Oakland Athletics: The franchise all-time bracket

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Oakland Athletics

(Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images)

The Oakland Athletics have generated some of the best teams ever, with dynasties in the 1910s, 1920s, 1970s, and 1980s. Only one can emerge as the greatest.

The all-time Oakland Athletics bracket spans the coasts and throws some of the best teams in history into combat against one another.

The all-time franchise record is 400  games below .500, but don’t let that fool you. When the Athletics have been good, they have been great. The franchise has spawned at least four distinct dynasties, each deserving of at least one spot in the all-time bracket.

Begin with the early 1900s White Elephants of Connie Mack. For the American league’s first 15 seasons, this was the dominant team, winning pennants in 1902, 1905, 1910, 1911, 1913 and 1914.

Such a large bloc of quality should be worth two-bracket entries. Of the six, the 1910 and 1911 World Series winners had the best records, so they’re in.

Fast-forward to the late 1920s. Between 1929 and 1931, Mack’s second-generation Oakland Athletics won three straight pennants – by an average of 13 games – and averaged 104 wins in the process. The 1929 team won 104 games and the World Series. They fill a third slot.

Charlie Finley’s Swingin’ A’s of the early 1970s also won three straight, and they unfailingly included the World Series. At 94 wins, the 1973 club had the best record of the three; they receive the fourth spot in the bracket.

Between 1988 and 1990, the A’s again won three straight American League pennants, and they capped the 1989 season with a World Series title. That’s enough reason to make the 1989 team a fifth entry.

It’s impossible to think of the A’s without considering the Billy Beane era. Since becoming GM in the late 1990s, Beane has molded the A’s into 10-time post-season participants, although that version of the team has not yet played a World Series game. It did, however, top 100 wins in 2001 and again in 2002. Those records should be good enough to take the sixth and seventh spots.

As for the final slot, why not go with the 2019 A’s team? It won 97 games before losing in the American League wild-card round.

A’s: time to be delicate with pitcher A.J. Puk

The format is identical to previous bracket challenges. Each matchup in the tournament is decided based on seven criteria. You can think of each as a ‘game,’ the winner of four games advancing. The seven criteria are:

  1. Game 1: Regular season winning percentage.
  2. Game 2: Post-season winning percentage
  3. Game 3: Team OPS+
  4. Game 4: Team ERA+
  5. Game 5 (if necessary): Team WAR
  6. Game 6 (if necessary: Fielding percentage above the league average for the season in question.
  7. Game 7 (if necessary): Hall of Famers or likely future Hall of Famers

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