For this weekend’s series preview versus the A’s, I spoke with Jason Burke of the Locked on A’s podcast.
After losing some big name players in the off-season, what were the expectations coming into the season and have those changed after the 8-6 start?
The expectations aren’t terribly high for this team in 2022. Honestly, if they avoid losing 100 I’m happy. The year is going to be about finding a group of guys to be part of the next run, and the early returns are showing they may be in decent shape.
The 8-6 start is a small sample, but these guys are playing all 27 outs and putting their all into each game and it’s really fun to watch even with lowered expectations. Because there isn’t a lot at stake this year, I’m having a good time just enjoying a bunch of guys trying to make it and carve out a role for themselves in the future.
Recently, the crowd size of less than 4,000, made headlines, do you think this will effect the outcome of the A’s getting a new stadium?
The crowd drew a bunch of headlines because “lol A’s” but there is a lot that goes into that number too. Obviously, they traded a bunch of beloved players and that doesn’t sit well with a large swath of fans because we’ve been down this road numerous times in the last 20 years.
At the same time, ownership is flirting publicly with Las Vegas and essentially telling fans not to come to the ballpark by saying it’s not a great place to be and then hiking up prices to get in to watch a team they gutted in a place that apparently isn’t worth visiting. The attendance numbers don’t usually provide all of that context, but there’s a lot more at play than the city just turning their backs on the team.
Which oakland player should be on everyone’s radar this series/throughout the season?
The guy that you should keep an eye on is Cristian Pache, from the Matt Olson trade with the Braves. Every day he does something on the field either offensively or defensively to help put the club in position to win. He plays with passion and Oakland fans eat that up!
If you’re looking for a more familiar name, Sean Murphy is hitting the snot out of the ball this season. The results haven’t always been there, but he’s showing the signs of a real breakout (which will probably get him traded sooner).