Bay Area Sports Guy makes a really interesting point about the Athletics’ potential move to San Jose … Despite everything you’ve heard, such a move might actually make the Giants more competitive in the long run. Read on:
A lot of Giants fans are like their favorite team’s ownership group — they’d be happy if the A’s were either contracted or left the area entirely. But that would ultimately prove disastrous to the Giants’ on-field fortunes. As the only game in town, the Giants might not sink so far as to become the Royals or the Pirates, but they’d have no real motivation to do anything other than the least amount possible to keep the team profitable.
If the A’s get a new ballpark, their increased revenue stream would force the Giants to react in kind if the Athletics made an Angels-like move (like signing a high-profile free agent for the first time in several years). Sure, now it seems like the Giants are entrenched as the region’s preeminent team. But most sports fans are fickle, and existing sports fans keep on procreating and making new ones — impressionable young fans who might be swayed to root for a good American League team in a newer, warmer ballpark.
Essentially, the Giants seem to be sort of coasting now because ownership thinks they can … which is great for profits, but maybe not so great in the standings. There’s definitely something to be said for healthy competition, and right now there just isn’t one.