To all you Oakland A’s fans out there, I have one thing to say. I feel for you, and I don’t.
Yes, Dallas Braden’s perfect game against the Rays in front of his grandmother who helped raise him was a great moment this season for the A’s yesterday, but here’s where it gets pretty sad. Only 12,228 A’s “fans” were there to see the 19th perfect game take place on Sunday. The A’s last perfect game prior to yesterday was in 1968 when Catfish Hunter shut out the Twins, a game only 6,298 fans bothered to come to. Compare those two perfect games to the 30,298 who witnessed the Giants’ Jonathan Sanchez pitch a no-hitter against the Padres on Jul. 11 and what you’ve got is not so much a lack of die-hards, but a lack of casual fans who are more than willing to come out and see a game is what sets A’s fans apart from Giants fans.
I understand, the Coliseum isn’t nearly as sexy as AT&T Park. I understand that it’s hard to root for guys who will be gone by the July 31 trade deadline. I understand that the team is looking to move to San Jose and as Damon Bruce of KNBR best put it, are pulling a “Major League” scenario on you and for that, I feel bad for you. But come on, this is still your team, right? If Giants fans can sit through consecutive 90 loss seasons prior to 2009, you can do likewise.
You mean to tell me you can’t make it out to a game against the Rangers on a Tuesday night? If 30,000 people can do so for the Giants, why can’t you guys do the same? And I should point out that your AAA affiliate, the Sacramento RiverCats, who play at 14,680-seat Raley Field, outdraw the A’s on a regular basis. If that doesn’t tell you anything about yourselves, I don’t know what will. Maybe Sacramento deserves an MLB team more than Oakland does, but that’s another story!
It works both ways, fans. Yes, the A’s need to and should build a team that is exciting and full of talent that should stay around a while in order to win and get you to come out to the ballpark, but shouldn’t you come out regardless of how bad they are or who is on the team or where the team might move to in five years?
And you guys have a history of staying home on game day. The aforementioned perfect game in 1968 and a game against Seattle on Apr. 17, 1979 in which 653 people showed up to see the A’s beat the Mariners 6-5. That’s right, 653.
And to you remaining die-hards, stop making excuses for why they’re not winning. It’s alright with me if you want to get pissed about the A’s never spending money to get a big name there. You can get mad that they trade away everybody. We Giants fans get mad about not having a big bat in the line-up, you can, too. Stop being apologists for Billy Beane.
Brag all you want about the four World Series wins the A’s have and how you guys play on the sunny side of the bay, but the Giants are outdrawing you three to one and actually have players to cheer about that they drafted and there’s hope in the near future for a World Series crown. All A’s fans can hope for is that they don’t trade Andrew Bailey come the end of July. But don’t worry fans of the green and gold; I hear the drive to San Jose isn’t too bad.