erik lundegaard


Friday November 17, 2023

Hangover IV

Yesterday, every team in Major League Baseball approved the move of the Oakland Athletics to Las Vegas. It is the third Oakland team in the last four years to bolt the city:

  • 2019: Golden State Warriors —> SF
  • 2020: Oakland Raiders —> Las Vegas
  • 2023: This

In celebration, on Threads, the A's organization posted the following:

A's social media coordinator: Oooh, 76 replies! Fun! Let's see what we got! Dum da dum da dum... *Click*

  • fuck you
  • MLB only cares about profits. They care nothing about the fans.
  • Fuck you x2
  • Never. I will not visit even for a Giants game
  • Fuck you
  • Not a fan of the As but this is a big f u to the fans in Oakland. The bad thing for the team as well is I have seen no people from Las Vegas saying they even care.
  • Nothing to be proud of.
  • Thanks for the virtual poke in the eye.
  • Bad move. Horrible look. You will fail.
  • Piss off!
  • fuck off
  • Fuck you.

Someone mentioned there wasn't a positive comment in the bunch—I certainly couldn't find one. Not even a sock-puppet account to say something good. The key, I think, is what one of the commentators mentions above: Nobody in Vegas cares. If anyone in Vegas notices. Apparently it's all about the gambling. I think of Sonny Corleone: “There's a lot of money in that white powder.” That's MLB now. “There's a lot of money in that addiction.”

Was Portland ever a consideration? I'm curious. Or is it too soccer-y these days? Or doesn't the city want to shell out the billions it costs to get to have nine men toss around a ball?

It's sad. When I was growing up, there were three great mini-dynasties: The Baltimore Orioles (1969-71), the Oakland A's (1972-74) and the Cincinnati Reds (1975-76). The A's probably weren't as good as the others, to be honest, but they did better: They won three World Series in a row. They're the only non-Yankee team to make that claim. And they were memorable. They grew long hair and moustaches, and wore kelly green and yellow unis, and Charlie Finley gave half the team nicknames: “Blue Moon” Odom, “Catfish” Hunter. They had the most exciting starting pitcher in baseball (Vida Blue), the game's first superduperstar (Reggie Jackson), and one of the game's first closers, a guy with a 19th century-era handlebar moustache (Rollie Fingers). Plus the staid regulars: Joe Rudi, Campy Campaneris, Dick Green, captain Sal Bando. They were so popular, comic books were made about them.

Then there's the Bash Brothers of the 1980s, the “Moneyball” A's of the early 2000s, and then of course the 50 years of Connie Mack baseball. And they won! In terms of overall championships, the A's are tied for third with Boston: nine each. They tended to have rashes of success followed by decades of doldrums: 1910-1914; 1929-1931; 1972-74; 1988-1990. “Moneyball,” for all its hype, never even got them back to the World Series.

They kept going west, young man: from Philadelphia to Kansas City to Oakland. Now Vegas. Three steps forward, one step back.

Posted at 09:54 AM on Friday November 17, 2023 in category Baseball