Don’t Consider the Oakland Athletics Season a Complete Failure


The Oakland Athletics won’t be playing in October.

It’s a depressing thought, a lingering pain that will likely remain for quite some time. Many have called the 9-8 extra-innings loss to the Kansas City Royals a microcosm of the A’s season and a further display of baseball’s wonderful, yet sometimes cruel, sense of poetry.

The 2014 A’s season will be remembered as a failure by many fans. Can’t really blame them. Another year without a World Series ring is a “failure.”

Here’s a small sample of what A’s fans were saying in the hours and days after the season ended:

Yes, the A’s failed to win in the postseason. Yes, it was another year where the A’s were a great regular season team, but failed to make a noise come the small-sample-size nature of the playoff. Yes, the A’s are home, thinking about the days until spring training. And  yes, some A’s fans want Billy Beane fired for making “awful” trades that are considered failures.

It’s time for the fans to move forward. It’s time to focus on the plenty of good times in 2014, A’s fans.

Fans shouldn’t live in the misery that was a lonely August and September that saw the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland’s most hated rivals, forcefully dethrone the A’s from the top of the American League West Division. Fans shouldn’t relive the final result of the AL Wild Card game, one that saw the Royals celebrate their first playoff victory in 29 years. Fans should let the trades go, as difficult as it may be.

The A’s won 88 games this year, sent an MLB-best seven ­- yes seven – players to the All-Star game, and scored the fourth-most runs in the Major Leagues. The team had the third-best ERA in the MLB, and had the best WHIP.

Aside from on-field statistical success, there were plenty of fun things that happened off of it. There was the incredible show that Yoenis Cespedes put on in the Home Run Derby that lit up the Minnesota night. There were unicorn backpacks, walk-off pies and home run tunnels. There were untrimmed beards, glasses and tarp catches.

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The A’s didn’t fail, and hindsight is not 20/20 in this spot. Go on, speculate what would have happened if the A’s hadn’t traded for Jon Lester, Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.

Dan Straily, Tommy Milone and Cespedes weren’t going to keep the Angels from winning the division and having the play in the crapshoot one-game Wild Card. It’s the conclusion you’ll reach when you look at it objectively, a hard thing for fans to do some times.

To focus on one play, one player, one game, one month or one set of games isn’t looking at the big picture. It’s not a way to define the season.

A’s fans were treated to a year that 20 other teams would trade their left arm to experience. Pretty sure, the Houston Astros would trade spots with the A’s.  Sure, A’s fans want to trade spots with the Royals right now, but don’t get too greedy.

Smile, A’s fans. Rediscover hope and passion and get ready for 2015. Let the negativity go, and believe that things will only get better.

It’s hard to see that while other teams are still playing and the A’s are not.  It’s especially difficult since the A’s high hopes could ended so quickly, so painfully and so miserably with one swing of the bat.

But that’s baseball.

Awfully poetic.