clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics

Filed under:

Since We Last Met: Oakland (*) Athletics

A matchup of teams whose owners suck and whose fans definitely deserve better ...

Fans of the Oakland Athletics take part in a reverse boycott during the game against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 13, 2023, in Oakland, California
| Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

The Athletics of Oakland (*for now, sadly) venture to the South Side for a four-game set with your Chicago White Sox. The A’s come in with a record of 36-91. Yes, you read that right. 36-91. This Oakland team is terrible. No, calling them bad is generous. But also unkind. Unkind in a way that isn’t the players’ fault that they are nearly 60 games under .500.

This Oakland team was set up to fail. They were designed to lose from the start, and the billionaire bastard owner has succeeded thus far with his shady and untoward plans to strip the roster down to the least expensive bare-bones collector-of-loses possible. All to create or exacerbate fan apathy as ‘justification’ to enact his deleterious preconceived plan to relocate the franchise to create a new playground in Sin City. To coldly and callously steal a team from a die-hard fanbase, heartbreak and anguish be damned. It feels like a movie script that would be rejected for being too on the nose. That, or team owner John Fisher, watched the film Major League and thought himself genius enough to pull off the same heist without anyone connecting the dots between his obvious intentions and the plot of the 1989 comedy hit.

The plight of the A’s in Oakland is well documented. Needless to say, John Fisher is a heartless ghoul, and I can only hope karma and history repay him in full for what he and Rob Manfred are doing and have already done to the city of Oakland and A’s fans.

I’ve never much liked the A’s, in all honesty. I’ve never been fond of the green and yellow color scheme, two of my least favorite colors. The Coliseum has always been a house of horrors for our White Sox. It is also, as baseball stadiums go, an abomination. Moneyball, the film, from what I understand, is a gross departure from both the book and how the A’s of those years actually operated. The La Russa-era steroid-fueled Bash Brothers kept the 1990 White Sox from the postseason. Those 1990 White Sox were the dawn of my fandom, and though memory fades, the 1990 A’s stood between our beloved Sox and their first playoff birth since 1983.

Yes, there are many reasons to hate the Oakland A’s, yet here I am, a baseball fan who has grown agonizingly sympathetic to the plight and perils of A’s fandom despite years of loathing them as a team. Or, more accurately, loathing how they always seemed to kick the Pale Hose’s ass when they played, records and standings aside. But we, as fans and people, can find common ground in the fight against the billionaire owner class and their utter disdain for those whose dollars keep their baseball playthings afloat.

With Fisher and Manfred’s plans to move the A’s seemingly formalized and moving forward, my less-than-kind sentiments for both of their respective well-beings remain unchanged. May they both burn in hell, if there is one, for eternities on end for what they have done to Oakland and Athletics fans or any other fanbase they choose to exploit to add a few extra fractions of percentage points to portfolios of mind-boggling wealth. With the recent rumblings that the White Sox are considering a move from their South Side home of 124 years and similar stories floating around about the Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles, it seems that baseball’s billionaire owner class is out to exploit public sentiment and coerce public officials into footing the bill for new and expensive playgrounds. Again. It seems we tax-paying suckers didn’t learn our lessons last time around, and history really is cyclical.

What Have the A’s Been Up To?

For a team designed to fail, they are a spectacular success. Their league-worst -304 run differential is a mere 127 runs lower than the next-worst team. They are last in runs scored at 453, 55 runs behind second-worst Detroit and Cleveland. Their 757 runs allowed are dead last, as is their team slugging percentage of .367 and their team OPS of .667. Surprisingly, their OPS+ is better than the White Sox, Rockies, Royals, Tigers, Pirates, and Brewers, with Milwaukee being the only remotely good team anywhere in their vicinity. If the A’s maintain their current .283 winning percentage, they would be on pace for 116 losses. Only the 119-loss Detroit Tigers in 2003 have a worse record in the last 50 years. Misery, thy name is the Oakland Athletics.

What Are the Pitching Matchups? How Do We Match Up?

Oakland’s ERA+ of 71 is a full 30 points lower than the league average mark of 101. The White Sox abysmal pitching staff sits at 92. Oakland’s FIP of 5.08 and their HR/9 of 1.4 are both third from the bottom, and their WHIP of 1.54 and BB/9 of 4.3 are both dead last. But before you laugh too hard, Sox fans, the Pale Hose are right there in the bottom five in most of these categories as well. Don’t expect many quality starts from either of these staffs in this series.

The pretend-contending White Sox lost two of three in Oakland to what is shaping up to be a historically bad team, one of the worst teams in the modern era of baseball, so, you know, bravo to the White Sox franchise. We are certainly in for some scintillatingly bad baseball this weekend.

Thursday, 8/24

Ken Waldichuk vs. Jesse Scholtens

Waldkichuck makes his first appearance against the Pale Hose on Thursday.

Friday, 8/25

Zach Neal vs. Dylan Cease

Saturday, 8/26

JP Sears vs. Touki Toussaint

Sunday, 8/27

Paul Blackburn vs. [Redacted]

What’s on Today’s Front Page?

White Sox Minor League Update

White Sox Minor League Update: Redbirds 5, Knights 2

Race to the Bottom

Race to the Bottom 2023: Game 153

White Sox Game Recaps

Washington scored their season high in runs!