Oakland Athletics: Thoughts on the 2016 Bay Area Collapse

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Sep 11, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Ryon Healy (48) avoids a high pitch against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Ryon Healy (48) avoids a high pitch against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Oakland Athletics have just won their road and season series against the Kansas City Royals. They have won two of their last three series. But the Bay Area, in general, has struggled mightily to close the deal this year.

Case in point: the Oakland Athletics‘ crosstown rivals, the San Francisco Giants, have won three of their last 21 series since the All-Star Game. They still have the worst record among all MLB teams since the All-Star break, going 20-35 (a 0.364 win percentage).

To the chagrin of Giants fans, they may not make the playoffs at all this year after having had the best first-half record in baseball. The San Jose Sharks and Golden State Warriors both lost in the finals for their respective sports, with the Warriors having one of the wildest playoff meltdowns of all time.

And then comes our featured exhibit, the Oakland Athletics. The A’s were planning on making the playoffs this year. They had a Cy Young-caliber pitcher in Sonny Gray who scored third in the award’s voting the year prior.

They had a revamped offensive lineup, and they added some pitchers that made the team look great: Rich Hill, Henderson Alvarez, John Axford, Marc Rzepczynski, Ryan Madson. There was no way the A’s would clinch the worst record in the AL West, nay, the worst record in the American League, like they did in 2016.

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Well, they haven’t yet clinched such a record.

The Los Angeles Angels are fighting with the A’s for last place. (It wasn’t long ago when they were both competing for first place.)  With any luck, the A’s won’t reach the nadir of the Minnesota Twins’ record, who are currently 38 games under .500.

And there are some good things the A’s have in store for next year. But how many teams have been in the playoffs three years in a row while then fighting to be in the cellar the years after?

It has been 26, going on 27, years since the A’s have won a championship. The last time the A’s were in the World Series was 1990.

By those measures, one could say Oakland’s fans are hungrier than the rest of the Bay Area, a place that has seen quite a few pennants in the last few years in many sports.

But the A’s youth movement along with aggressive acquisitions is certain to see some change in the future.

Next: An Ode To Billy Butler's Release

Is it time to hedge your bets for 2017 or 2018? What do you think? Leave a comment below!

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