Two years into the team’s transformation, it will be interesting to see if Billy Beane’s strategies pay off for the Oakland Athletics in 2016. After the 2014 season, they traded away 27 players, dealt four All Stars and retooled the entire roster in an attempt to get younger and healthier. With an awful 2015 outcome, the A’s are looking to elevate their play and bring back a winning culture to the clubhouse. Star pitcher Sonny Gray is coming off a stellar season after going 14-7 with a 2.73 ERA and a 1.082 WHIP. The rotation gets a bit foggy after that however, as they signed Henderson Alvarez who could still be on the DL at the start of the season due to shoulder surgery along with 35 year-old lefty Rich Hill who made four September starts for the Red Sox. Others who could potentially find themselves in the rotation include pitchers they’ve obtained via deals in Kendall Graveman and Sean Nolin (Josh Donaldson trade), Chris Bassitt (Jeff Samardzija trade), Jesse Hahn (Derek Norris trade), and Aaron Brooks (Ben Zobrist trade). After a league high ERA of 4.63 in 2015, the A’s focused on improving the bullpen this offseason with four new strong armed relievers. Via free agency, they signed Ryan Madson and Jon Axford and also scored Liam Hendricks and lefty Marc Rzepczynski through trades with Toronto and San Diego, respectively.
Despite an error-filled 2015 season, Marcus Semien will remain at shortstop and will need to show some improvement in his average this year. His double-play partner at second base will likely be Jed Lowrie who was with the A’s in 2013 and 2014 before leaving for the Houston Astros last season and is now back with the club. At third base, journeyman Danny Valencia may have finally found his home in Oakland with Yonder Alonso taking over first base duties after coming over via trade from the San Diego Padres. The A’s outfield is stout with Billy Burns, Khris Davis and veteran Josh Reddick.
Getting off to a fast start will be key for the 2016 Oakland A’s in the AL West. After stumbling the last two years, this storied franchise is looking to return a winning attitude to the field. Fans will want to secure their Oakland A’s tickets and come out to support this talented roster in 2016.
Formerly the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum then the facility was called Network Associates Coliseum, then Overstock.com Coliseum they are located in Oakland, California. This facility houses the Oakland A’s of MLB, Oakland Raiders AFL/NFL. It is the only multi-purpose stadium left to serve as a full time home to both a Major League Baseball team and a National Football League team. The facility has a seating capacity of 35,067 for Baseball and has standing room to up that number to 37,090 and that is expandable to 55,057. Seating for football is 56,057 expandable to 64,200. The coliseum contains 6300 club seats of which 2700 are available for Athletics games and 143 luxury suites and the cost to construct the facility was $25 million from start to completion. Currently the second smallest NFL stadium by seating capacity and the second smallest MLB by seating capacity. O.co Coliseum is part of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum complex, which consists of the stadium and neighboring Oracle Arena.
One interesting feature is the underground design where the playing surface is actually below ground level. The unique design gives the appearance of a small short stadium from the outside. While the truth is the only the third deck is visible from the outside. Owner of the Coliseum is Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, the city of Oakland and Alameda County. The aerial view of this Coliseum is stunning in its vastness fans love the open-air seating with beautiful views of the city.
Oakland Athletics History
The Athletics have kept the same name for over a century, but have played in three separate cities – Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Oakland. Over the course of this westward migration the baseball team has won 15 American League pennants and nine World Series. With franchise career stats like those, the club ranks among the best in the MLB.
While playing in Philadelphia, the Athletics dominated, perhaps enjoying the first dynasty in the American League. The infield, led by second baseman Eddie Collins, was the best in baseball and pitchers like Eddie Plank and Chief Bender took the team to the World Series five times in the first 15 years. The team would enjoy another brief run of greatness with MVP seasons from Mickey Cochrane, Lefty Grove, and Jimmie Fox in the early 1930s.
The move to Kansas City was mercifully brief, as the club floundered in the 13 seasons in Missouri. The arrival in Oakland began with a tremendous three-peat from 197 to 1974. Those teams featured the MVP bat of Reggie Jackson and the Cy Young arms of Vida Blue and Catfish Hunter.
A third golden age came in the late 1980s. The Bash Brothers (Jose Conseco and Mark McGwire) hit with plenty of power, Rickey Henderson tormented pitchers running the bases, and the duo of Dave Stewart and Dennis Eckersley were equally terrifying on the mound.
The free spending ways that took the team to three consecutive World Series had to pass eventually. Oakland was not a big enough market, so Billy Beane began the Moneyball Era, keeping the team’s salary low by picking up castoffs but consistently taking first place in the AL West to start the 21st century. After struggling a few seasons, the Oakland A’s appear to have built a solid roster through the farm system again, perhaps bringing on a fourth golden age.