Oakland Athletics Fans Should Celebrate These Milestone Wins in 2016


Oakland Athletics Lose First Game vs. White Sox, But Fans Can Still Look Forward to These Milestone Wins

There were a lot of good things in last night’s Oakland Athletics game. Jed Lowrie came through with a clutch two-run single against one of the toughest pitchers in the game. Billy Butler sprayed a couple of doubles around the park. The bullpen was terrific.

There were also some bad things. Rich Hill was pressed into an emergency start, and did not make it out of the third inning. It is easy to focus on Hill’s errant pickoff throw that opened the door for a big inning, but we should bear in mind the perfect pickoff throw that nailed Adam Eaton in the first inning. I’m a little more skeptical about Hill, but I’m not ready to give up on him yet. With Felix Dubront going on the DL, the A’s rotation is going to be somewhat unsettled for a while.

During the game, Glen Kuiper commented on how all the experts are picking the Cubs to win it all this year. (As long as the Cubbies beat the Halos this week, I’m happy.) It got me thinking about expectations for the A’s this year. I have noticed that my fellow A’s fans are keeping expectations pretty low. After last year, I can’t really blame them.

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I, on the other hand, think there are going to be plenty of reasons to cheer at the Oakland Coliseum this year. These are the milestone wins we should all celebrate.

Win #37: In 1916, the Philadelphia A’s went 36 and 117 (apparently with one merciful rainout). With win #37, the A’s will avoid the worst record in franchise history – and coincidentally, the worst record in Major League history as well.

Win #41: In 1962, the Mets had the worst 162-game record in history, going 40 and 120. Notching the 41st win means that 2016 will not have a historically bad season.

Win #55: The A’s won only 54 games in 1979. That was their worst year in Oakland. It was the last year of Charles Finley’s reign, and total attendance was only 306,763. But have faith – two years later, in the strike-shortened 1981 season, the A’s would go 64-45 and draw almost a million more fans than in 1979.

Win #63: With 63 wins, a team can’t lose 100 games. The 1979 season was the only year in which the Oakland A’s ever lost 100. The Kansas City A’s lost 100 games five times in 10 years, and in 1967, their last year in KC, they went 62-99. (It was good to get out of Kansas City.)

Win #69: Last year, the A’s won only 68 times. Win #69 means the team is making progress and getting better!

Win #73 or #74, or maybe #75: These wins will mean the 2016 A’s have more regular-season wins than the Golden State Warriors. I confidently expect the A’s to have more regular season wins than the (Oakland) Warriors – though perhaps not as many playoff wins.

Win #81: The Athletics will feel great about getting back to .500! Or perhaps they will want to hold out for win #82, which will guarantee a winning record in 2016.

Next: Season Predictions: A Guide to 2016

Win #94: It took 94 wins to take the division in 2012. At the start of that season, I was just hoping for 63 Oakland wins. It was the most amazing season for A’s fans, as I was not the only one with very low expectations for the 2012 team. Most experts had them finishing far behind the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels. Billy Beane had just traded half of the starting rotation and the closer for a bunch of unknown hitters. The season began with the rotation somewhat unsettled, with pitchers like Dallas Braden and Brett Anderson on the disabled list, and Bartolo Colon suspended for using testosterone. Yet, they managed to win 94 games.

It is hard to predict how the A’s will finish this season. I would advise that we fans should keep our expectations low – BUT we should still celebrate the Oakland Athletics’ milestone victories whenever we can!