Billy Beane

A’s season is over – time to light a candle

Well, that sucked.

The 2015 season is now over, and so shall I also refrain from moaning and groaning about this wasteful year for the Green and Gold. We all know the some of the regretful milestones the Oakland Athletics reached this campaign, such as:

  • The A’s had the worst record in the American League at 68-94.
  • They had 125 errors — most in all of MLB for the first time since 1978.
  • Marcus Semien set an all-time Oakland record for errors in a season with 35 miscues.
  • Their bullpen set an Oakland single-season record of 74 home runs allowed.
  • They finished with just 28 saves, lowest ever for the A’s since the stat was invented.
  • 14 sacrifice hits (bunts) was the lowest total in franchise history.
  • 35 one-run losses set an Oakland record.
  • Only one other team in Major League history besides the 2015 A’s had a winning percentage under .430 with more than a -30 run differential (1924 St. Louis Cardinals).

I could go on, but we get the picture. We know that winning is not the number one priority with this ownership group, and our star players are most unwelcome here when it comes time to pay them a decent salary. There is absolutely nothing we can do about “last season” now, so I will turn an optimistic eye to the future, such as:

  • The A’s hold the sixth overall pick in next year’s June draft and will thus have a great chance to select a stud player.
  • The farm system finally has some intriguing prospects, like Chad Pinder, Sean Manaea, Franklin Barreto, Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Richie Martin, Mikey White and Joey Wendle.
  • Billy Burns was a nice surprise as he fearlessly made center field his own. He batted .294 with five home runs and nine triples. He also led the team in hits (153) despite spending April down in AAA.
  • Mark Canha was a different player the last two months, driving in runs in consistent fashion.
  • Danny Valencia (.290) is under contract for next season. I don’t believe the A’s would non-tender him.
  • Josh Reddick (20 HRs, 77 RBIs) also has one more arbitration year and is a favorite of the GM.
  • The A’s finally have a real second baseman in Brett Lawrie.
  • In Sonny Gray the A’s have one of the 10 best starters in all of baseball.
  • Both catchers (Stephen Vogt and Josh Phegley) each have several years of team control left.
  • The A’s set an Oakland record this season with 45 triples.

As disappointed as we all are with the A’s this season, there is marginal hope for next year. They ended the season with all five original starting pitchers no longer in the rotation, due to transactions or injuries. But the bullpen was even worse, so pitching must be the main focus of improvement this offseason.

I had a great time being the A’s correspondent this year for a team that both Steve and I agreed needed more attention and coverage. I appreciate all the feedback, even when I got things wrong. Remember, I’m not a reporter – never have been and never will be one. These articles have been opinions based on my observations and experiences. That’s what a blog is. Hope to see you in the spring. Until then, Let’s Go Oakland.

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