The 2010 season was a long-winded 162-game tease for the Oakland Athletics.
Led by their enviable young and talented pitching staff that ranked first in the American League in ERA, quality starts and shutouts, the A’s reached the .500 mark for the first time in four seasons, establishing a foundation to build upon toward the future. And with a sprightly, pesky offense that ranked third in stolen bases, the A’s certainly felt there was something to look forward to, as long as they added some—any—power to the middle of the lineup.
So, using the World Series-winning blueprint of their Bay Area rivals, Oakland made a few upgrades to their languid offense this past offseason, with visions of the playoffs in 2011.
Unfortunately, a slow start from the revamped offense, a managerial firing, an infirmary of players and the worst defense in the American League have resulted in a very disappointing year for Oakland and their fans. Unmet expectations. Uninspired baseball. An unfulfilling season.
So many things went wrong for the Athletics in a year that can only be described as eventful. It’s difficult to construct an overlaying theme that encapsulates the challenges that Oakland has faced over the course of their season.
If there were only one word to describe 2011 it would be dichotomous. Yes, the story of the A’s season can be considered a tale of two distinct halves. It was the worst of times; it was the not-as-worst of times.