With apologies to Thomas "Shoulder" Paine, I thought an adaptation of his immortal words might serve to inspire AN at one of our darkest hours.
These are the games that try AN's souls. The summer poster and the sunshine diarist will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of A's Nation; but we that stand by it now, deserve the love and thanks of man and woman. Anaheim, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Halos Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so statistical a website as AN should not be highly rated. Moreno, with the prospects to enforce his tyranny, has declared that he has a right (not only to BEAT) but "to CLINCH against us in ALL STADIUMS WHERESOEVER" and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to Beane.
[Continued after the break]
Whether the rebuilding of the Athletics was declared too soon, or delayed too long, I will not now enter into as an argument; my own simple opinion is, that had it been eight months earlier, it would have been much better. We did not make a proper use of last winter, neither could we, while we were in a defunded state. However, the fault, if it were one, was all our own; we have none to blame but ourselves. But no great deal is lost yet. All that Howe has been doing for this month past, is rather a ravage than a conquest, which the spirit of the Rangers, a year ago, would have quickly repulsed, and which time and a little resolution will soon recover.
I have as little superstition in me as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that Beane Almighty will not give up a ballclub to languish in the second division, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the blowout losses of ball, by every decent method which wisdom could invent. Neither have I so much of the infidel in me, as to suppose that He has relinquished the contestment of the West, and given us up to the care of Angels; and as I do not, I cannot see on what grounds the Rev of Anaheim can look up to Heaven for help against us: a common murderer, a highwayman, or a house-breaker, has as good a pretence as he.
I thank Beane, that I fear not. I see no real cause for fear. I know our situation well, and can see the way out of it. While in previous years defeated, Howe dared not risk a battle; and it is no credit to him that he decamped from the White Cleats, and accepted a bench opportunity to help manage the defenceless Rangers; but it is great credit to us, that, with a handful of men, we sustained a competitive team for near on a decade yet, sold off our ammunition, all our field pieces, the greatest part of our roster, and had five playoff appearances. None can say that our retreat was precipitate, for we were near three weeks in performing it, that the injured might have time to come back. Often we marched to bat to meet the enemy, and remained shutout till dark. The sign of fear was not seen in our dugout, and had not some of the cowardly and disaffected AN denizens spread false alarms through their postings, the games might never had mattered. Once more we are again collected and collecting; our new teammates at both ends of the career arc are being recruited fast, and we shall be able to open the next campaign with sixty baseball men, well armed and batted. This is our situation, and who will may know it. By perseverance and fortitude we have the prospect of a glorious seasohn; by cowardice and submission, the sad choice of a variety of evils — a ravaged website — a depopulated city — plate appearances without safeties, and games played without hope — our home turned into clubhouse of Champagne-dousing for Orange Countians, and a division race to compete for, whose players we shall doubt of. Look on this picture and weep over it! and if there yet remains one thoughtless wretch who believes it not, let him suffer it unlamented.