A's history defines bi-partisanship

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A's history defines bi-partisanship

On November 6th, voters will select the 45th President of the United States or send the 44th ahead to his second term. Democratic and Republican pundits admit the race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will go down to the wire. Anyone who loves baseball was energized by the Oakland As late run to the American League West Championship. On June 30th, the As were five games under .500 and 13 games behind the Texas Rangers (formerly owned by President Bush 43.) On Sept. 24, with only nine games left in the season, the As were still five games behind the Rangers. An 8-1 tear to finish the schedule including a three-game sweep of the Rangers and a MLB leading 15 walk-off victories energized baseball with the Cinderella baseball story of the year.So what does an underfunded baseball team in a gritty city with a unique East Bay vibe have to do with the political future of the United States?
Well, Its all about a donkey and an elephant with the ability to define bi-partisanship. A historical tandem of logos that wins on the baseball field and should be translatable to the dysfunctional halls of Congress.The democratic donkey was first associated with Andrew Jacksons 1828 presidential campaign. His political opponents took to calling him a jackass. Jackson decided to use the image of the stubborn animal on his campaign posters. Thomas Nast, the famous political cartoonist, used the democratic donkey in his newspaper cartoons and the four legged logo was adopted on a national basis to represent the Democratic Party. Ironically, Nast also created the Republican elephant in a cartoon that appeared in Harpers Weekly. Nast drew a donkey clothed in a lions pelt frightening all the animals at the zoo. One of those animals, the elephant, was labeled The Republican Vote. Thats all it took for the Pachyderm to become associated with the Republican party.Charlie-O the Mule was the mascot of the Kansas City Athletics and Oakland As from 1963 to 1976. The donkey was named after equally cantankerous team owner Charles O. Finley.Finley moved from Philadelphia to Kansas City in 1963. He changed the long standing As elephant in favor of a Missouri mule (it was also rumored to have been done by Finley in order to attract fans from the heavily Democratic state). Finley embraced the concept of the mule and changed the A's colors from red, white and blue to green, gold, and white. The first of many kaleidoscopic uniform color changes from Finley.When the Athletics left Kansas City after the 1967 season, there was debate about whether Charlie-O, the mule, not the owner, should stay; but stubborn-as-a-mule Finley loaded him up for the trip to Oakland in 1968. After New York Giants manager John McGraw told reporters that Philadelphia Athletics owner Benjamin Shibe had a "white elephant on his hands," Legendary As manager Connie Mack adopted the white elephant as the team mascot, and presented McGraw with a stuffed toy elephant at the start of the 1905 World Series.
By 1909, the A's were wearing an elephant logo on their sweaters, and in 1918 it turned up on the regular As uniform jersey for the first time. In 1988, the elephant was restored as the symbol of the Athletics and currently adorns the left sleeve of home and road uniforms. The As appeared in three straight World Series after the change and swept the San Francisco Giants in 1989. Over the years the elephant has appeared in several different colors. It is currently forest green. The color of money which helps drive the game.Democrats believe the Donkey is smart and brave, while the G.O.Ps Elephant stands for strength and dignity. We shall see whos ruling the zoo on Tuesday Nov. 6th. The As shocked the baseball pundits by winning the American League West and they did it by channeling all the best qualities of the mule and elephant.
We have seen and heard the deep-seated differences between the political parties and their Presidential Candidates. The As have a platform that cuts across the toxicity of the current political morass.Economic Policy- Do more with less. Winning with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.

Defense- Pies to the face after walk-off wins. Much less expensive than drones.
Foreign Policy-Cuban immigrants make great five tool players. Yoenis Cespedes.
Cultural- Forget dancing Korean Gangnam style; doing The Bernie guarantees come from behind victories.Looking for a write-in candidate? Try the Oakland As!

Royals ace Yordano Ventura dies in car crash at 25 years old

Royals ace Yordano Ventura dies in car crash at 25 years old

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, whose electric arm and confident demeanor helped lead his long-suffering team to the 2015 World Series title, died in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic early Sunday. He was 25.

