This is my first FanPost, which certainly won't have the significance of many of the other posts. By way of introduction, my first A's memory was rushing home from 2nd grade to watch the A's play the Royals in the 1981 playoffs. When my family left California in 1982, we moved to the hinterlands of Montana where I could only get my A's fix by scouring box scores, reading The Sporting News, and hoping the A's would be featured on the Game of the Week. For years, the only other A's fan I knew was my stepfather. As I entered college, I discovered many interesting things. One of them was the internet, which gave me much greater access to instant information on the A's. However, when I stumbled upon "AN" in 2005, it was a revelation. It was astounding to find a group of people who were far more obsessed with my baseball team than I was and who had so much to offer. So, after seven years of mostly lurking, I wanted to say thank you.
First of all all, I am amazed by the amount of effort put in by all of those who created and run this site. These thanks have to start with Blez. What a visionary. However, I can only imagine the daily grind that is put in by the moderators and front page contributors to a site like this. I can take a break from reading when the meta gets a bit heavy during the long winter of our discontent, but the moderators keep plowing through it. Then, when spring rolls around or Billy Beane decides to turn over half the roster, I race back to AN to find out what it all means.
I would also like thank the skeptics and sabermetrics proponents. Being a glass half full kind of person when it comes to my A's, I appreciate the realistic vision of these contributors. Yes, I would like to trade Godfrey, Donaldson, and the rights to Grant Desme to the Padres (maybe Desme would like it there) for Chase Headley. However, I suspect people like WaddellCanseco would ask if I would take that trade if I were the Padres. I don't post much on AN in part because I have lurked for long enough to know that there are a lot of people on this website far more knowledgeable about baseball than me. Simply by reading AN, I think I now understand FIP, WAR, and UZR. Although I am not a stat-head, they are a check on the truthiness that I feel in my gut while watching the game.
Thanks to Dallas Braden, I converted my wife from a Mariners fan to an A's. Although she is great to watch the games with, she really doesn't want to spend the 21 hours between games discussing what the victory meant, what Billy Beane is likely to do, and whether the A's should trade or simply stand pat. With our team playing like they are, that is all I want to do. As an A's fan, this has been a magical few weeks. It is such a privilege to have place to go to celebrate. For that, I want to thank all of AN.