The Vacuous Season
by Ken Arneson
2008-09-11 22:47

All the players I like are now gone.  Rich Harden was traded.  Justin Duchscherer is probably lost for the year.  Eric Chavez is out for the season, and may never grace the hot corner again.  Frank Thomas is out for the season, and may never play again.   Mark Ellis is out for the season, and may never return to Oakland.

Who is left to watch?  The Oakland A’s have been drained from my soul.  I feel empty. 

What is left to say?  Meaningless talking points, nothing more.

I never presume to know what Billy Beane’s will is, and I would never presume to know Billy Beane’s will or to speak Billy Beane’s words.

But let us not pray that Billy Beane is on our side in a pennant race or any other time, but let us pray that we are on Billy Beane’s side.

And I do believe, though, that this rebuilding in the face of wealthier AL opponents is the right thing. It’s an unfortunate thing, because rebuilding is hell and I hate rebuilding, and, this Sunday is the day that I send my wife and three children in our Honda Odyssey minivan to the Coliseum one last time to root for our team, for the East Bay, and for statistical methods of evaluation.

Those are evaluations that too many of us just take for granted. I hate rebuilding and I want to see rebuilding ended. We end rebuilding when we see victory, and we will see victory in sight in the AL West.

I believe that there is a plan for this team and that plan for this team is for good. I believe that there is great hope and great potential for every prospect to be able to play and be developed with inalienable talents that I believe are God-given, and I believe that those are the talents for hitting for average, hitting for power, running speed, arm strength and fielding ability. That, in my world view, is a grand — the grand plan.

Comments: 6
1.   ToyCannon
2008-09-16 09:08

1.  Have both Bay teams ever been this bad at the same time? Given the pitching the Giants have at the major and minor league level it would not surprise me if they beat the A's in the rebuilding race.

2.   Philip Michaels
2008-09-16 09:28

2.  2 Submitted for your approval: 1985. The Giants went 62-100, making the A's look positively dynastic with their 77-85 fourth place finish.

Prior to the '85 season, the A's traded a popular player (Rickey Henderson) for a bunch of prospects. (Probably the most accomplished of the bunch, Jose Rijo, did his best work against the A's.) The only All-Star in '85 was the reviled Jay Howell. And, as it turns out, the one thing Oakland had to be excited about -- rookie-of-the-year Jose Canseco -- we probably shouldn't have been.

Yeah, 1985 was not one for the highlight reels.

3.   Philip Michaels
2008-09-16 09:29

3.  And of course, I meant to say 1 , instead of 2

4.   ToyCannon
2008-09-16 10:32

4.  2
Thanks, for the most part the Bay area has been in good hands if you have to go back 23 years to when they were both this bad.

Jay Howell to me was what Clint Eastwood would have looked like had he been a pitcher.

5.   Philip Michaels
2008-09-16 12:48

5.  4 To be fair, the mid-'90s ('95 and '96 in particular) were nothing to write home about either. 1985 just stuck with me because the Giants were truly awful (and playing in a pit) and the A's were utterly irrelevant.

6.   Joe Romano
2008-09-17 07:49

6.  1 Don't forget 1977. The A's were 63-98 and The Giants were 75-87.

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