Yoenis Cespedes…A Fond Farewell

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In between meetings at work last week I checked my phone to see I had 21 new texts (my wife even emailed me), all of which alerted me to the Cespedes/Lester trade and wanted my reaction. As a Bay-area transplant in NYC, my allegiance to the A’s is well-known. I had a million thoughts at once, including the content of the meeting that just finished – how to teach kids to be better active listeners (for those who don’t know, I am a school teacher by day). I was shocked and confused – the A’s are on a great run and Cespedes has been instrumental in their success. Why would they trade him?

In the time before my next meeting, I began to understand what the A’s were trying to do. They obviously wanted to strengthen their pitching if they were going to get through the Tigers and possibly win the World Series. I knew they weren’t going to send any more prospects away or else their farm system would become depleted. So, the only thing left to give up would be a big bat: Cespedes. I understand what Billy Beane was thinking, but I don’t have to like it. Cespedes was a fan favorite and was an integral part of the A’s playoff runs in the past two years. He is also a bonafide star that put the A’s on the map again by winning the Home Run Derby in consecutive years and helped improve (pathetic) home attendance since he joined the team. According to an article on Athletics Nation Cespedes has a 2.3 WAR on the year, and Sam Fuld (who the A’s reacquired from the Twins) also has a 2.3 WAR on the year. Huh? This didn’t make sense – how can Cespedes have similar numbers to that guy  nobody knows?  Then I realize that being a star and a recognizable name skewed Cespedes’ average numbers. However, despite this statistic it still doesn’t measure heart, or the chemistry Cespedes had with the A’s. A team chemistry that shouldn’t have been messed with. Sure, the A’s got Jonny Gomes back (also a fan favorite), and has been a proven leader in the locker room, but can he fill the Cespedes void? Only time will tell. I realize that it’s rare for a player to remain on one team for their career (especially if they’re playing for A’s), but I’m still left with an empty feeling.  Maybe a World Series run will help?

The card I chose to feature today is a 2013 Topps Museum Collection Primary Pieces Quad Relic. It features two legends and two future legends, and it’s hands down my favorite Cespedes card.

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