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MLB Oakland Athletics

5 Reasons for Oakland Athletics Fans to Be Thankful Heading into 2014

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5 Reasons for Oakland Athletics Fans to Be Thankful Heading into 2014

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

There are always players that go and always players that leave. That is the way Major League Baseball is today. Gone are the days when a team can keep the same core of players for more than two seasons unless they have a ton of money to spend annually. For the teams of the game that poses a problem that they can either complain about or rise above. The Oakland Athletics have risen above the problem and now are a perennial contender regardless of the size of their payroll.

Every year they lose a player that was key to their success or even two or three that were. The ensuing season is doomed then until they start the year and climb their way to the top once again. The 2014 regular season will start with the “lowly” A’s looking for their third consecutive division title in the American League West among payroll giants like the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels.

If there ever was something to be thankful for that one component of the way this franchise does business is it. Every year they are underdogs and yet every year they have a huge chance of winning. The postseason is another animal altogether and their not having won a championship lately has nothing to do with payroll either. Only one team gets to win each season and there are a boat-load of high payroll teams that make early playoff exits as well.

Now that we have the main thing in place that the fans of the Athletics can be thankful for, we are going to look at five specific things that they can be thankful for going into the 2014 season. Please feel free to leave a comment below if you feel like discussing anything within the slides. Here we go.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

Related:

Oakland Athletics Rumors: Should Hold to Yoenis Cespedes for Another Season

Oakland Athletics Rumors: Nick Punto Signing Opens Door for Jed Lowrie Trade

Oakland Athletics Must Re-Sign Bartolo Colon, Grant Balfour This Winter

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5 – Billy Beane

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Beane, the awesome GM of the Athletics is only at five on this list because he doesn’t actually take the field. Everything described in the top article about how fans can always trust their team will compete regardless of turnover or payroll is due to this man. He has risen above and mastered the payroll issue in the game to the point that no one seems to be able to really duplicate what he has done. He is simply the best.

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4 – Josh Reddick

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Reddick is one of those players that comes along now and then that embodies the spirit of his team. He goes through ups and downs just like all of the good players in baseball but when it comes down to it he gives all he has every time he steps on the green. Even if he happens to be in an offensive slump however, anyone given the sign to take an extra base on his arm had better think twice about it.

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3 – Josh Donaldson

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Donaldson was thought by some to be good enough this past season that he should have been in the MVP discussion. At least according to his high WAR statistic the argument can be made that offensively and defensively he was as valuable as anyone in the game. Certainly he looks to be a huge contributor this upcoming season as well and who knows, he might garner some actual attention this time around.

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2 – Sonny Gray

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Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

A good way for one of the young no-name kids in an A’s uniform to get recognized is to do something awesome in front of the MLB postseason world like outdueling Justin Verlander in the ALDS. Gray had minor surgery on his glove hand to repair a broken bone but he will be ready to blow up this upcoming season as well. Look for him to even be good enough to get a vote or two for the all-star game.

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1 – Yoenis Cespedes

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Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of rumors that he might be traded, Cespedes is the guy that needs to hang around for this team and chances are Billy Beane knows that well enough. If he can at all hold on to him for a year or two longer, you can bet he will. Look forward to being thankful for Cespedes’ contributions for another regular season and postseason in 2014.