Recent Comments

Polls

What was your reaction to the selection of Rob Manfred as MLB's next commissioner?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

This past weekend, between my routine of grinding out yet another underwhelming series loss by the Dodgers, I enjoyed the sight of the Oakland Athletics notching both white-knuckle walk-offs and blowout wins at home against the Washington Nationals. As I usually devote space here and on Facebook and whatnot to the Twins and Dodgers first, I should note that the A’s are basically my “number three” team. That said, they have a significance to me not even Minnesota and Los Angeles can claim. Around the time my family moved to Sacramento in 2000, I became a diehard baseball fan, and thus began forming my allegiances. I selected the Twins as my number one (long story), and naturally had the Dodgers handed down by my father.

Given the A’s status as a “local” team, my family decided to follow them as well. Thus, throughout my early years and to this very day, I’ve enjoyed the pleasure of frequently attending games at the Oakland Coliseum. The “Moneyball” teams immortalized by Michael Lewis and Brad Pitt were the ones I got to see the most in person in the early 2000’s, including such highlights as seeing the Twins in postseason action for the first time since 1991, getting Rickey Henderson’s autograph, and even seeing Derek Jeter’s “Flip” play in person.

Anyway, back to the present: For those who haven’t noticed, the Athletics are simply rolling right now. After their miraculous push to the playoffs late in 2012, and a repeat division crown in 2013, they’re running the table in the AL West yet again to start this season. This is impressive not only for their renewed consistency, but also given the fact that every other team in the division not named the Astros made headline deals and upgrades for this year. In addition to Seattle’s monster deal to get Robinson Cano, the Rangers grabbed Shin Soo-Choo and Prince Fielder, while the Angels guaranteed they’ll spent the next few years with the game’s best player in Mike Trout. Yet here are the A’s, owners of one of the best records in the game and sitting comfortably atop the standings. Despite a battery of exciting players like Derek Norris, Sonny Gray, and Coco Crisp, they don’t boast any names nearly as omnipresent as Fielder, Cano, or Trout.

But there’s probably a big reason those names aren’t as familiar as they should be, as well as why you might have missed who’s first in the AL West: Media coverage, primarily that of ESPN. Or rather, ECSPN, the East Coast Sports Network. It seems no matter how much the A’s win, every visit I make to the ESPN front page is dominated more by some trivial headline about the Red Sox or Yankees. Keep in mind, as I write this, neither of those teams is even in first (that would be the Orioles), and while the AL East as a whole is technically in competition, I think running the table in a division that also has the game’s best player and biggest free agent signing merits a great level of respect. Instead, when the Red Sox win a game just to get back to .500, that’s the baseball news ESPN deems fit to go alongside the NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs, and World Cup on the front page. Seriously?

I say all this not as a transient rant, as the east coast bias is one ESPN has (rightly) been accused of for years. It’s all the more reason to hope Oakland gets over their postseason hump this year and fulfills my desire for a Dodgers-A’s World Series, so as to get the recognition they deserve. But for now: ESPN, when you want to stop slobbering over the Red Sox winning a couple of duck fart games before slumping again, or tallying how many sunflower seeds Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann have chewed for the Yankees so far this season, shed some light on Billy Beane’s Moneyballers for a change, will ya?

Be Sociable, Share!

One Response to Hey ESPN, how about some A’s for a change?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Categories

>