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Above all else, all A’s fans want for Christmas is a winning season. Ahead of the new stadium, ahead of the All-Star starting pitchers, ahead of the replacement of the black sheep owner Lew Wolff. Athletics fans just want to see a winning team again.
Oakland has not had a winning record for the past five seasons. Worse, the team hasn’t sniffed legitimate contention in their division since winning the American League West in 2006. It’s been a tough and tortuous stretch for the organization, and its fanbase has followed suit by drawing the lowest attendance numbers in 2011.
But what can be attributed to the last of a competitive roster?
Unfortunately it’s a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is the business model imposed by the miserly ownership, which has resulted in an assembly of lower-tiered free agents, massive roster overhauls and poor clubhouse culture and spirit. The byproduct of that is a lack of cohesion, as each member of the team knows his tenure with the A’s will last no more than a couple of seasons. Positive attitudes ebb, and everything sort of snowballs into an avalanche of antipathy. And that emits a losing culture.
For A’s fans, if there’s one thing that can solve all of their team’s problems, it’s an unexpected winning season from the likely cast of nobodys that will comprise the Athletics roster in 2012. The rookies, castaways, also-rans, has-beens, underachievers and average Joes will have to find a way to compete with the big boys of the AL West and come away with a playoff berth.
If Santa can pull off this Christmas miracle, all will be merry for the Green & Gold. And that would be the best present all A’s fans could receive for this holiday season.
Happy holidays to everyone.
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