It would be easy for the Oakland A’s to give up. They are already 26.5 games out in the AL West and 18 games back in the Wild Card hunt. At this point, avoiding a 100 loss season may be considered a success, especially since more players are going to be sent away at the trade deadline.
There is also a pall over the franchise right now. Ownership is more interested in flirting with Las Vegas and lining their pockets than they are in fielding a competitive team. The fanbase is staying away in protest, leading to nights where there may be more feral cats than fans in the stadium. It would be easy for the players to go through the motions, waiting for the end of the season, since no one is watching anyway.
Oakland A’s refusing to roll over despite record
But that has not been the case. Even if the results are not showing up in terms of wins and losses, the A’s are continuing to play hard and give it everything they have. Their record is not a reflection of their effort whatsoever.
There are times when playing hard and putting that effort in can make a difference. If talent is the same or reasonably close, that extra effort, attention to detail, and playing hard can lead to success. If nothing else, it puts a framework in place for the future with those players coming up to the majors.
This is also a testament to Mark Kotsay and the job he and his coaching staff are doing. It is Kotsay’s first year as a manager and it would be easy for the team to question if he was right for the job. In keeping the players engaged, and continuing to receive that effort night in and night out, he is showing that he is the right person for the rebuild.
At some point, the A’s are going to need to find talented players to build around. There are a few left on the major league roster, but that is mainly going to come once their wave of prospects arrives over the next few years. At that point, the effort the major league roster is showing now, coupled with improved talent, should lead to brighter days.
The Oakland A’s are struggling, but it is not from a lack of effort. At some point, the talent will arrive to match their hustle.