I’ve been an Oakland A’s fan since 1985. My family had season tickets from the time I was in kindergarten until about the time I was in high school, in the mid-90s, which happened to coincide with a significant downturn in the team’s fortunes compared to their dizzying heights of the late ’80s. But I was there for the All-Star Game in 1987, the three consecutive pennants, and of course, the big win against cross-Bay rival San Francisco in the earthquake-interrupted World Series of ’89.
All that, obviously, is in the past. So are the amazing teams of 2000-2006, who, while they couldn’t win more than one playoff series to save their lives, gave us all but one season of 90+ wins (two of them over 100), the Big Three pitchers of Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, and Mark Mulder, and the 20-game win streak of 2002.
So, too, in the past is the breakout team of 2012, who won the American League West on the final day of the regular season (I was at that game), finishing one game above the Texas Rangers by beating them. A team led by unlikely names like Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick, Bartolo Colon, Brandon McCarthy, and Jerrod Parker caught lightning in a bottle that year.
What’s in the future, however, is a franchise that I will no longer follow. The ownership group in charge of the Athletics has spent years now following through on a Major League-style scheme to drive attendance so low (ticket prices went up after last year’s 102-loss season) that they can point to it as another reason, in addition to their issues with playing in MLB’s Last Dive Bar, the Oakland Coliseum, that they should be clear to relocate the team. And so, it seems, they have, announcing last week that they have entered into a deal to build a billion-dollar glittering jewel of a stadium in the desert of Las Vegas.
I don’t care if they’ll still be called the A’s. I don’t care if they’ll still wear kelly green jerseys and white cleats. The owners have beaten the last breath of my fandom out of me, and in response, I say, good riddance.
I don’t know if I’ll adopt the team across the Bay, ignore baseball entirely, or just root for my fantasy teams. But nearly 40 years of fandom has certainly come to an end. I’m angry, I’m disappointed, I’m sad. But most of all, I’m done.
Happy trails, John Fisher and Dave Kaval. I hope you fail, always, in all ways.
Oh yeah. Pitchers.
Pitchers’ projected starts for the next week are sourced from Rudy Gamble’s Streamonator as of the update at 10:00am Eastern.
The bold pitchers below are the most extreme version of each section. The best of the Top Shelf, the safest of the Well, the worst of the Bar Mat.
The Top Shelf
- Spencer Strider is so damn good. So fun to watch. Those fans in Atlanta are lucky to have him (and Matt Olson; and Sean Murphy)…
- Nick Lodolo gets to pitch in the cavernous confines of the Last Dive Bar next Sunday. Won’t be long before we say goodbye to that expansive foul territory…
|Pitcher||First Start||Second Start|
|Jordan Montgomery, STL||@SF(MO)||@LAD(SA)|
|Logan Gilbert, SEA||@PHI (TU)||@TOR(SU)|
|Chris Bassitt, TOR||CHW(MO)||SEA(SU)|
|Drew Rasmussen, TB||HOU(TU)||@CHW(SU)|
|Brady Singer, KC||@ARI(TU)||@MIN (SU)|
|Jose Butto, NYM||WSH(TU)||ATL(SU)|
|Kyle Bradish, BAL||BOS(TU)||@DET(SU)|
|Matthew Boyd, DET||@MIL(MO)||BAL(SA)|
|Alex Cobb, SF||STL(MO)||@SD(SU)|
|Jose Suarez, LAA||OAK(MO)||@MIL(SU)|
|Jose Urquidy, HOU||@TB(MO)||PHI(SU)|
|Ken Waldichuk, OAK||@LAA(MO)||CIN(SU)|
|Colin Rea, MIL||DET(MO)||LAA(SU)|
|Josiah Gray, WSH||@NYM(TU)||PIT(SU)|
|Johan Oviedo, PIT||LAD(TU)||@WSH(SU)|
|Edward Cabrera, MIA||@ATL(MO)||CHC(SU)|
|Dean Kremer, BAL||BOS(MO)||@DET(SA)|
The Bar Mat
|Pitcher||First Start||Second Start|
|Spencer Turnbull, DET||@MIL(TU)||BAL(SU)|
|Cal Quantrill, CLE||COL(MO)||@BOS(SU)|
|Mike Clevinger, CHW||@TOR(TU)||TB(SU)|
|Noah Syndergaard, LAD||@PIT(TU)||STL(SU)|
|Martin Perez, TEX||@CIN(TU)||NYY(SU)|
|Justin Steele, CHC||SD(TU)||@MIA(SU)|
|Taj Bradley, TB||HOU(MO)||@CHW(SA)|
|Brad Keller, KC||@ARI(MO)||@MIN (SA)|
|Jhony Brito, NYY||@MIN (MO)||@TEX(SA)|
|Austin Gomber, COL||@CLE(MO)||ARI(SU)|
|Tommy Henry, ARI||KC(MO)||@COL(SU)|
|Jake Woodford, STL||@SF(TU)||@LAD(SU)|