In Oakland, we’re used to the idea of watching young players develop, clinging to them for a few years (if we’re lucky), then waving a tearful goodbye as they head off into the real world like the good parents we are.
It’s rare, though, that we get to see them come back to us. Seven years ago, Davis went off to Toronto, Detroit, then Cleveland, stealing bases, hearts, and almost a World Series from the Cubs.
Now he’s back in green and gold, ready to jump back to the team where he kick-started his career in 2008, and probably share the outfield with another lovable guy with a big smile also named Davis. Will he teach K-Davis how to throw? ... Mmmm, probably not, but I was trying to ride the heartwarming train as long as possible.
Will he fit in on the 2017 A’s as much as he did back in 2008? Oh yeah, for sure. The A’s like fun, quirky people. Will he improve the team? Yep. Maybe not by the leaps and bounds fans always hope for from their team’s offseason acquisitions, but he’ll be a help. And a veteran one at that, which all the budding baby A’s can learn from while they bubble up to the big league surface.
What else is there to love about Rajai? (besides everything) His first job was at Chuck E. Cheese’s. And yes, they did make him wear the costume. (Sadly, no picture, but at least you can hear him talk about it)
He did this and ... I mean, your guess is as good as mine.
And if all that isn’t enough, Davis was the 38th-round pick, 1134th overall, in the 2001 draft. He is from Connecticut, not exactly the hub for professional baseball players. On paper, there was no way he was going to make an impact when he first came into pro baseball. Did that stop him? Hell no.
Back in 2010 with the A’s, he racked up 50 SB, the most since ... Rickey Henderson. Maybe a bit of a big deal.
While Rajai may not be a power hitter, he’s still managed to steadily improve his HR count over the years ... from 0 his first season with the Pirates, to 12 in 2016 with the Indians. That’s 7 more than Billy Butler had last season, so there’s that. Plus, he’s only costing the A’s $6 mil for one year, so no hard feelings there.
So here’s to improvement, here’s to more stolen bases, more smiles, and plenty of Davis/Davis outfield jokes ... welcome back, Rajai!