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AN Roll Call - The Day After and Reasons To Go On

Yeah, it hurts. There's no way to get around it. It was predictable, frustrating, embarrassing and not the smallest sense of deja vu as the A's fail six out of six times to win a clinching Game 5 and advance to the ALCS. But keep in mind; with our current club, who isn't yet even supposed to be a contender, they have won back-to-back American League West Championships and have taken a playoff series with the big payrolls all the way to the end of the line, and we certainly have more positive on the horizon than negative.

Ezra Shaw

Happy Friday, and welcome to Athletics Nation, off-season! I saw a lot of new faces pop in for the playoffs, so let me be the first to say welcome! If you are new, I invite you to introduce yourself in this thread below as we continue to process the A's abrupt end to the playoffs.

One comment has really made me think, so I wanted to make sure it was highlighted for everyone to see:

sactownbull: Yeah I know last night was disappointing but the reality is being overly negative is ignoring the fact this team has arrived 2 years early. Had they stayed on schedule we’d be talking about an 88-90 win season and making a run at the West in 2014. Prior to the 2012 season had anyone told us the team would win back to back division titles and battle the American league champs in two epic 5 game battles we’d have laughed at anyone that said they wouldn’t take it. So forgive me if I don’t join the pity party and feel happy that my favorite baseball team is all the way back and ready to make some noise for at least the next few years.

That is maybe the most insightful comment I've seen so far addressing this current team and its perceived failure. Obviously, the early 2000's hurt. That was the original Moneyball team, and if you want to lay blame and failure there, be my guest. The expectations were--and should have been--there, and they never delivered a big win. But this is a different team--a different decade in fact--and the truth is, we weren't supposed to be here at all. Despite back-to-back American League West championships, we are still rebuilding. Our young pitching staff is coming into its own. We're still trying to find a permanent shortstop, and second base. And maybe first base. And possibly catcher. This is a team with moving parts, that hasn't settled into a cohesive lineup, and every year is an adventure, knowing that all of the pieces can come together in amazing ways, that make us a fan of a PLAYOFF team, when so many others aren't.

The A's and the Pirates are the fifth and fourth lowest payrolls in the entire MLB, at $68,577,000 and $66,289,524 respectively. You know who they beat out to go to the playoffs this season? The New York Yankees $228,995,945, Philadelphia $159,578,214, San Francisco $142,180,333, Los Angeles Angels $142,165,250, Texas $127,197,575, Chicago White Sox $124,065,277, Toronto $118,244,039, Washington $112,431,770, Cincinnati $110,565,728, Chicago Cubs $104,150,726, Baltimore $91,793,333, Milwaukee $91,003,366, Arizona $90,158,500, Atlanta $89,288,193, New York Mets $88,877,033, Seattle $84,295,952, Cleveland $82,517,300, Kansas City $80,491,725. Minnesota $75,562,500, Colorado $75,449,071, San Diego $71,689,900. You know who they lost out to?

Give this a try:
Los Angeles Dodgers $216,302,909
St. Louis $116,702,085
Detroit $149,046,844
Boston $158,967,286

The A's and the Pirates payroll combined doesn't even cover one of the payrolls of the teams playing in the Championship series. Yet both teams were but a single Game 4 away from being there anyway. That's amazing. The art of winning an unfair game, indeed. And the A's are not done. They aren't patching it together with a group of overpaid, over-the-hill veterans. They are building a team, and they will be back.

And we'll be right here when they do.

Join AN this off-season for 40-man rosterbation, Spring Training plans, Quotes of the Month, player interviews, and just plain chatting with your friends--the only ones who really understand you, right?