Will Leitch, the founder and Editor at Large over at Deadspin has started publishing his previews for each MLB team. His previews deal much more in the "what it's like to be a fan of ____ team" than actual baseball. However they are well written and very entertaining.
In today's post he covers our beloved A's, gives a shout out to Leopold Bloom, and compares our team to the Expos in a sad and loving way...
In his article, Leitch argues that the identity of the A's, once the inevitable move from Oakland, will drastically alter:
"It stands to reason, then, that the team you're watching right now, the one with the green uniforms and tarp on the upper deck that makes it so much harder to get stoned there, it will someday cease to exist. Unless they're the Raiders, no team keeps the same identity when they move. There's no crossover between Thunder fans and NOOCH fans. The Ravens just pretend their time in Cleveland never happened. Most people I meet in Arizona don't even know the Buzzsaw lived in St. Louis at all. (To be fair, neither do most people I meet in St. Louis.) When a team moves, they not only break their fans' hearts, which is bad for them, they erase a part of our history, which is bad for all of us."
Now, if the A's move out of the Bay, I could see this being true. However, I would argue a move to San Jose would not alter the basic identity of the team.
Leitch goes on to make comparisons of A's fans to the Expos fans in more detail:
"They're a little similar to Expos fans, really. To be a devoted fan of the Oakland A's, you have to want it. You have to dive in and study, obsess, learn the minor leaguers, find goofy upstart kids you love, your tubby Landon Powell, your scrappy Mark Ellis. You have to do that to be a devoted of any team, of course, but with the A's, there's no choice. You're always starting from scratch: You're never asking if someone is a True Athletic, because there's no such thing. It's a team of transients and wannabes. These are terrifically fun teams to cheer for; you're always the plucky underdog.
Just like the Expos. We've seen what happens when you're the plucky underdog for too long, particularly if you don't sell enough luxury boxes. It's going to happen. Everyone knows it. And no one seems to care. It's awful."
Are we really Expos fans?
I hope not, but I can't really see much of a difference between an empty Olympic and a 10,000 person mid week night at the Coliseum either...
At least the A's were much better over the long haul than the Expos ever were.