With the fitting nickname of "Ace," Ventura burst onto the baseball scene with a 100 mph fastball and an explosive attitude to match. He was a fierce competitor always willing to challenge hitters inside, then deal with the ramifications when they decided to charge the mound.

Not surprisingly, he quickly became a fan favorite as Kansas City embraced baseball once again.

"Our prayers right now are with Yordano's family as we mourn this young man's passing," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a statement. "He was so young and so talented, full of youthful exuberance and always brought a smile to everyone he interacted with. We will get through this as an organization, but right now is a time to mourn and celebrate the life of Yordano."

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo said Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles northwest of Santo Domingo. Mateo did not say whether Ventura was driving.

Also Sunday, former major league infielder Andy Marte died in a separate car accident in the Dominican Republic. Metropolitan traffic authorities said he died about 95 miles north of the capital.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Andy Marte and Yordano Ventura," players union executive Tony Clark said. "It's never easy to lose a member of our fraternity, and there are no words to describe the feeling of losing two young men in the prime of their lives. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families, friends, teammates and fans throughout the United States and Latin America."

Ventura is the second young pitching star to die in past four months. Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was among three men killed in a boating accident in late September, when the 24-year-old pitcher's boat crashed into a jetty off Miami Beach in the early morning hours.

Ventura went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 2014, his first full season in the big leagues, and helped the long-downtrodden Royals reach the World Series for the first time since 1985. He proceeded to dominate San Francisco in both of his starts, though the Royals would ultimately lose in seven games.

In an eerie coincidence, Ventura paid tribute to his friend and countryman, Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras, with a handwritten message on his cap during Game 6. Taveras also was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic, and his funeral occurred just hours before Ventura stepped on the mound.

The following year, now firmly entrenched in the rotation, Ventura helped lead Kansas City back to the World Series, pitching well in two starts against Toronto in the AL championship Series. The Royals went on to beat the New York Mets in five games to win their second championship.

Not surprisingly, the Royals moved quickly to sign their burgeoning young ace to a five-year contract through the 2019 season that included two more options that could have kept him in Kansas City.

He wound up pitching his entire career for the Royals, going 38-31 with a 3.89 ERA.

Born June 3, 1991, in Samana, Dominican Republic, Ventura represented a true rags-to-riches story. He quit school at 14 and was laboring on a construction crew to support his family when Ventura heard about a tryout, which led to a spot in the Royals' academy located on his picturesque island home.

Still, the odds were long that Ventura would ever make it to the big leagues. Very few players from the Dominican academies reached the pinnacle of the sport.

But over time, Ventura was able to harness one of the most electric fastballs that scouts had seen in years, and his headstrong and confident nature was essential in his rapid rise. He made his big league debut to great fanfare in 2013, allowing just one run again Cleveland in a sign of things to come.

He eventually became a cornerstone of a youth movement that included young stars such as first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas, one that carried the Royals first to respectability, then to the top of the American League — rare heights the organization had not experienced in decades.

Hosmer took to Twitter upon hearing the news of Ventura's death, saying: "I love you my brother. I'm in disbelief and don't know what to say. I love you ACE."

Moustakas also expressed disbelief, tweeting: "I love you Ace. I don't know what to say other than I'm going to miss you a lot. RIP ACE."

Reports: Ex-A's catcher Suzuki agrees to deal with NL East team

Reports: Ex-A's catcher Suzuki agrees to deal with NL East team

Kurt Suzuki is headed back to the National League.

After three seasons in the American League with the Twins, the former A's backstop has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Braves.

News of the agreement was first reported by SB Nation.

Suzuki will reportedly make $1.5 million, according to Fox Sports. He has a chance to make an addition $2.5 million in incentives.

The 33-year-old Suzuki was drafted by the A's in the second round of 2004 MLB Draft. He made his debut with Oakland in 2007 and was the starting catcher until a 2012 trade to Washington. A year later, the Nationals traded Suzuki back to the A's for the final five weeks of the season.

Prior to the 2014 season, Suzuki signed with Twins. In three seasons with Minnesota, Suzuki hit .263/.316/.364 with 75 doubles, 16 home runs and 160 RBI.

Suzuki will likely serve as a back-up to catcher Tyler Flowers.