Leading Off

Should baseball fans give up on A’s, too?

Oakland Athletics pitcher Aaron Brooks (36) is congratulated by teammates after being removed from the baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in the eighth inning Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015, in Oakland.
Oakland Athletics pitcher Aaron Brooks (36) is congratulated by teammates after being removed from the baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in the eighth inning Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015, in Oakland. AP

Reading time, two minutes …

▪ After trading pitchers Scott Kazmir, Tyler Clippard and Ben Zobrist, A’s general manager Billy Beane made it clear he’s looking past 2015 (and maybe 2016 and 2017). We know other teams have dumped high salaries and given up on the season, but it’s a lousy message to send to fans. Beane is asking fans to be patient, to slog through the rest of this lost season and probably one or two more. But it seems they’re not buying in. In their first game since Beane’s deals, the A’s reported attendance Thursday was 13,173, but it seemed far fewer were in the stands. The A’s are 27th in the major leagues in home attendance, averaging slightly more than 22,000. But that number surely will drop over the remaining 28 home games.

▪ Even though they made it to the wild-card game last season, the A’s have been spiraling since Beane traded his only bona fide star, Josh Donaldson, to the Toronto Blue Jays after last season. He was their franchise player, a guy who hit home runs and gave fans a reason to come to the park, and Beane should have convinced ownership to commit to a long-term deal to keep him. Donaldson, an All-Star for the A’s last season and for the Blue Jays this year, is among the American League leaders in games, runs, hits, total bases, doubles, home runs and RBIs and would be the top candidate for MVP if not for the Angels’ Mike Trout. While Beane dumped three of his top players, the Blue Jays swung deals to land David Price and Troy Tulowitzki.

▪ We figure Jason Thompson is all smiles after the Philadelphia 76ers traded him to the Warriors on Friday. Thompson, drafted in the first round by the Kings in 2008 out of Rider, was sent to Philadelphia with Nik Stauskas and Carl Landry less than a month ago. In seven seasons with the Kings, Thompson never won more than 29 games and the team looked for someone to replace him in the starting lineup nearly every season (he started 405 of the 541 games he played). If he sticks to his blue-collar game, he should get plenty of minutes – and his first chance to win an NBA title.

Playbook

  • WHAT TO WATCH: Horse racing, Haskell Invitational, 2 p.m., FS1: American Pharoah is racing for the first time since winning the Triple Crown.
  • TWITTER CHATTER: “Oakland A’s from a year ago until now: Deflategate.” John Shea, @JohnSheaHey
  • ON THIS DATE: On Aug. 2, 1952, five American boxers won Olympic gold medals – flyweight Nate Brooks, light welterweight Charley Adkins, middleweight Floyd Patterson, light heavyweight Norvell Lee and heavyweight Eddie Sanders.
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