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The 1917 Sox/Giants World Series Program
Wilson kept us out of war!

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Know Your Enemy: San Francisco Giants

Not one of our primary enemies, to be honest

It’s the Home Opener! It’s time to throw out the records and get ready to play our bitter rival, the San Francisco Giants! Remember all those home openers against the Giants? I sure do!

Well, actually, I don’t think I can actually remember any game against the Giants. I know we’ve played them, and including the 1917 WORLD SERIES VICTORY, have a 16-6 lifetime record against them. Not counting that, it’s 12-4 since 2003. But I can’t remember a single game. My brother tells me that when we saw José Abreu hit for the cycle, it was against the Giants. I will choose to believe that.

That said, this is fun. I love having unusual opponents. I like interleague play. It’s Opening Day. Let’s make new memories.

How Have They Been Doing, Anyway?

The Giants opened the season 1-2, losing a series in New York to the Yankees. They got a 7-5 win on Saturday, but that was sandwiched between two shutout losses in which they had seven total hits, and gave up 11 runs.

It’s too early to judge any of their players, though we have a couple of Guys the Sox Wanted, including Michael Conforto. But he’s hitting .111 now, so looks like the Sox dodged that.

The Giants are weird. They tried to break the bank to sign big free agents, and failed, settling on second-tier. They had an incredible 2021 season, winning 107 games, but went .500 in 2023 (pathetic!). I don’t know if they’re going to be good or not. Are they?

Any Hitters to Worry About? Should I Worry About Dingers?

They’ve been blanked in two out of three, so … no? Brandon Crawford has a dinger and three RBIs. Mike Yastrzemski can hit it out with decent regularity. Joc Pederson is Joc Pederson. And Conforto is a big question mark — how’s he going to do after missing a year and change? If any of them hit dingers, expect gnashing of teeth on Sox Twitter.

And the Pitching Matchups? What of Them?

Monday, April 3
Sox: Michael Kopech (first start). Kopech had a rough spring, and after years on the team, still feels like a great unknown. His taking the leap is a key to this season’s success.

Giants: Anthony DeSciafani (first Start) Last year, he was 0-2 with a 2.00 WHIP. For his career, he’s 50-48. This feels like an SP5 on a team that probably won’t contend.

Wednesday, April 5
Sox: Dylan Cease (0-0) Cease is the best pitcher on the planet. We know this.

Giants: Logan Webb (0-1) Webb took the loss in the Yankees opener, giving up four earnies, but he also struck out 12. The Sox need to be patient, here.

Thursday, April 6
Sox: Lance Lynn. Following a solid WBC, Lynn looked pretty good against the Astros in his first start. Command could be a touch better.

Giants: Alex Wood (first start). Wood has been a pretty high K-rate guy in his career, so see the note above about the Sox being patient.

Why Do We Hate San Francisco?

The great mid-century chronicler of American crime, Herbert Asbury (Gangs of New York, among others), titled his book on the San Franciscan underworld The Barbary Coast. And indeed, there had always been something lawless and piratical about San Francisco, a fog-draped port town filled with sailors, gangsters, crooked importers, roughnecks of all shapes and sizes, and private detectives moving through their noirish nooks. Even as Hashbury flowered and descended, there was a grimy Dirty Harry/Bullitt realism to the town.

Not anymore. It’s ground zero for much more annoying pirates, tech millionaires who airily promise utopia through disrupting ice cream delivery. The greed-fueled housing crisis has made the city nearly unlivable in nearly every way, and has impacted markets as far away as Colorado. It is both sanitized in popular imagination and falling apart behind its Potemkin riches. Also: Full House was bad, and your nostalgia for it is manufactured.

Why Do We Hate the Giants?

Gah, really, we don’t. The Giants are usually cool and good, unless you hate/hated Barry Bonds. I guess that’s a reason. But their World Series wins of the 2010s were a blast, with 2014 being one of the most exciting Game 7s ever. They were a weird and likable mini-dynasty, coming every other year to surprise the world — and by the end of the decade, they had as much claim to “team of the 2010s” as anyone. Pablo Sandoval was cool. So was Buster Posey. I don’t think I’d enjoy high tea with Madison Bumgarner, but watching him chew nails in high-lev moments ruled.

Also, I went to north suburb Catholic grade school where the principal was a huge Cubs fan and me and my brother and sister were the only Sox fans, and in 1989 they wanted us to sing that insipid “Go Cubs Go” song. When the Giants beat them, it was awesome. My dad sent Sister Judy a dozen black roses. Good times.

There are some good reasons not to like them, though. Thanks to some other fans for reminding me why.

Hear it From the Fans!

The Primary Reason

Other People Might?

The Stadium Is Good? Or: Bad?


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