Baseball’s winter cabal is happening this week which means it’s 73 and sunny in San Diego in the middle of December. Because of MLB revenue-sharing and the Royals, small-market GMs from places that are very un-Sandiegan have nine figures to throw around like beach balls.
Indeed, life is good in the whale’s vagina, where bad signings over breakfast wash down delicious with the Hilton San Diego Bayfront buffet’s fresh-squeezed OJ. And after a day of Skype call disasters and nervous tie-loosening, the same GMs get to go chase 20-something tail around the Gaslamp district—more rife with HPV-addled Tinder swipe rights than Trader Joe’s at 6 p.m. on a Tuesday.
Yes, December in paradise. Every team is still a winner, but no team moreso than the Oakland A’s.
To the general public and their remaining fanbase, GM Billy Beane and Co. seem to be about two more moves away from signing Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernson and Wesley Snipes. Though I’m quite sure Bob Melvin isn’t rushing out to get a lifesize Lew Wolff cutout and remove one article of clothing with each Oakland win, something tells me even the undying love and loyalty of the 5k-plus A’s faithful who pack O.co like a Chick-fil-A on a Pride parade route are having a tough time with the yellow and green’s moves in the land of the Stone gargoyle.
Even in their infancy, this year’s winter talks have lumbered indefatigably to the tune of Buster Olney’s daily breakdown of the Jon Lester sweepstakes (blech). Thank goodness for the A’s as they are baseball’s equivalent of the random neighbor guy camping out at the keg during your backyard gathering, calling everyone a pussy and yelling “Drink!” in chick’s faces between gulps and pumps.
Though they secretly may know they’re the life of the party, nonplussed A’s fans are using computer magic to act fake-annoyed at the franchise’s first youth movement and roster overhaul since the beginning of Obama’s second term.
“Billy Beane is so smart that no one, including me, can figure out WTF he’s doing with the A’s roster,” wrote ESPN Top Commentor Carl A. Morales upon hearing of first baseman/outfielder slugger Brandon Moss’s departure to the only place on paper (or YouTube) worse than Oakland, Cleveland—for minor league infielder Joey Wendle.
This comment posted on the eve of the A’s shipping Jeff Samardzija back to the land of the deep dish and pasty girl; this time to the White Sox for their entire farm system plus a couple black-and-white photos of the Old Comiskey signed by Ken Burns in a six-player deal Tuesday.
For the Notre Dame receiver and Class A reliever Michael Ynoa, the A’s got infielder Marcus Semien, who grew up in Berkeley and went to Cal, along with catcher Josh Phegley, right-hander Chris Bassitt and first baseman Rangel Ravelo.
Samardzija will be looking to lease on the South Side as he’ll be ringless and a free agent this time next year. He also became the fourth in a quartet of All-Stars the A’s have dealt since the break.
But facebookers haven’t been the only ones affected. A’s closer Sean Doolittle in the midst of the retooling Monday said, “I think to say we’re rebuilding is a slap in the face to the guys who are still here.” Meaning Doolittle had just hung up with his agent to see if he’d have any option besides Houston to be the fifth All-Star to go.
Doolittle should stop following the sweet smell coming from behind the coliseum’s Bar & Grille, for it was only on the eve of the 2012 season the A’s dumped a handful of AL representatives from the previous midsummer classic (Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill and Andrew Bailey) and went on to win the AL West. The top one-percent of A’s fans” (*those who can afford letters on the back of their jerseys) were then advised to put their own last name on the back.
For their Winter Talks™ efforts thus far this year, the A’s have also acquired the highly regarded talents of four new interns in third baseman Brett Lawrie, left-hander Sean Noilin, right-hander Kendall Graveman and shortstop Franklin Barreto.
When asked whether he feels he’s alienating his remaining fanbase, trying new and different ways to get Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill to sign on for the sequel, deliberately pissing off whiny guys in the bullpen, increasing his season-end Vegas payout, or simply once more building a competitive franchise out of Big League Chew wrappers and sunflower seed shells, Beane said Tuesday: “We’ve done it before.”