The Oakland Athletics had a rough start to the 2015 season. From losing numerous one-run games to an unstable bullpen, the A’s just could not win two games in a row. However, June has been a different story. It is all because the A’s have finally started to play true Green Collar Baseball.
What is Green Collar Baseball? Back in the late 2000s, the Athletics started the Green Collar Baseball campaign. The A’s ad agency back then described Green Collar Baseball as a team that puts in extra effort, creativity, hustle and fun into the way they play the game. Even though the A’s were a young team, a combination of these elements would help the team succeed.
The Athletics are once again utilizing the core aspects of Green Collar Baseball in order to win games. First of all, they are putting in the extra effort each game they play. No matter how far behind they are or how low their overall record drops, they look positively toward the future and play their hardest every game.
Secondly, they are using creative measures to try and better themselves. They brought in infield specialist Ron Washington to help rookie Marcus Semien with his defense. Oakland also added switch-pitcher Pat Venditte to the 40-man roster and brought him up the major leagues. Not many teams would take a chance on a pitcher like Venditte, but the A’s are willing to think outside of the box in order to succeed.
They also have ramped up their hustle on the field. When an Athletics batter steps up to the plate, he is not striving to hit a home run, he is looking to get on base and get in scoring position. Oakland is second in MLB for triples, and they have a stolen bases percentage of 84.31, which is also the second highest in the majors. They are willing to do whatever it takes to get on base and eventually score.
Lastly, they have kept the fun from season to season. They still pie each other in the face after a home win, they have their home run tunnel in the dugout for the player who hits a homer and they still have their rookie reliever wear a silly backpack to and from the bullpen. This year it is a ‘Despicable Me’ minion backpack.
There are still a few kinks that the Athletics have to work out here and there in order to climb out of the hole they dug for themselves during the first two months of the season. However, it is clear that something has changed and the A’s are playing much better. If they continue to implement their Green Collar Baseball ways, their success will continue as well.