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Thursday, May 22, 2014
Even the Moneyball A’s had stars in Miguel Tejada, Eric Chavez, and those three starting pitchers, but a decade later, Oakland has turned into an oubliette for baseball celebrity, an egalitarian utopia in which there are neither stars nor scrubs, but only 90-win seasons and division championship banners. While the Phillies, Angels, and perhaps eventually the Yankees wade through the waste and carnage of the failure of brute economic force, Oakland keeps chugging along as the kibbutz, a thriving socialist conclave succeeding on its own terms out of sight.
Oakland has good players, of course, but they’re middle relievers. Or they’re players like Jed Lowrie and Coco Crisp, whose production outstrips their reputation. Or they’re young pitchers like Sonny Gray, and given the rash of severe injuries to young pitchers — not least of all Oakland’s — we know better now than to fall in love with those.
It’s a clever narrative, but I don’t grant Scott’s premise. If the A’s don’t have a star, it’s only because we’ve yet to decide that Josh Donaldson is one.
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