My Opening Day Indifference

For the first time in as long as I remember, I’m completely indifferent to baseball’s opening day. I was a loyal opening day attendee. I was one of those guys who said, “it should be a holiday” and I thought MLB was crazy for not starting the season on a Saturday afternoon (to be fair, I still think that but this current MLB leadership is ridiculous for many bigger reasons). But this year, it’s a big ole “meh” from me.

And I can place the blame squarely on John Fisher and Dave Kaval. Sure, there have been seasons where my optimism on game one was diminished but even in the years I knew would be bad, I still went and I looked forward to the games and the ancillary stories that a baseball season unearths. Not this year.

This year I’m completely indifferent. I’m not even angry anymore like I was last season because anger is just misdirected passion and I have no passion for this sport this year. Fisher and Kaval, through months – years – of mistreating their fans and pulling a franchise from its home, have done something worse than make me angry. They’ve made me not care. They’ve taken a piece of me away, a piece I wanted to share with my son. It’s just gone.

Maybe I’ll find it again, who knows. What I do know is that the A’s are playing as I write this and I don’t know what the score is, who the starting pitcher was, or a single position player in the lineup. I’m more closely following a group of fans in the parking lot than a team I’ve loved my entire life. A team that has brought me joy, introduced me to countless friends, and has been a part of innumerous memories doesn’t want me to care about them any more and, frankly, I don’t. This may be the greatest win of all for Fisher and Kaval.

Would my opinion change if the team suddenly decided to stay in Oakland? Maybe a little. But ultimately, I can’t see myself being excited about this team until John Fisher and Dave Kaval are no longer associated with it. My opening day optimism has shifted to abject indifference and the only A’s related hope that remains is the hope that we, the fans, can somehow beat Fisher and force him to sell. It’s the longest of long shots but A’s fans are pretty well versed in betting the longest of long shots and we’ve been rewarded just enough times to keep us at the table.

Fisher and Kaval think this is “just business” but it’s not. This is not a Safeway closing down in my neighborhood. This is bigger than that and the fans will continue to fight until there’s absolutely no tool left in the tool belt and they’ll probably fight a little beyond that just out of spite because John Fisher doesn’t deserve this team and Dave Kaval doesn’t deserve to be in charge of it.

To the fans whose passion for this team hasn’t been completely depleted, I hope you enjoy the season. I truly mean that. I know how great this game is and how wonderful baseball in Oakland can be. I just hope I feel like caring about it again.

I think what makes it worse is that I’ve loved this team for longer than Kaval or Fisher have. Kaval was a Cleveland guy and Fisher was a Giants fan but I’ve been an A’s fan for as long as I can remember and these two jackals can come in from out of town and just take that from me.

And today they announce that they’ll be playing the next 3-4 years in Sacramento. First off, my condolences to Sacramento. You’re not getting what you hoped you were getting. This is not an “MLB” team any more. You’ll be watching a glorified AAA team get spanked day in and day out by actual professional baseball teams.

My condolences to the 29 other teams and their players who now get to endure the blazing Sacramento heat all summer long as they play in facilities far inferior to those which they have become accustomed to, even in Oakland. This is a slap in the face to all the players and if your union doesn’t step in at some point and put an end to this nonsense, your union isn’t really working for you anymore.

My condolences to the five or six A’s fans who still have a passion for this team. As always, Kaval and Fisher have wasted a golden opportunity by making this announcement a week into the season. You want to overpower a successful parking lot protest? How about letting everyone know that it’s Oakland’s last opening day game? Nope. Missed that.

Of course John Fisher says they’ll be honoring their history in Oakland but we all know that’s not true. Where’s the incentive? Everything he does is stupid and rightfully criticized. None of us are following you to Vegas, John, and most of us probably won’t follow you to Sac either so just shut up for the next three years and let us believe that you’ve disappeared into the ether.

Not only am I feeling waves of indifference towards a team that has meant a lot to me my entire life, I’m feeling waves of indifference towards the sport that I’ve loved. The sport that has been a semi-professional focus of my attention for the last decade+. A sport that helped inspire Hero Habit. It’s just disgusting what they are willing to do to their fans.

I wrote a song a few years ago where I stole a line from The Simpsons (Mr. Burns specifically) which said, “I’d give it all up for just a little more.” MLB, John Fisher, and the rest of these clowns are the embodiment of that quote. Except they’re giving it all up for the hope of a little bit more. Not a guarantee.

There’s still a chance that Vegas falls apart. There’s still a chance that if Vegas doesn’t fall apart, it’s a failure; why would this be the first thing John Fisher ever succeeded at? It’s all a gamble and the potential negative outcomes still outnumber the potential positives but Kaval and Fisher still opted to torch the bridge out of town while they were still driving on it.

To John and Dave, you disgust me. You are cancers on the legacy of the A’s as well as the sport of baseball. You are dishonest, bad faith actors who say whatever has to be said to get what you want but do it so poorly that you are constantly settling and compromising. As I said above, you have gone beyond making me angry or sad and have made me lose any feeling at all that I had for this team.

I hope the Las Vegas teachers get a bill on the ballot that takes away all your public funding. I hope that no bank will come near you for a loan. I hope that GAP stock plummets to the point that you couldn’t pull together a fraction of what’s needed to see this project to the end. I hope you’re forced to sell and that you’re never allowed in a major league front office – or stadium – ever again. Then, and only then, will I potentially care about this team or this game again.

You both are the rectal prolapse on the ass of an old junkyard dog and you deserve to be treated in the same regard. Go to hell, both of you.