Change is constant. Some say change is good. Whatever your opinion may be, for better or worse it remains inevitable.
That doesn’t make it any easier for some to take. Take the natural lament felt by Athletics fans, as heroes of consecutive division titles disembark to a chorus of tears straight out of the 510. To be honest, winning has only made it more difficult. When Oakland was trading the likes of Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, and Andrew Bailey just two short years ago, it came as no surprise. In need of an infusion of talent after another losing season, Billy Beane made a trio of moves with the future in mind. Needless to say that paid off.
That’s why I won’t cry into my pillow when Grant Balfour inevitably departs for Baltimore or Seattle or wherever he may go. Nor will I break something expensive because the A’s would rather trade the arbitration-eligble Jerry Blevins, than give the lovable lefty a raise. Instead my trained impulse is to keep a short memory and trust the process. Believe that Jim Johnson, Luke Gregerson, and possibly Drew Pomeranz (Jeremy Affeldt comp) will assimilate to an overpowering bullpen. Foresee that Scott Kazmir heading into his age-30 season finally realizes his once immense potential in a career comeback for the ages.
Simply put, after two years of regular season excellence the Athletics are evolving into a new age of Oakland baseball. Think of it like a successful television program, meshing new characters in with the old to keep the series fresh and entertaining. While there’s always a risk of such an idea backfiring and 2014 playing out like a season of Saved By the Bell:The College Years, there’s reason to hope for something that closer resembles the continuous excellence of The Wire. So either way, stay tuned.
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