You'll never guess what I learned. I mean, I can't even believe it and I actually traveled through time! Wow, it's amazing. It's so unbelievable. I don't even know where to begin. I mean do I tell you the why, the how or the what first?
Well, first, check out our starting line up for 2007
Manny Ramirez lf
Barry Bonds dh
Miguel Tajada ss
And our starting rotation
I know! Amazing! Almost unbelievably so even!
Well, apparently a grass roots campaign by some A's fans to keep the team in Oakland started to take off after a report surfaced that the city of Oakland had agreed to build a waterfront stadium in Jack London Square and was told "no thank you" by Oakland ownership. A fan uprising, coupled with the announcement that the new team name would be the "Silicon Valley Athletics of Fremont" lead to a revolt in season ticket sales almost unprecedented. Upper management started to get a little nervous and signed Barry Zito to a five year contract that many, even in Oakland, thought was too much, especially given the fact that we needed a hitter.
After Mike Piazza decided to stay in the NL, ownership then allowed Billy Beane to get a big bat - he traded for Manny Ramirez. When the press pounded the move (the whole Manny being Manny thing), Beane and co set their sites on a proven Oakland favorite, signing Mark Mulder to a one year incentive laden contract. While talking with Mulder, feelers Beane had sent out on Miguel Tejada and Tim Hudson lead to trades for both players.
Shortly after the New Year, Barry Bonds was introduced as the team's DH (a move many saw as an attempt to steal Giant fans in the San Jose area) to complete the roster.
Okay, just came back from October of 2007. We didn't make the play offs.
Ramirez, Bonds and Bradley apparently didn't a good clubhouse chemistry make. Bonds hit number 756 in July and retired the next day. Ramirez's Manny being Manny did not work well with the fans in left leading to his first season under 20HRS/100RBIs and Bradley was suspended for the season after a game in Toronto when he and Frank Thomas exchanged blows in a benches clearing brawl.
Rich Harden did pitch the whole season and will most likely win the Cy Young after going 16-2 with an ERA of 1.26. Tim Hudson's return to Oaktown was just like his first go around as he went 6-8 as the bullpen (weakened by trades of Duchscherer/Calero/Kennedy/Saarloos and Witasick) blew a league high 56 games. Zito, who made $15m for the season, saw his ERA balloon over 6 and Mulder, who pitched well his first three games, never recovered after the death of his psychologist in May.
Wow, I guess that's why they do play the games. I mean, look at how good we looked on paper? Who could have imagined such a tragedy? It's like when we had the Big Three, Jason, Miggy, Eric, Damon, Dye and Big Hurt and still couldn't win it all....
WEll, maybe next year. I hear Wells is interested in replacing Kotsay and Santana should be available by '09....