We begin Odds & Ends this Monday with something the Oakland Athletics seem to always do,trading a star player away.
Yonder Alonso,the lone representative for the A’s at the 2017 All-Star Game in Miami, was sent to the Seattle Mariners. In exchange the M’s send over outfielder Boog Powell (not the former Baltimore Orioles player), who was a 20th round draft pick of,you guessed it,the Oakland Athletics.
Sure, the season Alonso was having wasn’t the most spectacular,but the prospect the team got in return is quite underwhelming. After bouncing around the minors for a few seasons, Powell made it to majors this season,but was hitting .194 in 43 plate appearances. Before breaking in,he was suspended twice in the minors for testing positive for steriods,one of those came during his time in the A’s organization.
Honestly, this trade was bad on two fronts. One,it came after the trade deadline,which nullifies the point of even having a trade deadline. Two,the team is taking on a high risk,high reward prospect here who they may think will be a part of their outfield in due time,especially with guys like Rajai Davis,36,who are there and may not be there for long. However, he has a history of being a bad egg and you never know if it happens again.
This is just another one of those trades that makes me wonder if the A’s will ever learn that their way of doing things is not going to get any closer to a championship. In fact,I’m willing to bet that they don’t really care about winning one. They just want to operate as a farm team at the major league level where,as soon as the player becomes too expensive,they ship him off to another team for prospects who they will cycle in and do the same to. It’s pathetic that a team worth $880 million continues to pose as one that’s strapped for cash and a place where players supposedly don’t want to me when,in fact,players that have come through the A’s system,have spoken positively about their experience playing there and how being traded was a surprise to them.
I guarantee you this: As long as the A’s operate the way they do, they will not be a championship team. The very definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result,that right there is the description of the A’s. This is exactly why there haven’t been concrete plans for a stadium up until now and is why fans continue to stay away from the team in droves.
Moving on to hockey and the Edmonton Oilers and forward Leon Draisaitl having yet to agree on a new contract.
Draisaitl,21,is still waiting for his big payday after his teammate,Connor McDavid inked a nine year $106 million extension to keep him in town until 2026. Team management and coach Todd McLellan are confident that,despite rumors of stalling talks on both sides, he will be in an Oilers uniform for years to come as part of a great youthful core who has big expectations coming into this season.
“I’m confident we’re going to see Leon in an [Oilers] uniform,” McLellan said last month, “We want him to be there, he wants to be there, and it’s just a matter of getting a few things done over the summer.”
Draisaitl was second on the team in goals with 29 this season and is far and away their second best centreman on the team.
I think it’ll get done,the Oilers and Draisaitl would be stupid not to come to some sort of agreement before the season starts. He,like McDavid,is very valuable to what the team is trying to do this coming season and beyond;win a Stanley Cup. They were one game away from the conference finals and they could go further than that should they have their health. Let’s hope that a contract agreement comes sooner rather than later.
Finally this week, a little art from a decade ago will become reality as ESPN U will be known as ESPN 8: The Ocho, the ficticious cable network from the 2004 film Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Well,for one day,at least.
This Tuesday will be the day for ESPN 8’s debut as the network with the slogan of “If it’s almost a sport,we cover it!”, and yes,there will be dodgeball.
Other than dodgeball, what other sports might there be? Well, to start off the network’s programming day will be the 2016 American Disc Golf Championship, followed by 2016 Roller Derby Championships,and then the 2016 Skyzone Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball tournament. Sadly Gary Cole and Jason Bateman will not be reprising their respecitve roles as Cotton McKnight and Pepper Brooks, but damn,that would’ve been awesome.
Other events include the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup final, which is an Indian sport where a player has to tag opponents while holding his breath, the Firefighters World Challenge XXV, and the 2017 Championship of Bags,a cornhole tournament.
While I like that ESPN is doing this,they should do this for more than one day. Make this a permanent channel. What do they have to lose,honestly? They’re already a sinking ship right now with the money they’ve tied into the pro sports they cover. Why not go back to your roots a little with the addition of ESPN 8? A niche network like this might be a small way to get viewers back who have cut the cord. And why stop at dodgeball, roller derby,and disc golf? Why not stuff like Amish rake fighting or hobby horse tournaments? The possibilities are endless.
Hopefully I can catch some of the action on The Ocho, it’s at the very least an intriguing idea.
That’s all for this Monday’s Odds & Ends,have a great week,everybody!