Sunday, April 14, 2024

A Minus


It's surprising to a lot of people that the Oakland Athletics, after 2 weeks of play, are not in last place. Thanks to poor starts by the Mariners and Astros, the A's and their 6-9 record are actually in third place. And while many organizations would be quick to try to build on that and retain that, John Fisher probably would rather do whatever he can to ensure that the team actually DOES finish in last.

The battle between the ownership and the fanbase in Oakland has been depressing to watch, because Fisher is not only wrong but completely incompetent, and because he's the one with the money he's not under pressure to change anytime soon. He's also had this habit of removing anyone who speaks out against the team from the team entirely, which has been gaining him a lot of friends [I assume]. Esteury Ruiz has worn pro-Oakland wear on team signage, and now he's conveniently back in triple-A, despite an excellent start to the season. Brent Rooker also has worn pro-team stuff, and he's conveniently injured at the moment. Tony Kemp and James Kaprielian were also removed from the roster pretty unceremoniously.  

I'm not saying it's new for an Oakland executive to just trade players away once he perceives them as defying him, as...Charlie Finley did this all the time back in the day. But now it seems more personal, and more spiteful, on the part of Fisher. He knows that his moves have been unpopular, like moving the team out of Oakland and settling in Sacramento for 3 years in a smaller stadium as he waits for Vegas taxpayers to foot the bill for his stadium, but he still doesn't want to settle. He's worth billions and he doesn't want to fund a stadium himself, or put any of his own money into the team, because...he's not Steve Cohen or David Rubenstein and doesn't actually care about the baseball team he owns. So it's Jeff Loria again, essentially.

And I'm getting a lot of 2004 Expos vibes from this A's team, because...the hell else is left? They have a definitive ace in Paul Blackburn, but like usual it's a race to see if he'll get injured before they can trade him. They actually do have some nice hitters, like J.J. Bleday, Zach Gelof and Shea Langeliers, but nobody's hitting for average. They have Mason Miller, who throws 100mph and is now a relief asset, but...again, they're holding their breath and waiting til he throws his arm out. 

The depressing part is you can see the future peeking through, people like Joe Boyle, Lawrence Butler, and Darell Hernaiz, but the future for this team is...playing in a dumpy minor league stadium in Sacramento and continuing to fall to last because the owner won't spend money on the team. And you kinda want better for them than that.

It's gonna be a depressing year for A's fans, and for the A's. I hope for some highlights, some cool moments, but I'm not sure how many they'll be given the tepid mood of the first two weeks.

Coming Tomorrow- A member of a team that may be an early favorite for 'dullest team I have to write about every two weeks'.

1 comment:

  1. I could go on a serious rant about Mr. Fisher, but it's late and I don't want to get riled up before falling asleep. I just wish he'd do everyone from his players to his employees to the fans... and just sell the team to someone who appreciates Oakland Athletics baseball.