The Oakland A’s are a roster of players that are hard-nosed, in your face, grind it out, run manufacturing, base-stealing, and swinging a very big stick baseball team. The remarkable thing about this team is their payroll or better yet, their lack of payroll. The 2018 Oakland Athletics are ranked 28th out of 30 teams, on the payroll list. They come in with a total payroll of $74, 723, 904. This modest number is absolute “chump change” in comparison to most of the division leaders and is well below the MLB average of $138, 053, 944.
Going back to 1972, the A’s have a rich history of not only winning a lot of baseball games but winning the World Series. This franchise has been a winning franchise for a very long time and they take pride in who they are. It’s easy for casual baseball fans to remember who they are or for that matter, that they even exist! The A’s have not won a World Series since 1989 when they swept their crosstown rivals-the Giants, 4-0. Thirty years ago, the A’s were the team to beat and famously consisted of players such as the “bash brothers”, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco. The 1989 team was fantastic, to say the least, and besides Canseco and McGwire, it featured names such as Dave Stewart, Dennis Eckersley, Ricky Henderson, Dave Henderson and even Dave Parker! It was a mean lineup and they came after the opponent night in and night out.
The A’s are considered to be one of the 8 original teams that formed Major League Baseball, they were founded in Philadelphia in 1901. The team saw much success in Philadelphia and won three world championships between 1910 and 1913 and went on to win back to back in 1929 and 1930. The Athletics have relocated twice in their history, the first move came in 1955 when they left for Philadelphia for Kansas City and became the Kansas City A’s. Then in 1968, the team moved to Oakland, where they have remained to this day. The A’s won three consecutive World Series crowns between 1972 and 1974, then went on to secure their last World Series win in 1989.
Since their last World Series title in 1989, the A’s have gone on to win the AL Pennant in 1990 and have won the AL West in 1990, 1992, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2012, and 2013. They won the wildcard berth in 2001 and 2014. Many baseball fans and especially the sports media, they tend to forget about the A’s and what a great franchise they have been and remained for a very long time. In their 50 years in Oakland, the A’s have put together more than 30 winning seasons and have won the World Series four times.
What are the A’s doing now; 2018?
This hot-hitting A’s team has come from the depths of last season and really the depths of this season and they find themselves locked in a battle with the Houston Astros. Within the last couple of weeks, the A’s have managed to cut an eight-game lead in half and have battled their way over the Mariners and now find themselves just four games out of first place. Winning their last six games in a row has certainly helped the cause and they seem to be doing everything right while the Mariners are doing everything wrong!
This version of the A’s knows how to win as a unit and as a team. They have found a formula for winning that works and they all work together to make each other better. It’s more than a cliché in Oakland; they really do play team baseball and here is why: There is only one pitcher in their rotation with 10 or more wins, and nobody with at least 90 games played; is batting more than .271. The team is batting for an average of .248. Compare that to the Red Sox with a team batting average of .270!
This Oakland A’s team may not be loaded with superstars, but they are loaded with workhorses that believe in going out to the park every day and giving their all. The A’s do not have an easy schedule down the stretch. They will be tested. Take a look at the lineups and the individual batting on the season.
|1|| Laureano, R||OAK||RF||3||12||1||4||0||0||0||2||0||3||1||0||0.333||0.333||0.333||0.667|
|1|| Mengden, D||OAK||P||1||3||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0.333||0.333||0.333||0.667|
|3|| Martini, N||OAK||LF||23||48||9||14||5||1||0||8||9||11||0||0||0.292||0.435||0.438||0.873|
|4|| Chapman, M||OAK||3B||97||351||64||95||21||6||15||38||43||91||1||2||0.271||0.362||0.493||0.855|
|5|| Lowrie, J||OAK||2B||109||419||48||112||27||1||17||68||49||97||0||0||0.267||0.347||0.458||0.805|
|6|| Pinder, C||OAK||LF||71||212||30||55||9||1||10||23||18||63||0||1||0.259||0.332||0.453||0.785|
|7|| Canha, M||OAK||CF||89||291||48||75||17||0||14||42||28||72||1||2||0.258||0.333||0.46||0.794|
|8|| Semien, M||OAK||SS||110||451||61||116||25||2||7||39||42||92||12||5||0.257||0.317||0.368||0.685|
|9|| Davis, K||OAK||LF||103||395||64||100||21||1||31||86||39||116||0||0||0.253||0.328||0.547||0.875|
|10|| Piscotty, S||OAK||RF||104||378||48||95||28||0||15||51||28||82||2||0||0.251||0.313||0.444||0.757|
|11|| Anderson, B||OAK||P||2||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.25||0.25||0.25||0.5|
|12|| Lucroy, J||OAK||C||86||295||29||73||18||1||2||40||24||46||0||0||0.247||0.305||0.336||0.64|
|13|| Barreto, F||OAK||2B||23||61||8||15||4||0||4||13||1||25||0||0||0.246||0.27||0.508||0.778|
|14|| Olson, M||OAK||1B||113||409||60||98||21||0||22||54||49||116||2||1||0.24||0.332||0.452||0.784|
|15|| Fowler, D||OAK||CF||59||182||18||42||3||2||6||21||7||43||6||4||0.231||0.26||0.368||0.629|
|16|| Phegley, J||OAK||C||19||53||8||12||4||0||2||10||4||16||0||0||0.226||0.271||0.415||0.686|
|17|| Joyce, M||OAK||LF||63||192||30||39||9||0||7||13||30||51||0||2||0.203||0.311||0.359||0.67|
Now sports fans, a word to the wise: This A’s team is a solid group of guys that have shown great potential and they could end up winning this division; do not sell the house, run to Vegas and bet it all on the A’s to win the pennant! Don’t do it. We are not saying that Oakland is going to win the World Series this year or for that matter, win the AL West. What we are saying is this… The A’s are playing lights out baseball and the tide has really turned for this franchise. They are a lot better now than in the recent past and they are getting better every day. However, Houston is going to be a difficult foe and it will be very difficult for any one team to knock them off.
If the A’s are to win this division, the baseball stars must align perfectly, and they will need luck on their side. The Astros have better pitching and over the long haul, it should prove to be too much. As mentioned before, the schedule down the stretch certainly doesn’t get any easier and as the season wears on, things become a grind. The A’s are looking at a very big test, the question is can they pass it?
This team is a fun one to watch. If you like great baseball that is played the right way then you will love seeing the A’s as they take on the Dodgers for a short two-game series in Oakland and then off to Anaheim for a three-game set and then back home for a nine-game stand against the Mariners, the Astros, and Texas. Stay tuned for a great finish in the NL West. The rest of the way promises to be fantastic.