Thursday, July 19, 2012

Go All In, A's

The Giants-A's rivalry has always been a friendly one, unlike the Cubs-White Sox or Angels-Dodgers rivalries, which are full of enmity and hatred between fans of the opposing teams. Therefore, most Giants fans do not hate the Athletics. In fact, lately, in light of the A's recent struggles and the stagnant pace at which their move to San Jose is progressing, Giants fans kind of feel sorry for the A's and their fans.

I am not, of course, totally oblivious to the A's position this season. They are actually sort of good. In a competitive AL wild card race, they're only 1.0 game back for the second wild card spot. Not bad for this point in the season.

So, Yesterday, I thought I'd take a look to see what the A's were all about. I watched the last couple of innings of the A's-Rangers game yesterday. And the A's emerged with a win, capped off by a walkoff homer by Brandon Hicks. Pretty nice, right?

Although I primarily follow the Giants, I do get news feeds about the A's and I have discovered that they have a great bunch of young contributors, both on offense and in the pitching department. Their young rotation, composed of old strike-thrower Bartolo Colon, Australian Travis Blackley, young prospects Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker whom they received from the Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill trades respectively, and ace Brandon McCarthy, has been the best in baseball. They have a nice bullpen, anchored by rookie All-Star closer Ryan Cook. Their lineup features young guns Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes. The A's have a nice, young team from what I've read about and what I witnessed in the game yesterday.

But, as anybody who half-follows baseball knows, the A's have been sellers at the trade deadline for at least the last 5 years. And this year, I really really really want them to be buyers, just so A's fans can have a bit of hope for a little bit longer. Their team has surpassed any and all expectations set for them before this year. And this calls for a slight change in policy.

Please, Billy Beane, give the A's a chance this year. Don't be a seller. You actually have a shot at giving the Rangers and Angels a run for their money. Please bring back that winning Moneyball spirit. Whip up some trades at the deadline for some strong bats and commit to winning. This isn't the time to give up, when your team has accomplished so much and still has a lot left in the tank. Even if you don't win, an end-of-season push would energize a diminishing fanbase and bring the A's to center stage in the baseball world. Just do it for the team and for the fans, Mr. Beane.

I really really really hope that Mr. Beane doesn't tank this season in the hope that the San Jose initiative will succeed. I hope he gives the team a shot. Because that could bring the A's back on the map, on the same plane as the rest of the teams in baseball.

And hopefully that's a winning plane...

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