In commemoration of the loss of one of our best posters, I thought I would give him a chance to express his farewell to the community. -Zonis
You may have noticed over the past few weeks that I have not been posting much, or commenting, or seen me at any of the AN events. There is a good reason, and I feel like I need to come clean.
I am holding two season tickets to the 2011 SF Giants, and a $16k credit card bill.
For the first time in many years, I won't be sitting in an empty stadium eating soggy garlic fries watching washed up waiver wire dross like Jake Fox or Jack Cust.
I have been an A's fan since 1972, as far back as I can remember. As a kid, the A's were in the paper most every day, their exploits on and off the field were stuff of legend, and the characters were newspaper fodder. It was hard to be a baseball fan and ignore the Oakland Athletics in the '70s. But that was a long time ago, and much has changed.
Living in the bay area, it has been hard to ignore what has been happening across the Bay. While my team has been mired in a multitude of problems, both on and off the field, just a 20 minute drive from my house has been a reminder of my childhood, a team of misfits and colorful characters, outperforming expectations and capturing the imagination of fans around the world. Heck, the other day, while at Disneyland in Southern California, I counted 112 instances of people sporting Giants hats and uniforms.
How did I become an A's fan? How does anyone become a fan of any team? I guess we are all bandwagon jumpers at some point, we all had to get on the bandwagon at the onset of the relationship. I became an A's fan because they were winning and I saw them in the press everyday, liked their colors and players and became a fan in an area where everyone bled Dodger Blue. And it's happened again.
I was given playoff tickets behind home plate last year for the Giants pennant run, and being in AT&T Park, crowded with people, the energy level so thick you could cut it with a knife. I think it was at that moment that the seed was planted. I was overwhelmed by the grandeur of the park, the Giants ownership have done it right; you would be hard to argue that point. From the grace and beauty of the park, the statues of past greats, the honoring of its heroes, and ultimately the culmination of building a great minor league system to stock a world championship team. I hate to say it, but they are doing everything right and moving forward, and the A's ownership is doing everything in its power to piss the team away.
Think about it this way: You go to a restaurant you have been going to for years because you love the service, you know the servers by name, you love the food, the ambiance. You are a regular. But one day, you hear the owners retired and sold to new ownership. The owners get rid of your favorite server. The next time you come in the food is not quite what it was. The next time, the level of service has completely gone down the drain. Do you keep going back? Or do you find a new restaurant?
I love baseball. And I loved my A's, the A's of my youth. But you have to admit, this is not the A's of old. We have ownership that does not care, who do just enough to placate the masses, puts warm bodies on the field, tarps off the seats instead of selling them super cheap,does a parking lot bazaar and calls it FanFest, and, the last straw for me, can't even keep the games on the same radio station from year to year.
I love my friends on AN too. The relationships I have here are very special to me, and I am not saying I am not going to keep those relationships. But I am breaking up with my "wife" and keeping our friends. I purchased season tickets to the 2011 San Francisco Giants and plan on investing more time cultivating my interest in my new team. I am tired of watching the Emperor (not Josh) be paraded out on the field
with no clothes and told he is lavishly dressed. I am tired of being told we have a competitive product when we don't. I am tired of trying to find the radio station. I am tired of seeing 9,000 people at a game. I am tired of watching players mature until their contract is up, and watching them go on to greener pastures. I am tired of hearing how my team will probably be contracted. I am tired of hearing how my
team can't find a home, can't draw a crowd, can't win a division, can't hit a home run, can't sign a single free agent hitter. I'm done.
If you call me a bandwagon jumper, I will ask you to look at yourself. Were you born an A's fan, or did you find yourself attracted to them because they won a division, or the 20-game streak, or your read Moneyball, or they won the World Series? If you did, you have to admit that you too are a bandwagon jumper. For me, the choice is logical; I am going to be watching winning baseball played by some amazing up-and-coming young talent, in a gorgeous, packed stadium just 20 minutes from my house, sitting in seats that are amazing, knowing there is a waiting list just to get season tickets, surrounded by smart, excited and rabid fans.
Will I still go to some A's games? Probably, when they play the Yankees or Red Sox, or Giants. But the thought of sitting through one more Monday night game against the Mariners and being able to hear a guy sneeze on the other side of the stadium does nothing for me.
This is not goodbye, think of it as you just have a new friend to debate the merits of the DH rule or interleague play.