Do not buy the Oakland Athletics 2012 team calendar for anything other than humorous reasons.
As an avid fan, let me explain why.
Recently, I was at a Barnes and Noble doing some last-minute holiday shopping, along with what seemed like everyone else in the Bay Area. The store was packed and the shelves barren. I found myself wandering into the calendar section, the only place that didn't look destroyed by Hurricane Procrastination.
Scanning the available stock, I was sorely disappointed with myself—socks and calendars rival each other as the most thoughtless gift to give someone.
But on Christmas Eve, anything becomes a possibility.
Top shelf, at eye level, a green and gold one caught my attention. It was the A's team calendar for 2012, with four players gracing the cover: starting pitchers Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill, closer Andrew Bailey and catcher Kurt Suzuki.
At the time, half of those players had already been traded away. Before the year even started!
Needless to say, I got a good chuckle. It was an LLOL moment, I literally laughed out loud at the item that stood before me. That was followed by the dejected realization that the club had once again parted ways with more proven players in exchange for unproven prospects. A pattern us fans have sadly grown accustomed to.
The calendar not only represents 2012, but the past decade of frustration as we've watched several quality players develop in an A's uniform only to be traded or allowed to walk away as they enter their prime.
The growing list includes Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada, Tim Hudson, Dan Haren, Carlos Gonzales and plenty more. The trend has continued this offseason with the dealing of the organization's three most recent All-Stars (Gio Gonzales, Bailey and Cahill) and outfielder Josh Willingham, the only power-hitter in an otherwise impotent lineup.
It's a merry-go-round that seems to have no end.
So, once again, purchase the calendar at your own risk. The remaining two on the cover may be traded while you stand in line at the local bookstore.
Then again, you didn't need me to tell you that, as fans have adopted the frugal philosophy of Billy Beane's front office.
Good thing the calendar is probably at a heavily discounted price by now—at least half off.