Outdoors Magazine

Time to Mourn

Posted on the 11 May 2023 by Thervproject @thervproject

I was an A's fan.
What happened? Fuck John Fisher, the spoiled bitch-boy son of the founders of the obsolete clothing store that charged $45 dollars for jeans all the way back in the 90s, The GAP. That's what happened. My anger at one man's greed, and a society that apparently allows rich assholes to shit all over everything (see: the 45th president), has finally overcome the irrational attachments that one has to their favorite things from childhood.
My dad took me to games at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, and I took home souvenir cups with Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Dennis Eckersley, and Rickey Henderson on 'em. There was no Mt. Davis, and there was iceplant where much of the outfield bleachers would've otherwise been. One of my earliest memories is of the '89 earthquake, which happened shortly before the A's swept the Giants in the World Series. Last year, my brother and I scattered a small portion of our dad's ashes in left field.
In high school, my best friends and I would take BART to games all the time, despite often getting home late, and despite the summertime fog keeping temperatures in the 50s (but feeling much colder). We joyously celebrated the start of the Moneyball era, when blue-collar journeymen at the end of their careers, like John Jaha or Olmedo Saenz, could have a shot to be difference-makers and fan favorites. The bleacher fans were legendary, as were the signs and nicknames they created for the A's players. We sat in deep green, rigid plastic seats for several of the games during The Streak, including number 20. We watched Eric Chavez walk it off against the seemingly untouchable Kazuhiro Sasaki with a 3-run opposite field homer with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, and we high-fived every concession stand employee we saw on the way to the BART station. We could each eat 10 dollar dogs, easily.
We were devastated when Jeremy Giambi (RIP) failed to slide against the Yankees in the post-season, but we shrugged it off. And we stuck with them when they gave Miguel Tejada away for no discernible reason. We turned a blind eye to the fact that all our favorite A's seemed to get a few years in Oakland to develop into well-rounded, solid players, at which point they'd immediately be sold for cash and "prospects." Those prospects would come up through the A's formidable farm system, play a few seasons in the majors, then end up with a team like the Yankees. In essence, Oakland has been a farm team for the rest of the Majors, and yet we still stuck with them.
Frankly, we liked having an unpolished team with little star power. A's players weren't marrying pop stars, they were getting burgers at In n Out before an afternoon home game. We loved the concrete monstrosity that is the Oakland...O.co? McAfee? Whatever They Call It Now Stadium, the last dive bar in the Majors. We had footraces up the Mt. Davis stairs.
We knew the A's ownership was bad. We knew they didn't care about the fans, or the team. But somehow, they still kept up appearances just enough...they put out a middling baseball product comprised of bargain-basement players (generally, promising youths who haven't earned a big paycheck yet), and they relied upon decades of history and collective fan nostalgia and goodwill. And they spent decades shitting on the City of Oakland, and the people willing to pay $30 just to park a car at the ballpark.
So after much sadness, anger, frustration, and confusion, I've decided I'm just done. I love baseball as a game. I love playing catch. I loved having a game on in the background while doing work or chores, and I loved whiling away an afternoon at a sunny ballpark. Even if I was out of country, or busy for a month, baseball's 162-game season was like a steady hum in the background, and I could get a sense of connection by just checking the scores every day or two, watching how the pennant races were shaping up. And, it pains me to say, I used to love the Oakland A's. And in an abstract way, I still do. But my fandom now is all gallows. I am relishing the A's historically awful year, and I hope they do so badly in terms of both the standings and attendance that John Fisher has to sell the team out of shame. But as long as FuckFace Fisher calls the shots, I'll be looking for another summer sport to follow. Probably gonna be the UCI Downhill MTB series, and the IFSC climbing comp season.

To sum it up, why should anyone take pride in-or have any allegiance toward-a private, for-profit organization that an apathetic billionaire is mostly using as a real-estate investment vehicle? It's one thing for a man-child owner to use a sports team as a dick-proxy, because at least they care about the sport. But this Fisher guy? Fuck him. I don't even like the NFL, but I might start rooting for the Green Bay Packers, because it turns out that they're a publicly-owned, not-for-profit organization. And that's how it should be.

Fuck you, John Fisher, for ruining one of the only nice things Oakland had.
That said, I may try to make it to the Reverse Boycott Day on June 13th. It'd be nice to take one last piss in the 50-year-old urinal troughs that still cling to the walls of the Men's Restrooms.

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