Ray Ratto

Trevor Cahill ... the new Dan Haren


Trevor Cahill ... the new Dan Haren

This is so typical of the As these days -- robbing pitcher Trevor Cahill of his chance to be part of the grand opening of Coliseum City in the year 20-A-Million.

Cahill has been traded to Arizona for the usual bag of prospects on coasters, meaning that whatever they get will be shipped out the moment they show the slightest sign of progress or contract enhancement. This news will shock no humans.

Then again, since the As strategy for the foreseeable future is to penalty kill until their magical palace in the sky (well, San Jose) appears, things like the Cahill trade really dont amount to a lot.

It is the fate of all As, and while that seems harsh to people who believe that the As still have a vital role in the American League West beyond bringing the dessert tray when the Welcome Houston Astros social is thrown in November, it happens too often, it happens for the same reason every time, and even general manager Brad Pitt acknowledges this truth.

RELATED: Cahill, Breslow traded to Arizona

Put another way, while Trevor Cahill is no Albert Pujols, or C.J. Wilson, or Joe Nathan for that matter, he is closer to any of those than Colin Cowgill, the outfielderlinchpin in the deal from the Arizona side.

It is part of the new plan, to build a juggernaut for 2015, when the stadium is supposed to be a tangible thing other than merely one more nail in Oakland mayor Jean Quans political bier. If this happens, fine. If it doesnt, fine again. By now, the As dont even pretend than winning now is an idea they feel comfortable embracing.

So Trevor Cahill is now the new Dan Haren, perhaps. Amanda McCarthy, the wife of As pitcher and Cahills former teammate Brandon McCarthy Tweeted, Dbacks are lucky. We love the Cahills so glad we got to know them and took an awesome couples trip to the Bahamas. I am on suicide watch.

She neednt fret so. Her time is coming, and soon. Its the circle of life in Oakland. Home of Coliseum City, Where Unicorns Frolic and Easter Bunnies Make Wicker Baskets For The Holiday Rush.

Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com.

Phrase that Matt Joyce left out of his apology is key to talking the talk

Phrase that Matt Joyce left out of his apology is key to talking the talk

Matt Joyce said the word, he did the apology, he’ll do the time, and then we’ll see if he’ll get the forgiveness he asks.
Joyce’s two-game suspension by Major League Baseball for using a gay slur at a fan during Friday’s Athletics-Angels game in Anaheim is well within industry norms (though it might have been more tactically impressive if the club itself had issued the suspension), and his apology did not deflect blame or contain the always-insincere caveat “if I offended anyone.” He did offend people and he knew it, so he didn’t couch it in the phraseology of “I don’t think what I said was improper, but I’ll do the perp walk just to get this over with.”
He even offered to do work with PFLAG, the support group that supports the LGBTQ community, thereby putting his time (which is more meaningful than money) where his mouth was.
In other words, he seems to have taken his transgression properly to heart, which is all you can really hope for, and now we’ll see if he is granted the absolution he seeks.
You see, we’re a funny old country in that we talk forgiveness all the time but grant it only sparingly, and only after a full mental vetting of important things like “Do we like this guy?” and “Is he playing for my favorite team?” and “Do I feel like letting him up at all?”
In other words, forgiveness is very conditional indeed.
Joyce said what he said, but his apology seemed to be given freely and unreservedly rather than crafted to meet a minimal standard of corporate knee-taking/arse-covering. If he follows through on his offer to do face-to-face work with PFLAG or an associated group and absorbs the lesson of not using other people as a weapon for his own frustration, then he ought to be acknowledged for doing so. That’s what forgiveness is.
But if the principle you adhere to is “once guilty, forever doomed,” then you’ve succeeded at giving in to the mode of the day, which is jumping to a conclusion and never jumping back because it’s just easier and more convenient to do so.
It’s up to him. But it’s also up to you.

Promotion and relegation would be a great idea in all sports


Promotion and relegation would be a great idea in all sports

There is no inherent reason why you should care about Miami FC or Kingston Stockade FC, two lower level professional soccer leagues in the lower right quadrant of the nation.

But when they joined together to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the international governing body for any sport not run by Americans for Americans, to demand that all American teams submit to the concept of promotion and relegation, from MLS to, presumably, your kid’s under-8 team, they became interesting.

And the best part about soccer, except for Neymar being worth twice as much as all other humans in the history of the sport, is promotion and relegation.

In fact, it would be a great idea in all sports – although the idea of the Giants and A’s in the Pacific Coast League might scare the bejeezus out of Larry Baer and John Fisher.

Now we are not optimistic that the CAS will see this Kingston and Miami’s way. Americans like their sports top-heavy, where only a few megaclubs get most of the money and attention while the rest sort of muddle along, safe but unremarkable. And to be frank, promotion and relegation is most a fun media construct for making fun of bad teams – say, like the A’s and Giants.

But we can agree, I think, that having Jed York pay Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch to keep his football team out of the Canadian Football League, or better still, the Mountain West Conference, would add to healthy dose of spice to what promises otherwise to be a pretty humdrum year.

And promotion/relegation would certainly reduce all that troublesome tanking in the NBA people endlessly whinge about.

So here’s to Kingston Stockade and Miami FC. Your cause is just. Persevere. After all, in this rancid period for American sporting culture, someone's got to stand for the quixotic yet indisputably correct thing.

And when it fails, and it probably will, just know you sleep with the angels -- if that’s what passes for fun at your house.