Billy’s Run – Where Playing For The A’s Ends At 30


Since July 31, the A’s have traded four All-Stars from their lineup: Moss; third baseman Josh Donaldson – who finished fourth in AL MVP voting in 2013 and eighth in 2014; left fielder Yoenis Cespedes and pitcher Jeff Samardija.

It’s the end of 2014 where some type of age holocaust has disseminated at 7000 Coliseum Way and survivors of the failed playoff run from the previous season have sealed themselves in the home team locker room. To maintain a payroll balance and hope for the future, the owners that run the team have decreed that all players over the age of 30 must be dealt away. This system is enforced by a “sandman”(or in this case a general manager), a casually clad operative entrusted with the future viability of the organization.

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Actually, this drab portrayal– with few inserted modifications to identify the last few weeks of Oakland Athletics – is the plot description (including the characters dressed in predominantly green and gold) of the 1976 sci-fi thriller “Logan’s Run” in which an idyllic sci-fi future exists but has one major drawback: life must end at 30.

Like the movie plot, the A’s have somehow decided that life’s viability, and along with it, talent and the chance of winning it all, ends at the age of 30, causing them to deal away key players of the last few years’ winning seasons.

The move to this fictional world started Nov. 29 when in effect A’s GM Billy Beane traded a 29-year-old Josh Donaldson for 25-year-old Brett Lawrie, Kendall Graveman (23), Sean Nolin (24) and minor leaguer Franklin Barreto.

Next came fan favorite and 31-year-old outfielder/first baseman Brandon Moss hawked to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for infielder Joe Wendle (24).

In less than 24 hours, the A’s dealt away their third All-Star and January trigenerian Pitcher Jeff Samadzija swapping him to the White Sox in trade for infielders Marcus Semien (24) and Rangel Ravelo (22), RHP Chris Bassitt (25) and catcher Josh Phegley (26).

The A’s have made it clear they have no intentions on pursuing their own free agents of Jon Lester (days shy of 31), Jed Lowrie (30), and Luke Gregerson (30). Pitcher Jason Hammel (32) just agreed to a two-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.

As far as free agent signings, the Sandman Beane has picked up Billy Butler at age 28 and the 27-year-old first baseman Ike Davis.

A look at the A’s current 25-man roster shows only three players with birthdates prior to 1983 – Coco Crisp (35), Nick Punto (37), and Sam Fuld (33), who, if you go along with the movie plot, were somehow reborn in the fiery ritual of “carousel” and remain with the team. (Interestingly, all three are known as “runners” too.)

What the movie reveals, and fans are wondering at this point, is if Beane will see that there is a far better “Sanctuary” outside the artificial world or the trend continues.

Next: Was Beane Anticipating Regression in 2015?