"Oakland A's Mailbag" - Fans Lament Josh Donaldson's Departure

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By @Section925

Last week, Josh Donaldson became the latest casualty on the long list of star ballplayers that the Oakland A's organization has decided to cut ties with. And this one, like so many others before, hurts. The hurt goes far beyond just that fact the Lew Wolff and Billy Beane are doing away with an exceptionally productive player (An All-Star last year, as well as top-8 finishes in the MVP voting the last two seasons.)

It has more to do with Donaldson's gritty/dirtbag persona spurred on by a faux-hawk under his flat billed A's lid and multiple head-long dives into the third base tarp. The soon to be 29-year-old from Pensacola, Florida by way of Auburn has now been shipped north of the border to play for the Blue Jays. Left in his wake is an increasingly beleaguered group of die-hard A's fans, forced to put yet another star A's player jersey at the bottom of their dresser drawer. Read their thoughts below:

@Section925:"Donaldson gone. That hurts."

J House:"Yeah, thought he'd be around for the long haul. Expect a couple more big trades through the weekend. Billy rapid fires when he's in one of those moods."

Casey Smith:"#countrybreakfast2015"

Craig Branstad: "Don't like it."

G. Wheeler:"RIP Josh Donaldson."

Raider Hoang: "Do you know any of the people we got?"

Wheeler: "No dude, no. It's just the same old song and dance. How can we be respectable without spending any money? Trade literally any player with value for minor league pitchers with upside."


Reno Wright:"Josh Reddick says it's clear to him and other Athletics players that the team is now in rebuilding mode."

Chiang of Fools:"[Andrew Blair Shredding]"

Chris Cosden:"Yeah it stings."

Ali S.:"F@#$ the A's."

Bobby Glasser:"Beane just reasserting that he cannot handle any player with an ego...."

The Big Three









The list goes on...

Smith:"(putting on tinfoil hat) - it's hard not to think the JD's rant against the front office last year didn't have something to do with this…"

Tripper Ortman III:"I have given this some thought over the past couple days, and while I think there may be some merit, especially because the one person Beane has ever truly loved was Eric Chavez, who was as milktoast as they come (I also note that Rickey was before Beane’s time and he has now been brought back into the fold -- and remember, always take Rickey in small doses -- and Balfour, we don’t pay free agent closers generally).  That said, I think that Beane looks strictly at value, not just (or even primarily) at value to the A’s, but value on the trade market.  What can he get for this guy?  That is what he is looking at.  Like a good chess player, I think Beane is looking several moves ahead when he makes one move.  As disappointed as I am that the Cespedes deal didn’t bring a ring and that JD is gone, I remain hopeful that Beane will keep making moves to keep the A’s competitive in a tough division that got tougher with Nelson Cruz going to Seattle today…"

Glasser:"Tripper, the Kool-Aid is kicking in....  Beane's moves are supposed to make sense, and that is the problem.

Granted, we are not GM's, we are not Billy Beane's...  we are A's fans.  With that badge we so proudly wear comes the love of the extraordinary, the unique, the low attendance, the blah blah blah antiquated stadium we call comfortable, the personalities, the white shoes, damnit, yes white shoes.

No other team has white shoes.  We need to field a team befitting of those things we adore.  Numbers, dollars, WAR ratings, OBA, whatever; those things are not what drives Oakland A's fans....  What Beane/Wolff forget is the human factor...  This is tough to admit, but I'd much more prefer a World Series-less team with the likes of JD, Cespy, Coco, Reddick, Sogard (yes), than a team built on stats, trade-value, scouting report, etc.

Speaking of Chavez....  Check out his stats compared to games played/salary.  Over the course of numerous, injury-plagued seasons, Chavez got paid over $40 million, while playing roughly ONE season's worth of games.  Beane should be on the records for the biggest salary bust in all of pro sports.

History is made up by the players that played the game....  Something is wrong when a GM becomes bigger than the game.  And for that, he must fall."

@Section925: "As Jim Rome would say, 'Rack him.'

...Thank God we're not Giants fans."

Tripper:"Amen to that. And I didn't say I liked it, just that I think that is the way he looks at it.  And I don't blame him, I blame Lew and his ownership group.  They don't want us and we don't want them.  Sell the team."

(photo by Jason O. Watson). Follow @Section925 on Instagram for more photos like these...

The A's Josh Donaldson Chats With Jim Rome, Does Not Disappoint

(Photo by Bob Levey, Getty)

When you’re hitting .296 for the second best team in the American League, while also turning in web-gems on a nightly basis, the national media is inevitably going to end up calling your cell phone, in search of the secret sauce. That’s just what happened this morning when the infamous Jim Rome gave A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson a ring.

To be sure, JD gave the people what they want. Donaldson had no qualms about discussing the A’s love for flying remote control airplanes, lessons from Bull Durham, his take on walk-off etiquette and Yasiel Puig, his long lost buddy Jonny Gomes, and what’s behind his faux-hawk/rat tail hairstyle.

It’s not often Rome throws an A’s player a vine and invites him into the Jungle. Fortunately, the A’s once again have “Jungle Karma” on their side as they forge on in 2013, defending their AL West crown.

Read the transcript of JD’s interview with Rome below...

