Friday, May 18, 2007

Oakland A's in Talks to Re-sign Rickey

Well, kind of.

Today's San Francisco Chronicle features an article that is built upon an idea that A's fans have kicked around for years: Bring back future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson for one game and let him "retire as an Oakland A".

"The A's would be open to the idea as long as it was workable with the roster situation at that point and if the details were firmly settled with Henderson in advance.

"We're not going to infringe on the integrity of the roster or of the season,'' Beane said."

This would all supposedly go down in September, when Major League rosters can expand from 25 to as high as 40. And, while it's not clearly stated, I'd imagine it would be a game without any playoff implications for either team involved.

I love Rickey. I love my A's. But, this is a colossally bad idea.

Rickey last played for the A's in 1998. He put up a .376 OBP and led the AL in walks (118) and stolen bases (66). All solid numbers when you correctly overlook his low batting average. Still, he was allowed to sign with the Mets a few months after the '98 season ended.

Publicly, the team cited its need to get younger (even though the A's signed IF Tony Phillips, then 39, on the same day Rickey left for the Mets). Privately, there were whispers that GM Billy Beane believed Rickey's "hot dog diva" persona was rubbing off on prized prospect and shortstop-of-the-future Miguel Tejada.

And, watching Tejada loaf up and down the baselines in Baltimore (after doing it for six years in Oakland) while moping over his decision to sign with the Orioles, does make one wonder…

Whatever the truth is, Rickey has been emphatically not welcome around the A's in any capacity since then. And, now, we're expected to believe that both sides can put aside their differences for one hugs-n-kisses night? Rickey's mouth and Beane's cold, mechanical management style are relatively inconsequential when compared to each man's mountainous ego.

Two men like that could never work together, if only for one day.

Besides, I really don't want to wait five more years to make the Cooperstown pilgrimage to see Rickey's induction and, more importantly, hear his speech.

Who's with me?

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