The San Francisco Giants play in the World Series tonight for the first time since 2002, this time without the services of controversial home run king Barry Bonds, who retired in 2007 after not being resigned by the club. Because Bonds was surly, withdrawn, and a key figure in baseball's steroid controversy, some baseball observers have suggested his absence makes the 2010 Giants easier to cheer for than their 2002 counterparts.
Naturally, Salon editor and Giants partisan Joan Walsh finds this school of thought repugnant and ugly. It turns out the people who find the 2010 Giants "likable" (like ESPN's Mark Kreidler) only feel that way because of their "irrational hatred of Barry Bonds." We'd argue fans like the 2010 Giants because they don't have any established stars (and also because they don't have Barry Bonds, who was a jerk), but Walsh would probably just accuse us of inflicting more "East Coast chauvinism" on San Francisco sports fans.