Conspiracy theory boiling about A’s cutting players who sided with fans against ownership

Sell the team!

Mar 28, 2024; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics fans wave “Sell” flags to protest
Mar 28, 2024; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics fans wave “Sell” flags to protest / D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Athletics fans have made it abundantly clear that they want John Fisher, the team's owner, to sell the team. They have good reasoning for this. Fisher is determined to do whatever he can to get the A's out of Oakland. To make matters worse, the product on the field is just a mess.

There's very little for A's fans to be excited about as the roster lacks talent, but one player who is fun to watch is Esteury Ruiz. The A's acquired Ruiz in the Sean Murphy trade and he was their everyday center fielder last season. Ruiz didn't hit much, posting a .654 OPS, but he did lead the league with 67 stolen bases proving to be a menace on the base paths. With improvement with his bat-to-ball skills, Ruiz might just be Oakland's leadoff hitter of the future.

He showed some improvement in the early parts of this season, recording three hits including a pair of extra-base hits in seven at-bats before being mysteriously sent down. Manager Mark Kotsay said it was so Ruiz could play and lead off every day in the minors while working to improve, and he wasn't going to get that opportunity with the major league team. Kotsay took it a step further saying Ruiz wouldn't have even made the team had it not been for an injury to Miguel Andujar.

That makes some sense, but there's a new conspiracy theory boiling on X (formerly known as Twitter) involving Athletics players who have worn a certain bracelet.

Conspiracy theory boiling about Athletics players who have sided against ownership and with fans

Four Athletics players have been spotted wearing bracelets from Last Dive Bar. Their site is known for being a rallying cry for fans who want Fisher to sell the team. Each of these four players have been punished in some way.

Ruiz was sent down to the minors, but he's not the only one. Brent Rooker, the team's All-Star from last season, was benched on Sunday. Cristian Pache, a key piece of the Matt Olson trade, was traded to the Phillies ahead of last season. James Kaprielian, a player who has made 64 appearances and 58 starts over the last three seasons was released after the 2023 campaign.

Sure, none of these players have exploded in the majors, but at this point it's too much of a coincidence to be ignored, right? Would we really put it past John Fisher to have a mandate in place for anyone seen with attire from Last Dive Bar to lose affiliation with the team?

Why else would Ruiz not be in Oakland playing every day? Why else would Rooker, a key part of their lineup, be benched already? Why else would they give up on Pache just one season after he was the centerpiece in the Matt Olson deal? Why else would they just randomly release a player who had made many starts for them in recent years?

The Ruiz demotion is the weirdest one of all. Sure, he's a flawed offensive player, but what's the alternative? Playing JJ Bleday every day in center field? This demotion just feels too random for it to not have anything to do with the bracelet.