Back at the beginning of Spring Training, I solicited the opinion of my readers for advice on choosing a National League West team to follow during the 2007 baseball season. My passion remains the Texas Rangers and even though this summer means I'll only get to see them on the road, in their away grays at Oakland and Anaheim, I nevertheless intend to keep my loyalty firmly in the corner of the Rangers.
Nevertheless, living in central California means three options for NL West teams: the Padres, the Dodgers and the Giants. I immediately eliminated the Padres (too far and little media exposure in Fresno), resulting in a choice between the Dodgers and the Giants.
The feedback was overwhelming. I'm not sure any one post on this blog has ever generated as much as my solicitation on whether to follow the Giants or the Dodgers.
But with the start of the season just three days away -- the Mets and Cardinals kickoff the season on ESPN Sunday night baseball at 5:00 PST -- it is time to make the decision.
I've settled on the Giants.
Now, from a purely baseball standpoint, it is foolish to pick the Giants over the Dodgers. The Dodgers are younger, deeper, and have a much higher ceiling heading into the '07 season than the Giants.
My reasons for picking the Giants are these:
(1) Mike Avedikian threatened to take all future Fresno State game tickets away from my family if I didn't choose the Giants.
(2) The legal squabble over the Extra Innings package means my DISH subscription will likely limit my baseball watching to FSN-Bay Area and the KTVU feed of the Giants games over the local Fox affiliate.
(3) The Giants AAA-farm team plays in Fresno.
(4) The concession fare at AT&T Park is superior to any baseball stadium I've ever been to.
(5) AT&T Park is closer to Fresno than Dodger Stadium and the Bay setting of the stadium is unmatched, with the possible exception of PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
(6) The broadcast team of Jon Miller, Dave Flemming, Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper is peerless. Those guys can paint the scene better than any in baseball.
(7) KNBR, the Giant flagship in San Francisco, comes in crystal clear in Fresno 24 hours a day.
(8) Did I say Mike Avedikian threatened to take away all future Fresno State game tickets from my family if I didn't choose the Giants?
So there you have it...I really had no choice! I have officially aligned myself for the 2007 Major League baseball season with the Black and Orange.