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Crystal Ball: How Many Wins for the Oakland Athletics?

Even when a team is struggling, it's usually par for the course for those who write for the team to be positive. There is always a silver lining...isn't there? Which is why I'm not sure whether to be impressed with Jane Lee, or terrified of her answers in her most recent mailbag. Because if she is admitting how bad the A's are; how bad are they really going to be?

Despite the optimistic title: Who will pack a powerful punch for A's?, the article is anything but.

A few examples:

Home runs will again come at a sparse rate, given the current roster makeup. But general manager Billy Beane isn't willing to insert power via a costly rental player just to win a few extra games in 2012. The A's won't be contending, anyway, so they plan on using this year to not only give the unexperienced (sic) guys experience, but also take advantage of their many Draft picks -- on whom they plan on spending three times as much as they have in the past -- to develop these missing power bats.

Well, there it is. The A's aren't contending. I mean, we knew that, but it's always so final to hear it from the beat writer. In addition, if you'd like to be just a little more depressed, she goes on to remind us: "...on a team that is years away from contention". There are few things more depressing than knowing in January that the 2012 playoff won't include the A's...again. And neither will the next few years. The article goes on to talk about the future, Kurt Suzuki, and Billy Beane.

So, for our silver lining, let's hold the contest: How many wins will the A's have this season?

What does Jane Lee think?

If the A's current roster remains as is, how many wins do you predict they'll have this year?
-- Chris S., San Leandro, Calif.

I'm hesitant to pencil them in for 65 wins -- they won 74 with the now departed Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, Hideki Matsui and Josh Willingham last year -- but at the same time believe manager Bob Melvin wouldn't allow for a 100-loss season, so perhaps it's best to settle somewhere in the middle and project about 63 victories for the green and gold.

Post your answer below.