The Unbearable Lightness of Oakland
It has been an encouraging thing, seeing the not always forward-thinking world of baseball involve itself, however cautiously, in the It Gets Better campaign aimed at bringing hope to LGBT teens. The San Francisco Giants were the first to jump in, recording and posting their anti-bullying video, but they've been followed by others --most notably, the Cubs and the Red Sox, with the Mariners following suit. The other day, my colleague Mike Monteiro was directing people to an online petition urging the Phillies to cut their own It Gets Better Video.
I have little hope or expectation that my team, the Oakland Athletics, will participate in the project (though there is a petition calling on them to do so). It's not that the anti-homophobia campaign isn't an important cause or that the Athletics organization and its players are necessarily opposed to the idea. It's just that after watching the way the A's conduct their business on and off the field, I don't imagine they're capable of envisioning a future where anything improves ever.
Instead, look for the A's to participate in the decidedly less important and worthwhile It Pretty Much Stays the Same Until We Are All Gripped By Madness campaign. My understanding is that the video will feature owner Lew Wolff talking about how maybe the A's could jump start things once they get to move to San Jose before his voice trails off and he stares off into the middle distance for 30 uncomfortable seconds. Former A's player Eric Chavez is even expected to return to participate in the video. He'll swing diffidently at a batting practice fastball before turning to the camera, shrugging his shoulders, and saying, "Meh."
While shrugging, Chavez will dislocate his shoulder and wind up on the 60-day disabled list.
[Photo by the author during some desultory regular season game.]