I am a self-described foul weather fan. Not a fair weather fan, mind you, but a foul weather one. I'm as much a fan of winning a World Series as anybody else, and I wouldn't trade this one for anything else in baseball. But there's a big cost of being a fan of a winning team. Take the recent trophy tour. The Giants WS trophy was taken on a city to city tour. Thousands of fans waited in line for hours just to get a glimpse of the trophy. FanFest yesterday saw tens of thousands in attendance, and the line from the ballpark extended down The Embarcadero all the way to the Bay Bridge - just to get in. I'll have to wait for the dust to settle and view the hardware sometime during next season when it's (hopefully) on display somewhere within the stadium.
When your team stinks, and attendance is almost lacking altogether, there's an ease to baseball. Show up anytime and get a box seat close to the field. The concession lines are very short, as are the restroom lines, if there are any at all. You almost get your own personal vendor in the stands. Arriving and leaving is easy, and foul balls (and fair!) rattle around in empty sections of the ballpark, ripe for picking. Since the crowds are so small, you can yell loudly and heckle players and everybody can hear you. I remember once sitting in the left field bleachers and yelling at a beer vendor behind the first base dugout. He heard me and came all the way out to the bleachers to sell to me. Autographs are easier to get, and souvenir stands never run out of anything. The fans that are there are more likely to be knowledgeable about baseball and less likely to ask, "Who's number 48?"
Yes, winning it all in 2010 will result in paying for it in 2011 and beyond. But it's a trade off that needs to be done.