How Important Is the A's vs. Giants 'Battle of the Bay' Series?

D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIMay 27, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 22:  Gregor Blanco #7 of the San Francisco Giants caught in a run-down gets tagged out at third base by pitcher Jarrod Parker #11 of the Oakland Athletics in the six inning at Coliseum on June 22, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

As a part of the MLB's new interleague rules, the Oakland A's will play the San Francisco Giants four times this season.  

Previously, it was two separate series featuring three games at each stadium with the six games split up.  Now it will be only four meetings, and it will be played in four days.

In the Bay Area, these four games will be the hottest topic of sports conversation for the week as the two professional baseball teams square off.

Much like any other geographical rivalry, one has to wonder just how important these four games actually are and why they are any more important than any other of the games in the season.

Because the rivalry is strictly geographical (with the A's in the American League and the Giants in the National League), the rivalry begins with the first pitch on Memorial Day and ends with the final out on Thursday.

Once the series is complete, the A's will go back to focusing their hate on the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels, while the Giants will go back to focusing on the Los Angeles Dodgers and other division rivals.

However, just because a rivalry is based on geography doesn't mean it can't be a thrilling series or that it doesn't have a great history.

The Giants' longtime fans will remember when the A's swept the Giants in the 1989 World Series, and they remain bitter.  The A's will be looking to show the Bay Area that they can compete with the Giants, who have won two championships in the last three years. 

This rivalry is more than just fan hype and far more than just a turf war.  Every game mattersyes, even in a 162-game season.  This four-game series will be for regional bragging rights as the A's and Giants go into the "Battle of the Bay" looking to show the world who the dominant team is in the Bay Area.