clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Pablo Sandoval, Josh Donaldson, and YOU

New, comments

Okay, maybe not you

Also, we don't own him, and if he wants to leave that's okay
Also, we don't own him, and if he wants to leave that's okay
Elsa/Getty Images

Oh hi, it's me, the link dump guy. Perhaps you are wondering why this isn't a link dump. Well, Grant saw my list of ideas for the site:

grougsideas2

You can't just pass up hot topics like those! So let's get started.

Last week, both Bay Area baseball fanbases lost their third baseman. Pablo Sandoval decided he really liked old brick churches, so he signed with Boston. The A's traded Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays for a package headlined by Brett Lawrie, which is among the sadder phrases in the English language. Neither fanbase, as you might imagine, was happy. The Giants lost a lovable fan favorite postseason hero, while the A's got rid of one of the best players in the league. By fWAR, Josh Donaldson is so valuable that he literally invented baseball, and then invented the Abner Doubleday myth so people wouldn't freak out about time travel. Dude's good, is the point.

Now, this the purpose of this post isn't to laugh at all the poor despondent A's fans. If I wanted to do that, why would I have written that last sentence about how I don't want to do that? I wouldn't. Makes no sense.

But it's worth comparing the way the two franchises treat their players, because the players, after all, are what the game's all about. The Giants keep the team together at all costs, even after their stars have turned to dust that then spreads out across the galaxy to form new stars that also turn to dust that still gives up multiple homers per game to Paul Goldschmidt.  The A's, by contrast, trade all their guys for new guys who they will later be able to trade for more guys. What will Billy Beane do with that last group? No one knows!

We as Giants fans tend to notice that the A's seem to have a constant flood of young, cheap talent, while the Giants overpay former Cy Young winners and broken second basemen. But don't underestimate how much more fun that makes it to be a Giants fan. Because while as an organization it's better to get rid of a guy a year four years too early than a year too late, as a fan, it's way, way better to root for the same guys for years.

Take Matt Cain. The A's famously passed on Cain because a high school pitcher ate Billy Beane's baby, but what if they'd taken him? Would Cain have become a star there, or would he have been traded to Tampa in 2007 for Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellickson, Reid Brignac, and Akinori Iwamura? If you're an A's fan, you have to expect that could happen to every player you love, which is no way to go through life. How much harder is it to root for a team when you don't believe that anyone will stick around even as long as Brandon Crawford? If your team's history included trading Mulder, Hudson, Swisher, Gio Gonzalez, Haren, Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Holliday, Cespedes, Donaldson, and others who I just don't remember off the top of my head, wouldn't it always be in the back of your mind that they won't stay?

Ah, yes, pity. The point of this is to pity A's fans. I'm sure they'll be real excited about that. You're welcome, guys!

Pablo Sandoval is the first really beloved player to leave the Giants since, okay, well, Brian Wilson, though it's questionable how much he counts given his full throttle commitment to being gross. But before him? Barry, probably, after 2007. But for the A's, it happens constantly. If you thought that Pablo leaving was a punch in the stomach, just take a look at A's fans, who look like Jared Leto after Edward Norton decides to destroy something beautiful. I don't want a GM who trades everyone on a roster. I don't want a roster where everyone's for sale. I understand that sometimes that's better long-term, but it wouldn't be as rich an experience, and it's not what I want from baseball.

Also, Wolff and Fisher are hella cheap, and that's bullshit.