads over the possibilities.

  • Kyle

    You can get all the hitters you like. Like the Angels. But the A’s got better in pithing this offseason. That’s where the Giants won in the WS. There hitting is good but there pitching is not good. A’s have top 5 pitching and the Giants have about a 15th best pitching team. We did lose Bartolo Colon, but we have Sunny Gray. 2013 Oakland A’s pitching 3.56 ERA Giants pitching 4.00 ERA. Oakland BB 428 Giants BB 52. I think we know who will be playing baseball in October.

    • Mark ONeill

      Do not misunderstand me; Michael Morse is not the end-all to hitting. All he has to do is his share. The Giants won the Series in 2012, with the fewest home runs in the NL. Giants do not need hitting as much as the A’s need pitching. The Giants’ pitching might be “about a 15th best pitching team” but once they hit the playoffs, at least the Giants know how to follow through. Just saying.

      • Kyle

        I agree Mark! You don’t need a lot of home runs to make it to the playoffs. The teams that are in the playoffs every year are the teams with good pitching. That’s why the Giants didn’t make the playoffs last year and the A’s did. They also had some bad injuries. I don’t think the Giants have a good enough pitching team to make the playoffs this year. Time will tell. Maybe both Oakland and the Giants will make it. I just think Oakland has a better roster.

        • Mark ONeill

          I appreciate the feedback! You make valid points and of course you are dead right about the prospect of an all-Bay Area slugfest in October. How on Earth are we ever going to convince the A’s to be there?

          • Kyle

            Convince the A’s to be in the Playoffs, or stay in Oakland?

          • Mark ONeill

            The former. You see, the A’s keep trying to get to the Series, but they can’t. I was just wondering if maybe this year they would not stop short and then we could have the best of all worlds!

          • Kyle

            If they don’t play Detroit they will make it to the WS. =P

          • Mark ONeill

            That’s fair enough; Detroit can be a real bear. Wait a second. You mean the Tigers? Why does that team sound so familiar to this Giants’ fan? I’ll get back to you.

          • Kyle

            Yes the Giants did win the WS vs the Tigers. That game 1 with Pablo hitting like 3 home runs and a single in that game was amazing to watch!

          • Mark ONeill

            I agree. It doesn’t matter what the venue or which teams are involved. Three big flies in one game in the Series. Babe Ruthian, if ever there was. I appreciate the dialogue, Kyle! Going to be a rockem and sockem season. And the Giants and A’s get to square off and duke it out during the regular season too. Great success!

          • Kyle

            Let’s hope for a Giants and A’s WS! That would be awesome!

          • Mark ONeill

            On that point, Sir, you and I are in full accordance. Great success!

  • http://swinginas.com Jason Burke

    Mark, I see your article and am busy writing a rebuttal. Hope you’re ready. Gloves are coming off. Haha. You bring up some good points though. Welcome to the FanSided team!

    • Mark ONeill

      Thanks, Jason! I am definitely enjoying the ride. As for your rebuttal, don’t even worry about the fact that our starters have not given up an earned run this spring. My guess is that somewhere along the line, at least one or two are going to cough up a few runs.

      • http://swinginas.com Jason Burke

        Nah, they will all have 0.00 ERAs and have 162 complete games between em. Romo may even join the fun and start a game.

        • Mark ONeill

          You think? Heavens to Murgatroid!

          • http://swinginas.com Jason Burke

            http://swinginas.com/2014/03/06/oakland-athletics-giant-rebuttal/
            Enjoy! Haha. It’s a very snarky piece. All in good fun.

          • Mark ONeill

            I have been a fanatic of baseball since the Dodgers won the World Series in 1959; I was seven and obviously being raised in a depraved household in SoCal to root for the Bums. I have never enjoyed myself as a fan as much as I have since I started to contribute to Around the Foghorn as an Orange and Blackster. Fun is a commodity of which one just can’t get too much.

          • Melissa Felkins

            Whoa whoa whoa! Things are digressing quickly if we’re talking about the Bums down south! :-) Hm, 1959. I think my mom was 1 year old ;)

          • Mark ONeill

            lol Melissa! You’re only as old as you feel! The games between the Giants and those guys down in SoCal were gnarly. It’s where I fell in love with National League baseball, what Kuip mistakenly labeled “torture.” Torture? Nope. Just National League baseball played the way the baseball gods designed it. Of course, I don’t even know why I’m talking to you. You’re down in Arizona. And I’m not. Hope you’re having a blast!

  • KK

    The Giants will not be better than Oakland this year. If you look at the performances last season as well as who’s made moves to get better, The A’s are going to be 20+ wins better than The Giants. I’m not going to say the A’s will win it all, but they’ll definitely be closer to it than the Giants will. Stop sipping the KNBR Kool-Aid, Mark.