It all started with Cleveland’s Coco Crisp accounting for the only RBI of Game 3, followed by the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea reminding the world that Crisp might still be in Oakland but for the club’s penny-pinching ways. That prompted a reply from Smash Mouth that called out the A’s, annually among the MLB squads with the lowest payrolls.
Smash Mouth originated in San Jose, so the band has good reason to be particularly interested in Bay Area teams. Meanwhile, the A’s came firing back (the team subsequently deleted most of its tweets, but they were, of course, preserved on the Internet), prompting the band to reference the squad’s general manager, Billy Beane, whose efforts to keep his team competitive with the Yankees of the world were immortalized in “Moneyball.”
Having already dismissed Smash Mouth, the A’s went for more of a straight-up dis. The team made a reference to the band’s biggest hit, but Smash Mouth would not be deterred from its focus on baseball.
At that point, A’s reliever Sean Doolittle got involved, using even more Smash Mouth song titles to plead for a cease-fire. Again, though, the band was insistent on its gripe with the team’s frugality.
Apparently, the “cheap” accusation was more than the A’s Twitter account could bear. It fired back with a vicious shot at the band’s lack of chart success since 1999 (when “All Star” was released). Smash Mouth gamely tried to point out that it offered something that made some ripples in 2006 (presumably “Summer Girl“), but having taken a haymaker, it was reduced to going the “Hey, at least we’re trying” route.
The worst was yet to come. After Smash Mouth responded to another Twitter user by praising A’s fans, the team went for the jugular.
Ouch. But the A’s weren’t done destroying Smash Mouth. In response to a Twitter user claiming that the beef with Smash Mouth was just a publicity-seeking “setup,” the team took another major swipe.
That gut punch left the band grasping at a rejoinder, but mostly expressing surprise that the team had engaged them at all.
Saturday brought an entirely different approach from the A’s. After deleting those unfriendly tweets from the night before, they even invited Smash Mouth to throw out the first pitch (although not, apparently, to perform) at a future game.
So the two parties have put the ugliness behind them, it would appear. Smash Mouth may or may not have gained any new admirers because of the exchange (although it seems likely that at least a few beleaguered A’s fans were grateful for the support), but the A’s came off as more than a little petty, and it is possible that whoever was in charge of the Twitter account Friday night has been called into an executive’s office.