Nico has an excellent look at what/where the organization should or could go to get better. He details no hitting, and decent pitching. He does not mention horrible fielding. Yesterday's loss to the Marlins the margin of defeat was, once again, an unearned run. I do not know how many times, but it seems as if it is quite often, that our marginal fielding comes into play and decisive run(s) are unearned.
The real reason for the post is my pessimistic view going forward of how the A's stack up against their division rivals. In Seattle the M's have a team that has been horrific, BUT they have a fan base that still comes out, they ownership with money to spend, and they have a good GM, and are a team on the rise. Just like the A's they have very good pitching, and horrible hitting, but they are getting better including a recent addition, Dustin Ackley, who looks like a star; and they have other position players in their farm system ready to move up. I can not see the A's passing the M's.
The Angels have a big money spending owner with a passion for winning. They have a good revenue stream, and they will always be competitive. The A's are definitely behind the Angels with little chance of passing them.
Texas plays in a band box, and they have always had the hitters to take advantage, but now have some talented pitchers. They won last year, and look to repeat again. I don't know much about their ownership, but they have talent. Unless they catch the Disabled List disease from the A's we won't catch them either.
In summary, the A's look to be the new Pittsburg Pirates with little chance of being anything else. The key going forward is to acquire young talent that the club can hang onto for many years before they get too expensive, and to develop a revenue stream that will fuel more talent. This is not going to happen in Oakland. The future, if the team has one, will be some where else, whether it be San Jose or Portland, but right now stick a fork in them...they are done.