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The Reverse Crosby Effect

Update: Matt Holliday will be on KNBR at 4:30PM, talking about the trade. Thanks Louis for the tip!

Since there appears to be absolutely nothing going on with the A’s lately, let’s talk about the season premiere of LOST starting on January 21st.


Maybe I shouldn’t use the automatic post feature too many days in advance during the off-season.

You know a baseball story is big when it actually breaks into Monday Night Football. There I was, watching some team masquerading as the 49ers actually playing football semi-successfully, and there was a “Game Break” for baseball news.

For anyone who has ever watched one minute of the NFL, Game Breaks are hardly ever about baseball, and never about the A’s. I started to tune out the latest Manny/Jeter/Boston/Yankees news when all of a sudden I heard, “Oakland A’s”. They were covering our trade! This is big, people!

Not that we should judge a trade based on the media attention that it received, but the outside reaction is great. Personally, I am thrilled with the addition, the direction the team is going, and the words “We Are Competing for 2009” have never sounded so sweet, particularly after the excruciating months of July, August, and September of this year. It’s nice to have something to write about and look forward to. (Insert shameless plug for ticket sales here.)

Billy Beane has made some amazing trades; he has made some shocking trades, and overall, you could probably argue that there are very few of his trades that have really come back to haunt him. For every Hudson trade that hasn’t panned out, we have a Mulder trade that just keeps on giving, and although we have been playing with Bobby Crosby as our shortstop for years, have watched Ethier develop in blue instead of green and gold, and have watched a number of ex-A’s in the 2008 playoffs, by and large, A’s fans have trusted Beane and the teams he has fielded.

I understand that in any trade, you must give away talent to get talent in return, and don’t get me wrong, I really love this trade (assuming we can lock Holliday into an actual contract), but I can’t help but wonder if what I'm experiencing is the reverse Crosby effect. I feel that Beane waited far too long for Crosby to turn into the player he was projected to be, was far too patient in this wait, and may very well have expected too much from him from the start. But in any case, I feel that we have seen what Crosby has to offer the A's, and at best, he's a servicable middle infielder.

In the case of Carlos Gonzalez, I have the opposite feeling. I wonder if we've seen even a glimmer of who this player could be in a couple of years; if we let him go for the sure star a little too early. Gonzalez had a disappointing rookie season, to be sure, and a dismal second half, but were there flashes of superstar that showed on occasion? In two years, are we going to regret letting this player go when he finds his power stroke and is hitting for average?

Will it be worth it? Will Holliday be who the A's think he will be? Can the A's keep him? Will his year(s) with the A's outpace Gonzalez' performance in the years he would have played in Oakland? Is playing for 2009 worth it? Could the A's have waited out another season for their young talent to develop?


Then I remember July, August, and September. I remember the empty(ier) seats at the ballpark. I remember 80 comment game threads here on AN.

And then I think of .325/25.

Welcome to Oakland, Matt Holliday! We'll nickname you soon.