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Thankful for Green and Gold

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This Thanksgiving, we need to show our thanks for our team in green and gold. So, as AN did last year, I want to give the Top 10 Reasons we have to be thankful for, Thanksgiving Edition 2004.

  1. The left-field bleachers: A's fans often get a bad rap for not being passionate and engaged, but I was at the game in which the A's lost the AL West to the Angels, and the left field bleachers were frenzied. The flag-waving, synchronized crew is one group of passionate A's fans you've got to love.
  2. The Triumphant Return of the Drummers: It happened in the last few games of the pennant race, which I thought could carry the A's over the hump. The reappearance of our left field drummers. They are an essential part of what makes the Coliseum such a unique baseball experience. Could you imagine these guys at SBC Park? Heck no.
  3. Susan Slusser and Mychael Urban Slusser provides quality writing and A's exclusives (aka the Kendall story the day the trade happened) on a frequent basis, even during the offseason. Urban not only gives his opinion, but now he's going to give A's fans an inside look at our pitchers in the upcoming ACES.
  4. The OAKLAND A's: Yes, the A's still need a new ballpark to help drive revenues if our owners are ever going to invest money into the team. But the team remains in the big concrete bowl off the 880 freeway, which is just fine with me.
  5. Keith Lieppman: The A's again have one of the deepest minor league organizations in baseball with some top flight talent, including Quintanilla, Suzuki, Street, Garcia, Powell, Windsor, Dan Johnson and on and on and on. The A's are restocked and ready to go, and much of it is thanks to the brilliant mind of Lieppman and company.
  6. Moneyball: While the book has polarized so many in baseball's inner circle, the Oakland Athletics have become a team of fascination for many outside of the East Bay. Yes, going inside the A's organization may have helped expedite the proliferation of the A's philosophies which ultimately led to the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series this year, but still, the book is as thoroughly enjoyable today as it was when it first exploded onto the scene.
  7. Bill King: He should be up for Hall of Fame induction and he's the legendary voice of our Athletics. Nothing says green and gold more than King's raspy voice, his Hawaiian shirts and Korach and company teasing him about his eating habits. It will be tragic once he hangs up his microphone.
  8. The Best Defensive Third Baseman in Baseball: Yeah Scott Rolen is good, but our guy is better. Eric Chavez has now won four gold gloves in a row and he has the range of some of the best third basemen ever to play the game. Not to mention the reflexes of Martin Brodeur.
  9. The Fantastic Four: Hudson, Mulder, Zito and Harden are all still a part of the A's rotation for 2005. That may not be the case come opening day, but for Turkey Day 04, we should count our blessings these hurlers still toe the slab for the A's.
  10. Billy Beane: Running a successful team under the financial constraints imposed by Steve Schott is not easy, but Beane has the remarkable abilities to correct his mistakes. And no matter where you stand on Kendall, Arthur Rhodes was a colossal mistake. The A's were able to upgrade their offensive production from the catcher position while making room for Big Joe Blanton in the rotation and getting rid of Clubhouse Cancer, V. 2.0 in Arthur Rhodes.
There you have it. There are others that deserve honorable mention, including banjo guy, Saag's sausages and the Hammer kids, but these are the essentials. What else do you, as an A's fan, have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving?