Oct 5, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics second baseman Eric Sogard (28) during batting practice before game two of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Four-Eyed Face of the Athletics?

Derek Jeter, Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Mike Trout, Buster Posey (I know, barf)… Eric Sogard?  Lets play a game of which player doesn’t match the others, shall we?  The first five players have been, or are presumed to be nominated by fans of their respective teams for MLB.com’s “Face of the Franchise” competition, which will ultimately name the face of MLB as a whole.  Eric Sogard has inexplicably been named the face of the Oakland Athletics.

Sogard has made quite a name for himself by virtue of his bad eyesight.  His glasses spawned the “Nerd Power” movement, egged on by the fans in the right field bleachers, and made him something of a cult hero in Oakland.  I have advocated that Sogard is nothing more than a useful utility man off the bench, but I’m apparently in the minority with that opinion.  Sogard was given a chance to play every day against right handed pitchers, and didn’t embarrass himself, posting a .266/.322/.364 line with 24 doubles in 410 plate appearances.  But he also didn’t take the second base position by storm, he essentially did just enough to stick around.

I’m not writing simply to rip into Eric Sogard, because I do believe he has a degree of use to the Athletics, but “Face of the Franchise”?  I think not.

Upon hearing about this competition, I figured Yoenis Cespedes, or Coco Crisp, or Josh Donaldson would represent the A’s.  Or perhaps even Jarrod Parker, or Sonny Gray could be considered.  Not Eric Sogard.

The nomination of Sogard for this competition is not representative of a team that has won back to back division titles.  The nomination of someone like Sogard is the type of thing the Houston Astros would do.  A team that is in a deep rebuilding phase, a team where the fans are scraping the bottom of the barrel for anything to get excited about, a team the Oakland Athletics are not.  Frankly, calling Sogard the “Face of the Franchise” is embarrassing, because a team with legitimate championship aspirations deserves so much better.

It’s not bad enough that the A’s have become a punchline around baseball for the oft sewage-soaked stadium they call home, or the poor attendance, or the fact that they can’t for the love of Rickey Henderson get out of the ALDS; they have to nominated a part-time player as the man to represent the entire organization.  I may be wrong, but I don’t expect to see 50-foot banners hanging off the side of the O.co Coliseum with a picture of Eric Sogard slapping a single the other way on it in 2014.  If I do see that, you’ll be able to read my mea culpa right here come April.

Bottom line, if the A’s, and their fans want to be treated like a championship caliber team, they need to start acting like one.  People might think it’s cute, and funny to nominate Eric Sogard for this competition, and rest assured people are laughing.  But, they aren’t laughing with us, they are simply laughing at us.

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Tags: Eric Sogard Oakland Athletics

  • whyme4

    Hey Sean, quit your bitching. They could have nominated Reddick, then you’d really be P**sed Off.

    • SeanD25

      Trust me even Reddick would’ve been better. At least he’s accomplished something and is recognizable outside the market.

  • Geo Hansen

    Yo Sean, if you were a true A’s fan you would realize that the beauty of our team is that we do what we want, how we want and we don’t concern ourselves with the opinions of the other teams let alone their fan base. Been an A’s fan all my life and I support Sogie. #NERDPOWER

    • SeanD25

      True fans look out for the team as a whole, not their little fascinations with role players. I’ve been a fan my whole life too. I’m 100% results oriented, if Sogard tears it up I will support him. You can be content with being different, and never reaching the pinnacle of the sport. I’m not satisfied, but this vote signifies most fans are satisfied with being an also-ran.

      • Geo Hansen

        Your funny, Sogard had nothing to do with the bullpen choking. You can’t say that we lost the ALDS because of Eric Sogard, and making Yoenis Cespedes the “face of the franchise” isn’t gonna make everyone else figure out how to hit.

        • Geo Hansen

          There’s a saying among A’s fans Sean. “In Billy we Trust”

          • SeanD25

            I doubt Billy Beane voted in this silly contest

        • SeanD25


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  • afannaz

    so sean, maybe you’d rather appreciate bob melvin for the outstanding face of the oakland A’s? yeah, he’d be a real descriptive example of an A’s representative player. the A’s have fun, they have distinct personality(s). the face of the team is representative of who the A’s are. sogard may not be exactly right for everyone, but fans love him. as an A’s fan, i also love the way coco crisp represents “our” team with the public, in general.