Moneyball? Cost-Cutting Athletics Revert Back to Train Travel
OAKLAND (Sportsman’s Daily Wire Service) Baseball historians tend to romanticize the era of train travel in baseball – teams journeying from town to town with barnstorming stops in Toledo, Scranton, and Providence. But that era came to an abrupt halt in the late 1950’s when the pilgrimage of teams to the west coast necessitated the use of airplanes. Even short trips from Philadelphia to New York were taken via the friendly skies. The marriage of trains and baseball was over, right? Guess again. Mr. Moneyball himself, Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane announced the team would implement a drastic cost-cutting measure by reintroducing the use of train travel.
“Others teams will follow our lead when they see how this could work,” Beane said. “Sure, I can see the guys being a bit fatigued after losing a fifteen inning rain delayed night game in Anaheim, then having to try and catch some shut eye on a noisy rail car at four in the morning to make a 1PM business person’s special in Kansas City the next day, but they’ll adjust.”
A’s veteran hurler Grant Balfour was crushed. “Trains? I mean, trains? Are you kidding me? This isn’t in our contract.”
Balfour is right, it isn’t in his contract. In fact, it hasn’t been in any player’s contract since 1958. And the baseball player’s union has no case because they never considered the issue would ever be brought up again.
“We’re fucked,” said A’s catcher John Jaso. “We’ll lose every road game we play. With that clang-it-ee, clang-it-ee, clang bang of the trains on the tracks keeping us up all hours of the night, and trying to walk sideways down those narrow aisles because some fat guy from Modesto is chasing his five year old around – then of course there’s the obligatory knife fight on top of the dinner car, and a dead dame with a bullet in the back of her head and eyes open as we emerge from a pitch black tunnel. I don’t need this.”
The A’s realize it could be a down year as the players transition to the inconvenience. “It’s good for them,” said Beane. “It’ll put things in perspective. Now they’ll know how the Babe, Mel Ott, and Three Fingers Brown felt when they played double headers during the day, hit the ground running at night, and got on the train just in time to pull out of Union Station because they had to get a shot for syphilis from the team doctor. Now that’s baseball!”
Tags: Oakland A's