It has been less than a week since I was brought onto the staff of Swingin’ A’s, no doubt about it I am extremely proud to be a part of this team. So I thought to myself, what can I write about that would “announce my presence, with authority” as Nuke LaLoosh so eloquently phrased it in Bull Durham?
The Oakland Athletics are quite literally involved in a fight for their right to exist. One of the most successful franchises in baseball history, 3rd most World Series Championships behind only the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals, is becoming the Montreal Expos. This is serious business.
Now, I understand that isn’t exactly a bold statement on the surface, but I want everyone to let it sink in for a moment. Anecdotally, I know most people believe the move to San Jose was nothing more than a formality, that the A’s would be able to either negotiate a deal with the (evil) San Francisco Giants, or simply have the rest of the owners in MLB force the Giants to relinquish their precious territorial rights. That appears to be a very unlikely scenario, if you believe Bill Madden’s article in the New York Daily News from a couple weeks ago. His article, which was based on tips from unnamed sources and opinions he had drawn, sent shockwaves throughout the Bay Area. I felt those shockwaves, and they made me think.
What do we do now? The answer is simple, we must embrace this team with every ounce of passion we can muster.
I have seen all of the signs hanging from the bleachers, ones calling for Lew Wolff’s head, Billy Beane’s head, the heads of anyone who has thought of doing anything but keep the A’s in Oakland. Their anger is warranted, and every fan who considers themselves to be “die-hard” feels it too. But I think it is time to put away the protest signs, turn that anger into passion, and enjoy the A’s as they are right now, because soon enough it will never be the same.
That can mean a lot of things though. And not necessarily bad things. Personally, I have felt all along that as long as ultimately the A’s are within driving distance of the North Bay, I’ll be happy. That said, the possibility is very real that the team will be taken away from us, just like the Expos were from Montreal. Either moved away, to another part of the country, or simply extinguished, contracted. Both are horrifying scenarios, and honestly, at this point I don’t think there is anything we can do about what ultimately happens to this team, if there ever was to begin with. I know that sounds awfully cynical, but it’s the truth. On the other hand, moving to San Jose will keep our team within our grasp, which I doubt any fan would be upset about, but the feeling of the Coliseum will dissipate forever. Many A’s fans criticize the Giants for the fair-weather nature of its fan base, for the wine sipping, quiche eating, aristocratic atmosphere AT&T Park exudes. If Cisco Field ever becomes a reality in the Silicon Valley, we might be faced with the same fate. But that’s okay. They’d still be ours at the root of it all.
We owe it to ourselves to take in as many Free Parking Tuesdays, Double Play Wednesdays, Fireworks Nights, and those glorious midweek day games as possible. Don’t think of it as putting money in Lew Wolff’s pocket, think only in terms of you and the team, because that is all that matters.
I know I will be getting to as many games as possible (gotta love 22 game ticket plans!), and I will be sure to enjoy each and every one of them. You never know, like Joseph Lopez’s Crystal Ball put it, maybe just maybe the A’s will shock the world this year.
Check me out on Twitter @SeanD25, see my take on everything else baseball at Baseball Obsessed, and follow everything Swingin’ A’s @FS_SwinginAs.