The Oakland A’s have had a history of having short spurts of success for a couple of years in which they win a couple of World Series and then slowly regress back to normal. In the 1910′s, they won 3 in four years. Then they started doing horrible. They then won the pennant 3 straight years from 1929-1931. They won the World Series in 1929 and 1930. After that they wouldn’t feel that success again until the 1970′s when they won 3 straight from 1972-1974. They again made three straight World Series trips from 1988-1990, but only won it in 1989. Since then, they haven’t made it to the world series. They’ve won plenty of division titles and have competed well, but haven’t been able to make it back to the World Series. The past two years the A’s have won two straight division titles, but have lost in the ALDS.
Well good news A’s fans! We may be experiencing the start of a new dynasty for the Oakland Athletics. Here are 4 things that need to happen in order to make this dream become a reality.
1. Win the World Series Now
The A’s have come close the past two years, but haven’t made it. In 2012, The A’s were one game away from facing the New York Yankees in the ALCS. The A’s would have easily won that one, having swept the Yankees at the O.co that season. The Yankees haven’t done well at the O.co and I’m 100% sure the A’s would have beaten the Yankees in the ALCS. It would have been the battle of the bay once again. But that is the past. Oakland needs to win the World Series this year. If they keep failing to make it, eventually all the talent will leave and the A’s will go back to being average. They need to take advantage of the talent they have now and make sure they start the new dynasty in 2014. If they don’t, then the talent will leave slowly one by one, and with a depleted farm system, it will take a while before the A’s can even win their division.
2. Enhance the Farm System
The A’s usually have a pretty good farm system, but it’s been depleted. Most of them have been either brought up to the majors already, like Sonny Gray, or have been traded away, like Michael Choice. The only bright spot left is Addison Russel. Oakland needs to make some trades to enhance their minor league system so that if a great player leaves the team, they can keep winning the World Series by bringing up equally impressive talent.
There’s also the fact that players age, they can’t play forever. So when a player gets too old to play, the A’s need to have somebody ready to replace them in Triple-A. The A’s have a relatively young team, but they don’t want to lose the veterans and then have a big gaping hole. Just look at Bartolo Colon. He was a great pitcher, but that was probably the best he was going to be in his 40′s. He left in free agency however. Pitchers are becoming extremely expensive, so the A’s can’t replace his talent by throwing out a $100 million dollar deal to a premium pitcher. They need to grow it themselves in the farm system. Kazmir is good, but not on Colon’s level. Where as if there was another pitcher like Sonny Gray to bring up, it wouldn’t be an issue. The Farm System is key for the A’s to have consistent success.
3. Get a New Stadium
The A’s don’t have a lot of revenue to keep a lot of their talented players. If they had a new ballpark and increased their revenue, they could afford to keep their talent. If they could keep their talent and have a great farm system, it would give them the opportunity to win possibly more than 3 straight World Series. The players they have now are young. The rotation has 4 guys under the age of 26. Most players are under 30. That means when they hit free agency, they will most likely be better than they are now. They can demand a lot of money. If Oakland wants to keep its talent to have success on a yearly basis, they need more money. That would come from a new ballpark to play in. They only thing in the way of this is ownership. If they would wake up and smell the coffee they would see that the site at Howard Terminal would bring the A’s a lot more success. A new stadium means more money. More money means we can keep our players.
4. Extend Bob Melvin‘s Contract Past 2016
The players are important to keep. But so is the manager. Bob Melvin is a huge reason this team is so successful. He brings out the best in any player he has. Without Bob Melvin, the A’s wouldn’t have two straight division titles. In his first two full seasons, he’s gotten the team two consecutive division titles. Don’t overlook the manager. Bob Melvin is the brains of the operation, so even if good players leave, he can bring out the best with whatever he gets. He can turn a team that’s supposed to lose 100 games into a contending team, like he did in 2012. Extend his contract, and you can get World Series wins even when you don’t expect to.
If the team can get all of those things done, they might just be able to create another dynasty. They might just win a few straight World Series. Combine these 4 objectives with a little bit of that Oakland magic and we might just enter the Dynasty of the Billy Beane Oakland Athletics. It’s a good time to be an A’s fan folks, enjoy it while you can.