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Elephant Rumblings: A’s regular season begins today

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers
Sep 2, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas (47) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!

And welcome back, baseball! The A’s were off on MLB’s official Opening Day, but their season starts today at 12:05 PT against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in the City of Brotherly Love. Frankie Montas, now the A’s undisputed #1 starter, will square off against righty Aaron Nola for the Phillies.

The A’s underwent an unusually aggressive teardown during the offseason, dealing stars Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Chris Bassitt, and Sean Manaea while losing a host of other players to free agency. Fangraphs projects the A’s to scrape together 70 wins en route to a last place finish in the AL West. In the midst of all this, the quest for a new ballpark in Oakland inches along with great uncertainty while ownership continues to court Las Vegas as a potential relocation destination.

So what is going to get beleaguered A’s fans through this expected drought? The players. The prospects. The magical moments that are inevitably abundant in a 162 game season. The reuniting venerable veterans. Plus, you never know exactly — or even approximately — how baseball gonna baseball: who expected the San Francisco Giants to win the NL West in 2021, for Pete’s sake? Or for the Atlanta Braves to rise from mediocracy to a World Series title?

I’m not betting a dime on surprise contention this year, but I am excited to see who steps up and what unexpected delights, however fleeting, are in store. After all, I’m a member of Athletics Nation, where the A’s most dedicated fans come together. AN helped me recover from the Butler years, and it will get me through whatever lies ahead — aside from a move to Sin City, anyway.

We have legitimate gripes and frustrations about the elusive new ballpark, thrifty ownership, and misguided mistreatment of fans who still want to see games at the Coliseum. And the pinnacle of glory has remained just out of reach for over 30 years now: many of us (not including me) weren’t even of this world in 1989, when the A’s last won it all!

But we are Athletics Nation. The truest of fans through weather fair and foul. So get to know those newly-worked-over 40-man and active Opening Day rosters, fire up the grill, crack a cold one, and boldly witness the next chapter of Oakland A’s history. Let’s go, Oakland!

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of Twitter:

The players we love.

Congratulations to the selected non-roster invitees!

We got one on this list.

Is that a Gucci cap? Pache not passé.

The road from Stanford goes through Oakland.

Words, marked.

Pagan the journeyman.

Thames off to a ripping good start in LV.

(he struck out)