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The Battle of the Bay is back
Some rivalries are legendary, and some are a bit more subdued.
The San Francisco Giants have always played rival to their Southern Californian nemesis, the Los Angeles Dodgers. But back at home, a more feeble competition with the Oakland A's has lost some of its spark.
The Giants vs. A's dynamic reached a zenith with the 1989 World Series. One earthquake and a four game sweep later, the A's emerged victorious. Since then, things have cooled off. The A's have been in a downward spiral for the last five seasons, and Oakland fans tend to care more about the matchups featuring AL East teams like the Yankees.
Things are about to heat back up.
A dispute regarding territory in San Jose has linked the two teams in recent months. The Giants are unwilling to secede turf used by their Single-A affiliate to allow the Athletics to build a new stadium and move south. After sharing the Bay Area for more than 40 years, the A's want out, and the Giants stand in their way.
In a related matter, the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders agreed last August to end their annual tradition of playing one another in the preseason. The decision was made in light of violence that occurred at Candlestick Park following the game.
Fan violence has no place in sports. That said, the good parts of the 49ers vs. Raiders rivalry will surely find their way into the six regular season games and three preseason meetings between the Giants and A's in 2012.