After the offseason the A’s had where five All-Stars were traded for either prospects or lesser talent, it seems to me the A’s are in no way interested in winning a championship and it seems to be that way to one of their former standout sluggers.
Yoenis Cespedes was traded to the Boston Red Sox at the trade deadline last July in exchange for Jon Lester, a move that was unpopular with A’s fans because they had felt that with Cespedes they were a World Series contender. Following the trade, the A’s fell out of the division lead and into a one-game playoff with the Kansas City Royals,a game they lost in 12 innings.
Since then the team traded away All-Stars like Jeff Samardzija, Derek Norris, Brandon Moss, and Josh Donaldson and the team has struggled. The team is 17-30 at press time and has the second worst record in all of baseball. They also lead the league in errors this season.
Cespedes is now with the Tigers,who are playing in Oakland this week. Through reporter Jorge Ortiz interpreting, Cespedes told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that former A’s coach Ariel Prieto had told him “Oakland is a school where they develop the players and then they let them go.”
Cespedes added,”I was a little surprised to see some of the main players leave,then why operate? Don’t they want to win a championship?”
Comments like that from someone who was signed by the organization make you wonder the real reason they’re even operating the way they do. Anyone who says it’s because they lack the funds to compete for a championship should probably let go of that theory here and now.
“They have plenty of money my friend. They just tell everyone they don’t,” said then-third baseman Josh Donaldson via Twitter on Nov. 18 before getting traded to Toronto.
The A’s absolutely could compete if they truly wanted to,and it seemed like they were buyers last season for the first time in forever before the team fell and fell hard following the Lester-Cespedes trade. In fact,since Cespedes’ departure from Oakland, the team has gone 39-63. It just seems to me that the easy way out of doing so is letting go of any great talent before any of the fans who even bother coming to your games get a chance to know any of the players on the roster. Damon Bruce once suggested that A’s jerseys should come with velcro numbers and nameplates and to this day that’s still a rational option.
If Prieto’s words to Cespedes are to be believed, then yes, the A’s are treating their own franchise like a major league farm team. That,to me, signals a big middle finger to the fans who are sticking by you. Why would anyone want to be a fan of any sports team who isn’t trying to win a championship? Sure,A’s fans can point to the past and say that they have more World Championships than the Giants since both teams came to the Bay Area, but how long is that going to last when the Giants on the other side of the Bay are doing everything the A’s haven’t been doing?
If the Giants win two more championships, they’ll officially have more Bay Area baseball titles,and at the rate they’ve been winning them, that might happen sooner than anyone hoping things will change in Oakland would ever like. Unfortunately for those fans I don’t think Lew Wolff or Billy Beane will be doing anything to make this team a viable contender, nor do they want to. I guess being the little brother franchise to the Giants suits them just fine, so long as they don’t have to pay anybody.