Coco Crisp: Still the epitome of loyalty and leadership for A’s fans
It’s going to be hard for Oakland Athletics’ fan to say goodbye to Coco Crisp. His trade to the Cleveland Indians was finalized Wednesday, just in time to make sure that Crisp would be eligible for the Indians’ postseason roster.
Seven years is also half Crisp’s career and until recently he stood apart from other players because he always talked about how he wanted to stay in Oakland. It’s something that you don’t hear a lot of from the players. The stadium is old, the payroll is low and the A’s are either really good or really bad. They’re either a shoe-in for the postseason or last in the American League West.
A fan-favorite, Crisp was also the longest tenured member of the A’s. Crisp played seven seasons with the Athletics, which is considered a VERY long time in Oakland, a place where the filthy-rich ownership refuses to put money into the team’s payroll to keep players long-term. Therefore the majority of players are traded for prospects just prior to becoming free agents.
Still when his contract was up after the 2013 season, Crisp signed a two-year contract extension with the team. The contract included a $13 million vesting option for a third year based on his number of games played in 2015-16. When he signed that extension he had this to say,
“This is the place I wanted to be. This is home for me. So I’m happy with coming back more than just this year.”
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If there ever were criteria for an award that matched up with Marcus Semien it would be the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association’s (MLBPAA) “Heart and Hustle Award.” The award is given to one player on each team that,
“Demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game. One player from each Major League team is chosen by the committees based on their passion, desire and work ethic demonstrated both on and off the field.”
Thankfully the members of the MLBPAA noticed this close comparison and named Semien the winner of the award for the Oakland Athletics. Of course there is a bigger, overall award that is voted on by former MLB players. It is the only award of its kind as only former players may vote for the winner.
The MLB winner will be announced on Nov. 15, 2016 at the 17th annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York. The award is only about a decade old and the past overall winners include David Eckstein (2005), Craig Biggio (2006, 2007), Grady Sizemore (2008), Albert Pujols(2009), Roy Halladay (2010), Torii Hunter (2011), Mike Trout (2012), Dustin Pedroia (2013), Josh Harrison (2014) and Anthony Rizzo (2015).
It would be great to see Semien as the overall winner. As I highlighted above the award is mainly based on “passion, desire and work ethic.” I do not believe there is a better candidate out there than Marcus Semien.
I’ve been wanting to write this piece for forever – I’ve started and I’ve stopped but this picture is an inspiration to finally write the story I need to write.
The “even year” San Francisco Giants are NOT a dynasty and the above picture illustrates that, but I have examples beyond that, that help prove my point.
DEFINITION OF A DYNASTY:
According to the dictionary this is the definition of a dynasty:
- a succession of rulers who are members of the same family
- the period during which a certain family reigns
That can be applied to sports teams …. I define a sports dynasty as follows:
Dynasties are teams that are DOMINANT over a significant period of time.
For further examples and information on sports dynasties and why they qualify as dynasties ….
Now, the fact that I have a second favorite team may surprise many of you. Sometimes when I really think about it – it’s surprising to me as well. That team would be the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Over the years, I’ve had known players traded there, been friends with some and am still friends with others. I’ve watched the team prosper but mostly flounder and this was looking like a year where they could beat the San Francisco Giants and even the Los Angeles Dodgers appear to be beatable in 2016.
The DBacks beat out two of their division rivals to get the great Zack Greinke. They’ve got one of the classiest, not to mention best players in the league in first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. And until yesterday they had an up and coming star center fielder, an All-Star last year, in A.J. Pollock.
Now Pollock is out for an unknown amount of time with a broken elbow that will require surgery. That’s a big loss to the Diamondbacks, but it shouldn’t kill their postseason chances ….