Jim Rome: “Here we are Josh. End of July. You got a five game lead over the Rangers and the Angels are way, way back. How do you explain the success that this team is having once again?”

Josh Donaldson: “Well I think what you have here is a bunch of guys that play together as a team really well. I think the X-factor is you have guys that are winners, you know. We don't have the big name guys or anything like that, but we have a bunch of guys working together, really just trying to pull their own.”

Rome: “Hey Josh, what about the chemistry? You got guys working together, but you got guys that are just different guys and guys that are allowed to be themselves. Guys that fly remote control planes on the field, guys playing hockey in the hallway, and a manager in Bob Melvin who gives you the freedom to be who you wanna be. How big a part is that in your success?”

JD: “Yeah, I mean, I think that just comes with it. You know, just making that environment where it’s cool to have fun and stuff during the game. But if you're not winning, that kinda stuff doesn't seem as cool or fun. Kinda like that Bull Durham quote where Crash Davis is talking about Nuke LaLoosh's shower shoes. He's wearing ‘em and has fungus on ‘em. Until you actually win 20 games in The League, they’re not gonna think this is cool. But once you win 20 games in The League they're gonna say ‘wow, he's so different, and that’s what makes him have success.’ So I think winning is the ultimate thing. And just having fun while we are doing it. Obviously that’s going to be a big part of it.”

Rome: “You certainly have your own kind of personality and confidence. When you first got to the A's, were you free to express that? Or did you keep it under wraps?”

JD: “I definitely kept it under wraps. In 2010 when I first got here I was a catcher behind Kurt Suzuki. He had strained his oblique and he was gonna be back in 4 weeks so I didn't want to step on anyones toes... That’s probably not the best way to look at it. You look at the Puig situation this year. He was probably not gonna be a mainstay right off the bat, they have a lot of talent in the outfield, but he went for it and really busted out in a big way. For myself I wish I would've thought about it a little more that way.”

Rome: “You mention Puig, let me get your thoughts. You're not there, but you gotta have a thought on this. When a guy hits a walk off shot, flips his bat and slides into home plate. Ordinarily the old school would say, ‘man that's so out of line, you can't show people up like that.’ Is the code changing or is that kinda thing way out of line?”

JD: “No, I think pretty much on a walk-off homer just about anything goes now. Unless like you directly say something to the pitcher or an opposing player. I've had conversations with pitchers about how they feel about walkoffs. I've hit walk off homers myself and sometimes its borderline whether the guy would take it the wrong way. You play with that fine line a lot. To me it just shows you he's really a young kid. It’s still a kids’ game, Jim. You want to go out and have fun. I think his game will change over the course of time.”

Rome: “Hey Josh, This is a big Jonny Gomes house. And I mention him because he was your teammate in Oakland last year and he took you under his wing. Talk to me about him, what was your experience being with Jonny Gomes?”

JD:  “Being around him, seeing how he prepares for the game everyday. You know his mentality. It’s just so, he's got the in-your-face personality that a guy like me really appreciates. Just the way he approaches the game of baseball. It doesn't matter if it’s a ball back to the pitcher or a ball in the hole, you know he's going to get after it down the line. He would run through the wall if you you asked him to… if it would help win us a game. I really have just tried to take that mindset into this year for myself and just kinda learn from that.

Another thing he told me not to do was bunt. I used to try to bunt a little bit. But he told me last year that if I dropped another bunt down he was going to fight me. I remember doing it one time and he said 'all right, thats your last warning' and I said 'ok i'll stop'.

Rome: “That's incredible. Has Mike Gallego ever given you the bunt sign?”

JD: “You know I've only bunted on my own. I can't recall ever being given the bunt sign.”

Rome: “When you were in high school you used to tell your teachers, 'save my signature, because it's going to be worth something someday.' It’s cool and it’s a confident thing to say, but did you really mean it and did you know you'd end up where you are?”

JD: “Actually it was more so when I was in elementary school. I was in the 5th grade, getting toward the end of the year and I remember saying, 'hey, you know, you might wanna keep this'. But i thought it was gonna be more for football. I was really big into football growing up. I'm from the South and football is king in the South. I felt like I was gonna be a professional at something, and it turns out I'm a major league baseball player.

Rome: “You are. Last thought, the Donaldson Haircut has become a popular look among A's fans. Break it down for me. What are the key parts of ‘The Donaldson’?”

JD: “Well you know, you gotta go with the faux-hawk. A lot of people think its a mohawk, but I don't see it as a mohawk. I see it more as a faux-hawk. Really the major thing you have to have to pull it off is you have to have a rat tail. You know, I like to keep mine curly, and I like to play with it. So I think thats really the big key. And you have to go pretty low on the sides. At least a 1, if not a 0.”

Rome: “Alright, so what about the tail itself? Do you braid the tail? What do you do with the tail?”

JD: “You know, I’ve got to get it long enough so I can braid it. I like to just put my finger in it and twist it. You know how people grab their chin if they have facial hair if they're thinking? That's my thinking cap, you know, the rat tail.

Rome: “Wow. Oakland is killing it. First in the AL West and now you know. Josh, great to have you on. That was fun. Good deal.”

(Photo by Ezra Shaw, Getty)