The Oakland Athletics season has been a challenge. Honestly, it’s been a challenge since August of last year. But it could be worse. How you ask? At least…
We aren’t the Pittsburgh Pirates. I’m not talking about the Pirates of this year, or the past two. I’m referring to the Pirates that had 20 straight losing seasons. 20. Some Pirates fans that had never seen a winning season in their life until 2013. I think A’s fans can deal with having a bad season after three straight years in the post season. Also, the franchise hit the 10,000 loss mark on Opening Day this year, becoming just the fourth Major League Baseball team to do so (Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, and Chicago Cubs are the other three). On June 30, 2007 Pirates fans scheduled a boycott to voice their frustrations with the Pirates ownership. They had banners at the games, they talked about walk outs, they had blogs like this one, and nothing. Nothing happened. There was another blog, which was planning all these events, and all content has now been erased.
We aren’t the Chicago Cubs. The poor Cubs. The fact that the Titanic sinking was more recent than their last World Series win is sad. The A’s have won 9 (including the five the team won while in Philadelphia) since the last time the north siders were World Champs. Steve Bartman, the Fall of ’69, and the famous Billy Goat Curse. They’re called the lovable losers. I mean, come on, A’s fans have it good compared to that. (I loved Wrigley and Chicago. Plus, the A’s better be going there next year!)
We aren’t the Tampa Bay Rays. If you think O.co is bad, go visit Tropicana Field, and the old coliseum looks pretty great. I do feel for the Rays fans though. Much like the A’s, they are a low market team with a small payroll. That said, even when they are winning, none of them show up. It’s a ghost town most games. In fact, Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Royals had an announced attendance of just over 18,000. The Rays are just 3.5 games out of the second Wild Card and almost nobody was there. Much like the A’s, they also can’t seem to get a new stadium. Heck, the two teams had to play a “weekend series” Thursday-Saturday because the Republican convention was going to be at the Trop that Sunday. The joys of multiple use stadiums! The Rays have had pretty bad luck in terms of no hitters, having three perfect games thrown against them and two no hitters. They had a perfect game thrown against them on May 9, 2010 (Mother’s Day, Dallas Braden pitching for the Oakland A’s) and a no hitter thrown against them soon after on June 25, 2010 (Edwin Jackson pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks during inter league). They have had the most perfect games thrown against them, and became a Major League team in 1998. Plus, they have to be in Tampa Bay. I’d much rather be in the beautiful Bay Area.
We aren’t the Colorado Rockies. A baseball stadium at a mile above sea level, what could go wrong? Nobody wanted to pitch there. It was like a career death sentence being traded there for years because you knew your home ERA would be well above 5, no matter what. They did bring in a humidor to keep the balls in to try to balance everything out, which has been a major improvement, but even with the humidor, the balls still fly there. I’m surprised they don’t go through more outfielders because covering that much ground in that altitude has to be brutal. Plus, in the team’s 22 year history, they have zero World Series championships and only one World Series appearance, in which they were swept by the Boston Red Sox. They do have pine trees in their bullpens though, which is not relevant at all, I just think it’s really cool.
We aren’t the San Diego Padres. While they have an awesome stadium, seriously want to steal it for the A’s, they don’t have much luck. They won their division back in 2005 with a 82-80 record. That’s right. They went to the post season with a record just above .500, where they were promptly swept (shocking, I know). They load up on talent in the off-season, and yet still struggle. This is how bad their luck is, Justin Upton after a bad at bat, slammed his helmet in the dugout. It bounced and hit his teammate in the head, causing him to leave the game. How does that happen?! In their 46 year history, Matt Kemp hit for the first cycle this season. Yet, they have been no hit nine times. Then again, if you keep getting no hit, you aren’t going to be hitting a lot. The Padres are also the only team to have never thrown a no hitter.
We aren’t the Texas Rangers. They were one out away from winning the 2011 World Series in game six and lost. Back to back World Series appearances and lost them both. I’d rather not get there, than getting there twice and losing. It makes fans bitter and highly unpleasant. Sorry, being the American League Champions just means you made it to the World Series and lost. Plus, after making it to the World Series two years in a row, they followed that up with 2012. The epic collapse that let the Oakland A’s come from way behind to clinch the division on the final day of the regular season. That will always be the most exciting game I’ve ever been to. Ever since that, the team has struggled to stay healthy or be in contention. They have played well this season thus far, but with a month left to play, they will need to play great baseball to have a shot at the division/wild card.
We aren’t the old Kansas City Royals. The team that in 2005 had a 19 game losing streak. The teams that finished in last place every single year and you couldn’t wait for your team to play them because it was a 99% chance of a win. They proved that losing year after year isn’t horrible. They drafted great with the number one pick each year, which has allowed them to be the team they are now. All those great players they have now are a resulted of all those bad teams. That’s all the proof you need as to why it’s important to draft well and have a solid farm system.
We aren’t the Mariners. Our poor division rivals to the north have the worst luck ever. They have one of the best rosters and great starting pitching, on paper. On the field, everything sort of goes wrong. This off season, they signed Nelson Cruz, who is leading baseball with 39 home runs. They also have a starting pitching rotation lead by a guy named Felix Hernandez, maybe you’ve heard of him. Although, there has been chatter all season that he has a shoulder injury, causing him to not pitch as well. Much like the A’s, the Mariners bullpen has been their Achilles heel , highlighted by the recent DFA of Fernando Rodney. After finishing the 2014 season one game out of the playoffs, they went out and made the team better and they were the off season favorite to win the AL West. Not even close as the team has spent most of the season around .500 and in 4th place in the division. The M’s set a record in 2008 when they lost 101 games with a $100 million payroll. To go with that, they have zero World Series wins, and zero World Series appearances. Even after winning 116 games in 2001 (that is still one of the most impressive feats ever to me), they lost in five games in the ALCS to the New York Yankees. 2001 was the first and only time the Mariners went to the post season in back to back years and was Ichiro Suzuki’s first year with the Mariners.
It’s not that bad A’s fans. We have been very lucky to have had some great seasons the past few years. Stop complaining about every single thing, because honestly, nobody cares. Nobody cares that you are unhappy with the owners. Nobody cares that you don’t like how the team is being managed. Nobody cares that you don’t like how Billy Beane is doing his job, especially not Billy. You’re mad at him because the team isn’t doing well, but praise him like a god when the team wins. You can’t have it both ways. As fans, you are not entitled to anything or owed anything by anyone or the team. The team owes you because you show up? No, no they don’t. You want to use their players and colors, that’s fine, but they own the rights to that. Not you. Threatening to walk leave your seats for an inning in protest is the stupidest idea ever. Why? You already paid to go. You have already lost your argument. You want to make a statement? Don’t go at all. Don’t buy tickets. Nobody is forcing you to go to the games. You are going because you love the team and want to support the team. I love my team, no matter the record because it’s my team. The hard times make the good times even better. I love seeing my team play, win or loss (though a win is better), I’m happy to be out the ballpark with friends enjoying America’s past time. How can you complain about that?
And no, I did not sign the petition because it was stupid and I can only assume started by somebody that started being an A’s fan in October 2012.