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Oakland Athletics Fans, Don't Like the Bats? Speak Up

Do the A's really have a true leader in the dugout?
Do the A's really have a true leader in the dugout?Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Peter FournierContributor IIJune 1, 2012

After Minnesota Twins outfielder Josh Willingham blasted a three-run walk-off home run to defeat his former team, the Oakland Athletics, 3-2 on Tuesday, A’s fans were seething.

They didn’t need to go on the radio to say it. They didn’t need to go on Facebook or Twitter, because there wasn’t any other way to feel after losing a ballgame Oakland should have won so easily.

It’s easy to say Brian Fuentes was at fault because he is the closer, down to one final out to close out the game but he couldn’t make it stick, but that's too easy. The fact is, this heartbreaking collapse is enough to consider 2012 a lost cause, even if the A’s are just seven games below .500 in late May/early June.

There’s no hope with a team that can’t score, can’t stay healthy and can’t even get fans to sell out the ballpark for a “premium game” WITH postgame fireworks.

In listening to the A’s postgame radio show Tuesday night, hosted by Chris Townsend, he made a great point that there’s zero leadership in the batting order. "Who’s the one player that can call the team out?" Townsend made a point of saying. Who can say, “It’s time to step up?” No one.

He’s right. Who’s the veteran of the team? Kurt Suzuki? He doesn’t present himself as a leading type of personality to begin with. There aren’t any other players to really consider after him in terms of longevity/seniority in the A’s batting order.

Sure, Oakland has been without rookie slugger Yoenis Cespedes and midseason free-agent addition Brandon Inge for a big chunk of May. It really hurt an offense which become centered on 2012 newcomer Josh Reddick, who has been nothing but solid this year. 

Here’s who can tell the bats to step it up: the fans. Why can’t they tell the players to kick it up a notch?

Think about it. There are ways to contact players almost directly these days. Lots of players have Twitter accounts. Fans should and probably already do tweet the bats to let them know they want to see more.

Don’t mutilate a player’s feelings because it’s social media. Just let them know they can do better and fans want to see that.

At the game, however, fans need to pour on the boos, because they aren’t paying to see an A’s shutout every week. They want to see good baseball instead of praying to see the A’s score at least once this week. When fans pay to watch a major-league product, they deserve to see it.

Next time the A’s play at the Coliseum, let the batters know what you think of their performance if they’re still stagnant. As a fan, you deserve to let them know that, even if the players won’t tell each other what they think of one another.

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