If any team should be used to seeing ex-teammates come to town, it should be the Oakland Athletics. But not every “ex” is the same.
With the Athletics’ “Moneyball” philosophy and traditionally cheap payroll, former A’s return to Oakland all the time. But with the Blue Jays in town for a four-game set that begins on Monday night, manager Bob Melvin gets to see one of his favorites from recent years: shortstop Marcus Semien.
Here’s what he said about the bittersweet encounter, per Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Man, that kinda hurts my feelings a little bit. Melvin made it clear he was close with his former standout player.
It’s no surprise, given that both hail from the Bay Area — Melvin from Palo Alto and Semien from Berkeley — and they both played baseball at the University of California. Plus, Semien played a mean shortstop in Oakland.
Perhaps most of all, Melvin watched Semien grow before his eyes from a young and unsure player into an All-Star-caliber infielder. That’s usually when A’s players hit the road and become an “ex.”
But it’s all a business at the end of the day. Melvin is solemn, but you know he wants to win the next four games badly, even it that’s not good for his guy Semien. And you’ve got to figure Semien wants to show well too. It all shapes up for an entertaining series. The A’s will try to win this set after losing two of three to the Orioles at home over the weekend.
(Photo credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)