It’s playoff time, and the A’s aren’t involved. Who should you root for and who are the former A’s involved?
We got you covered.
New York Yankees
Former A’s: Sonny Gray and Matt Holliday
Shaved mustache aside, seeing Sonny Gray in pinstripes is unsettling. Gray has been solid since he was traded, not quite an ace but a serviceable pitcher. He’s still delightfully two children stacked on top of each other, and it’s hard to root against him and in a sense, the Yankees.
Matt Holliday says hold my beer. Yes, he’s still in the league and no he still hasn’t smiled.
Holliday was pretty darn good in Oakland, putting up the least watchable solid season of baseball you will ever see. In a sense, reminding that the Yankees should be completely detestable is the nicest thing Holliday has ever done for A’s fans.
Don't cry because the regular season's over. Smile because it happened. Here are the best moments of September. https://t.co/LpiS8x5j62 pic.twitter.com/vSsCiwRI8N— Cut4 (@Cut4) October 2, 2017
Hoo boy do the Twins make a strong case for the team to root for, starting with the fact that they employ Big Sexy himself, Bartolo Colon.
Colon was DFA’d mid-season but there’s no holding the man down. No, he’s back, playing well, and a serious contender for a playoff roster spot. No guarantee mind you, but a contender.
Should Colon not make the postseason roster, the Twins will have zero former A’s. That would make them just about as uncontroversial as humanly possible for a playoff team, and a solid pick for a team to root for.
Former A’s: Adam Rosales
Your NL favorite to be your NL favorite, the Diamondbacks are non-controversial for fans of the A’s. The teams only former Athletic is the league’s best hustler with one of the best smile/grimaces.
Like the Twins, the Diamondbacks have done something intriguing this year: beat their window. Arizona didn’t look like a team that would compete before the year, and here they are hosting the Wild Card game. Wouldn’t hate to see that for the A’s next year.
Former A’s: Pat Neshek, Carlos Gonzalez
Hey, another surprise playoff team. Hope you’re getting ideas, Oakland!
It’s impossible not to like Pat Neshek, and I hope he continues to pitch until the sun eats the earth, or whatever. Somehow, he’s posted 2.8 bWAR in Colorado thanks to a 1.59 ERA at age 37. Incredible.
Gonzales has one of the sweeter swings you’ll ever see and is a true joy to watch. He’s also the guy who will show up on a national broadcast and your non-A’s friends will turn to you and say, hey didn’t that guy used to play for the A’s? And you’ll say uh, yeah, and they’ll say why’d you trade him ha ha, that was dumb and your eye will twitch and you’ll sip your beer and change the subject and then Gonzalez will come up an inning later and the commentator will mention he’s a former Athletic and your other eye will twitch and ugh. Gonzalez, for no clear reason, has always been the guy for me that’s propped up of the A’s badness in the eyes of those who hate.
I love watching Carlos Gonzalez. And I hate watching Carlos Gonzalez.
Former A’s: Luke Gregerson, Tyler Clippard (maybe), Josh Reddick, Brad Peacock (kinda), Max Stassi (kinda)
Of the list above, only Gregerson and Reddick are true former A’s likely to make the playoff roster. The former is falsely remembered for being terrible. Truthfully, he was a combination of a little disappointing and lot on that infamous Wild Card team.
Reddick is a little more polarizing, a wonderful Athletic now on a division rival. Houston’s success as a tank team brings down the likable individuals there, and you can bet at least one A’s fan is rooting for an early playoff departure.
Former A’s: Dan Otero, Craig Breslow, Edwin Encarnacion
Former A’s records: AL win streak
Take away the Indians breaking the A’s 20 game win streak (and their awful name) and you’ve got yourself an extremely likable team with a few former likable A’s sprinkled in.
The 2017 Indians went from fairly unrelated to the A’s to being forever intertwined, and how you root for them in the playoffs is likely determined by how you feel about them being historically great and thieving away our favorite record.jo
Boston Red Sox
Former A’s: Drew Pomeranz, Fernando Abad, Rajai Davis, Chris Young
There are some things to like about the Red Sox, but also, they’re the Red Sox.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Former A’s: Rich Hill, Brandon McCarthy, Andre Eithier
There are a lot of likable former A’s out there!
Rich Hill winning a ring at age 37 after his epic comeback would make a great story. It would also make Giants fans sad, if you’re into that, and I suspect some of you maybe into that.
Former A’s: Jon Lester, Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell (kinda)
The Cubs took their turn, and now they have to wait 108 years for another. Thems the rules.
If you thought Jon Lester was unlikable when he turned the Royals to a team of Rickey Henderson’s just wait till you see his thoughts on fun and nachos. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t like them. They’re chips with cheese and other good deliciousness and Lester is like listen here, eat some porridge.
Kidding aside, the Cubs don’t have the intrigue they did last year.
Former A’s: Stephen Drew, Joe Blanton, A.J. Cole (kinda), Sean Doolittle, Gio Gonzalez, Ryan Madson
There are a lot of former A’s on the Nats, most notably Sean Doolittle who went and got hitched to his equally delightful wife.
We had the afternoon off so we eloped and we’ve never been happier ✨✨✨ pic.twitter.com/NrVB7Klf3R— Eireann Dolan (@EireannDolan) October 3, 2017
The Nationals are linked to the A’s in a way beyond former players. The Nationals are a touch like the A’s of the NL East, a team that’s had tremendous regular season success without much beyond that.
There’s a feeling of solidarity knowing that playoff struggles aren’t just a problem of the A’s, or something unique to a lower budget team. The Nationals win it all? That feeling may be gone.
I am certain I missed some former A’s, so please feel free fill in the gaps!
Who are you rooting for to win it all?
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