Playing Pepper 2015: Oakland Athletics

It’s one of the annual traditions here at C70 At The Bat, our trip around the majors in blog form.  Since 2009, I’ve been asking bloggers from other teams about what’s going to happen with their squad in the coming season.  It’s always fun to see what the opposition is thinking and how optimistic some of their most devoted and intelligent fans are.  This year, the Pepper series is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 16, coming soon for PC.  Preorder this outstanding baseball simulation today!

Oakland Athletics
88-74, second in the AL West, lost in the Wild Card Game

Nine outs.

That’s all the A’s needed last October.  Nine outs with a four run lead.  And yet they couldn’t hold it.

And then they had another chance.  Just three outs needed.  That didn’t work out either.

The story of Oakland’s postseason runs hasn’t been a feel-good story for a while now.  Teams that were expected to go deep into the postseason have stumbled in the early rounds.  Last year was no exception, though the stumbling began much earlier.  Up by two games at the beginning of August, they were down five by the end of it.  The big moves made by Billy Beane didn’t pan out the way everyone expected.

To talk to us about whether the A’s can overcome yet another blow to the psyche we’ve got Gary from Coco Crisp’s Afro.  Gary joined us last year and you can find him over on Twitter @cococrispafro.

C70: What are your thoughts on the team’s offseason? Did they do what they needed to do?

CCA: Billy Beane continued his much needed brick and mortar/controversial style with some typically great moves mixed in with some head-scratchers. I’m excited about acquiring Brett Lawrie and Kendall Graveman from Toronto for Josh Donaldson. That trade was GREAT from my standpoint, and could be seen as a real “rump shaker” in years to come…trading Brandon Moss for some average AA guy was sort of a shocker.

C70: Who will close while Sean Doolittle mends?

CCA: Tyler Clippard will more than likely close….that being said, I’m still not sold on Doolittle–who blew the save in that crazy Wild Card game against the Royals. I honestly felt we could have gone deep last year. (considering we were better than the Giants) It seems no matter how great our bullpen is they always seem to suck in the playoffs.

C70: Who will be the MVP of this team this year?

CCA: I’m hoping Lawrie will be the MVP–meaning he would finally become the breakout superstar that everyone hoped he would be in Toronto. Rational tells me it’ll probably be Sonny Gray.

C70: What player do you expect to make the greatest strides this year?

CCA: Lawrie again. (see above)

C70: What’s your projection of the team’s record and where will they finish in the division?

CCA: I see the A’s coming in second to Seattle…yet stealing a Wild Card spot once again. The A.L. West is VERY hard to predict this season.

C70: What do you like best about being an A’s fan?

CCA: The consistent underdog role, the hatred from MLB, the Jesse James mentality, the new prospects, the passionate and offbeat fans, the hatred for the Giants and the winning!!!!

My thanks to Gary for spending some time with us today.  I always enjoy watching the A’s and I hope they have a successful season again this year!

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