Welcome back to Fanbase Friday. This week we have the pleasure of speaking to Jeremy @jfkooAN about the twitter community belonging to one of the most passionate fanbases in the league. Let’s hop to it!
TD: How long have you been active in A’s Twitter?
Jeremy: I jumped into A’s twitter when I first started writing for Athletics Nation at the start of the 2014 season as something to do to take my mind off/procrastinate from studying for the bar exam. I stepped away from regularly writing at the site back in 2017, but I’m still active on A’s Twitter.
TD: What’s that community like?
Jeremy: It’s an eclectic mix of folks. You’ve got your lawyers like me and Jason Wojciehowski (@wearyhobo) who kind of chime in on the A’s when the mood strikes, folks whose entire fandom appears to be trading awful awful puns with each other, folks who are serious (and some way too serious) about discussing the next new A’s ballpark, and of course the right field bleacher crew–the ones banging the drums on the broadcast–which is its own sub-culture that I couldn’t begin to describe.
TD: What are some of the best memes and running jokes in the community?
Jeremy: For some reason, Astros fans above all others complain about the right field bleacher crew playing drums during games at the Coliseum. I don’t know if it’s just their particular sound mix, but A’s fans are united in making sure Astros fans can hear the drums every time. Personally, I get it a little bit, even I get a headache from the drums the few times I’ve sat in the right field bleachers.
A’s Twitter really rises up, though, when the A’s are playing the Giants. The only thing both sides agree on are that split A’s/Giants caps are an abomination that must be struck from the face of the earth. Many A’s fans enjoy feeling the superiority of the belief that a lot of Giants fans at Oracle/AT&T/SBC/AT&T Park are just there to show they can afford to go to a Giants game, while A’s fans don’t have much besides the baseball game at the Coliseum to keep them entertained.
There are quite a few creative giffers and memers out there, and every long once in awhile I’ll add my own little contribution. Every Oakland fan either remembers the 20-game win streak banner dropping or seeing it replayed in one of the dozen times they’ve re-watched Moneyball. Well, Oakland’s recent nine-game winning streak got everyone on a kick of multiplying everything by 2.7 to account for the shortened schedule. Thus, when it got to eight, which was 21.6 in beforetimes games, I edited the banner drop: https://twitter.com/jfkooAN/status/1292228063246184453
TD: What’s the overall feeling towards Billy Beane in A’s Twitter?
Jeremy: You have to back up to I think the most common A’s fan complaint, the club doesn’t spend money and always trades away the stars they develop instead of sign them to long-term extensions. When it comes to Billy Beane, there are two camps that address this. The “In Billy We Trust” camp sees him as working within ownership’s budget and he has little ability to make long-term increases, though he can probably convince owners to make a one-year expense if it means a postseason appearance. Despite one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, he has made the A’s a postseason club in 10 of his 22 seasons in charge, nearly every other year. The playoffs are a crapshoot, and Beane’s A’s have just been unlucky to only win one postseason series in those 10 seasons.
Others see Billy Beane as someone who has been in charge since the end of 1997 with only one sweep out of the American League Championship Series to show for it. He can build a lot of playoff teams but always trades away or fails to re-sign the players needed for the team to go all the way. That much futility over this length of time means maybe someone else should be in charge of baseball operations.
TD: What’s your opinion of the team’s official twitter account?
Jeremy: @Athletics does a great job and has been known to drop a banger or two. After Oakland’s second consecutive multi-run ninth-inning comeback against the Giants last night, they got into the good meme game: https://twitter.com/Athletics/status/1294831309001392128
They’re good about uploading highlights quickly and they’ll interact with good fans from time to time (or even push back against the bad ones), but they mostly play it safe on Twitter with uploading highlights and video quickly. They have a little more fun on instagram, I’ve found, with more before and after game content with players mic’d up.
TD: Which AL West Fanbase is the worst to interact with? The best?
Jeremy: Every fanbase has their individual bests and worsts, but I tend to stear clear of Angels twitter and love fatalistic Mariners twitter.
TD: Who’s a non-star player on the team that’s universally loved?
Jeremy: He’s gotten a little more famous since getting baited by Astros coach Alex Cintron into charging the Astros dugout, but I’d say Ramón Laureano. He makes insane catches and uncorks absurd outfield throws (giving him the nickname “The Lazer”) all while making clutch hits. Everything he does is maximum effort. He also has a great butt.
TD: Which current player is the most despised by the fanbase?
Jeremy: There’s little not to like about the A’s. If it’s anybody, I’d say Khris Davis has been having the most disappointing past two seasons, and as is always the case somehow the player gets blamed for accepting the contract extension offered to him.
TD: Let’s say you’re running for President, for some reason. Pick one A’s player to be your running mate, and why?
Jeremy: Chad Pinder. Versatile, you can plug him into any situation or any position and he’ll perform fabulously. Great person to have ready to jump into the big chair in case something terrible happens.
TD: Give us five must-follow accounts in A’s Twitter (besides yourself).
Jeremy: Jason Wojecihowski (@wearyhobo), formerly of Baseball Prospectus and fellow lawyer
Susan Slusser (@susanslusser), A’s beat writer for the San Francisco Chronicle and former BBWAA President.
Rhameses Moncada (@newballpark), who has been following Oakland’s quest for a new ballpark since time immemorial and provides useful analysis of the relevant political players.
Ken Arneson (@kenarneson) (also of http://ken.arneson.name and http://catfishstew.baseballtoaster.com), a long-time A’s fan in Alameda who offers deep perspectives on the A’s events of the day.
Michelle Milliken (@MichelleyM), even in rougher times for the A’s, Michelle knows just the right thing to say or the worst pun to bring a smile or angry emojis to your face, respectively.
Honorable mention to @tangogolfkilo of Phillies Twitter, who has adopted the A’s as his American League team that does not make him want to walk into the Delaware River.