Oakland A's GM Billy Beane
(left) and manager Bob Geren
(right) answered questions from fans about the team's off-season trades. Beane said that his favorite day as the GM of the Oakland A's was the day that the team clinched the AL West in 2000 (their first division title in eight seasons) not only because the team had earned a playoff spot, but also because he knew that the talent of the team was only going to get better over the next several years and that that game was the start of a great era. Beane indicated that he believes that the talent the A's acquired this off-season will help Oakland get back to where they were in September of 2000. Geren noted that spring training will be very competitive this year, as there will be a number of jobs up for grabs. He emphasized his deep background in player development and that he was looking forward to working with all of the A's young talent. In addition, he said that the team is planning to have Joe Blanton
and Rich Harden
start the two games in Tokyo to open the season.
An A's fan addresses the problem of what to do with jerseys of players who have been traded away from the team.
Assistant GM David Forst was on the first Q&A panel of the day with Beane and Geren.
Despite the dreary skies and the team's rebuilding plans, the A's fans on-hand were in decked out in support of their team. More than 35,000 single game tickets for the 2008 season were sold at the event. It was the first day that single game tickets for the 2008 campaign went on sale.
modeled the A's new alternate black jersey and unveiled his new number: 24.
The A's had some of their classic uniforms on display in their clubhouse. Rollie Fingers was on-hand at FanFest and participated in a Q&A panel and took photographs with his Hall of Fame plaque.
(left) and Jack Cust
(right) shared a laugh during their Q&A panel. Despite having less than three years of major league service time between them, Cust and Barton are expected to be important parts of the A's offense in 2008. Both players are well known for their patient approaches at the plate and should be among the team leaders in on-base percentage in 2008.
A's closer Huston Street
holds court during his Q&A panel session as pitching coach Curt Young looks on. Street, a veteran on this A's squad despite being only 24 years old, said that he is still hopeful that he and the A's will come to terms on a long-term contract extension.
greets the crowd before the start of his Q&A panel session. Ellis was a definite fan favorite at this year's FanFest. He is the longest tenured player on the team besides Eric Chavez
signs an autograph for a fan. Buck is expected to be the A's starting right-fielder in 2008 after a solid, but injury-shortened rookie season in 2007.
Stockton Ports' mascot Splash greets the fans. Both the Ports and the Sacramento River Cats
had team employees on-hand at FanFest.