10/05/2002 7:35 pm ET
Enter the Bay Sports Triangle
San Francisco, Oakland to host trio of Sunday games
By John Schlegel / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- You've heard of the Bermuda Triangle? On Sunday, the Bay Area will be blissfully trapped in the Sports Triangle -- which figures to be a whole lot more fun than the one that eats ships and planes.
The Sports Triangle will be an unprecedented convergence of two playoff baseball games and an NFL game all on the same day, a matter of miles apart.
In Oakland, the A's will host the Twins in Game 5 of the American League Division Series at Network Associates Coliseum at 1 p.m. PT. Near the foot of the Bay Bridge on the San Francisco side, the Giants will take on the Braves at Pacific Bell Park in Game 4 of their NLDS matchup, first pitch 4:55. And down the bayshore at Candlestick Park, the 49ers will be hosting the Rams at 1:15.
For once in their lives, the Oakland Raiders are making things a little bit easier on everybody. Their road game in Buffalo is a 10 a.m. (PT) start, so they'll merely be the appetizer to the Bay Area's afternoon of sports gluttony -- entertainment for tailgaters and the first round for sports bar patrons.
It's a sports lover's delight, but not for the squeamish. Neck stretching is required beforehand, and eyedrops are recommended.
Perhaps the greatest sports fan in the Bay Area will be the one in a boat on San Francisco Bay, smack in the middle of the Sports Triangle, with three TVs on board.
In sports bars like Scores in San Mateo, located down the peninsula from San Francisco, there might be a bit more of a local buzz about the place but it's not like it'll be more of a madhouse than usual, says general manager Steven Montez.
"It's a Sunday, dude," Montez said. "We're going to be showing every game there is."
He means it.
"I've got 83 TVs," Montez boasted, not even bothering to mention he gets the remote to all of them.
Montez said the crowd focusing on baseball will be decidedly pointed toward the TVs with the Giants games on them.
Over in on the East Bay side, all eyes will be on the A's. At the Sports Edition Bar and Grill at the Hilton down the street from the Coliseum, it's a good bet there will be precious few seats available even though the game will be going on not that far away.
"I think most people will be watching the A's game," bartender Don James said. "But we get people in here from Minnesota and there are Steeler fans and Dallas fans who come in to watch football every Sunday.
"I'm sure if the A's win tomorrow, we'll be really busy after the game."
The A's figure to draw the smallest stadium crowd of the three, since Giants-Braves is a definite sellout, as is Niners-Rams, and the A's still had good seats available as of Saturday afternoon.
A few years ago, this situation wasn't even possible. Before the Giants moved into new Pacific Bell Park to start the 2000 season, they shared Candlestick Park (née 3Com Park, née Candlestick Park) with the 49ers, the way the A's and Raiders currently share the Coliseum.
In 2000, the A's and Giants did play Division Series games on the same day -- both against New York teams, no less. The A's played Game 2 of the ALDS against the Yankees and the Giants met the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS on Wednesday, Oct. 4 of that year.
In 1989, the A's and Giants met in the Bay Bridge World Series, but did not play at home on the same day during the LCS.
In 2002, the Sports Triangle will become a reality Sunday.
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.