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Meet The 2012 Oakland Athletics

(Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)

As we look forward to Thursday’s broadcast of the 2012 ALDS, let’s take a glance at the team that many around baseball looked at as an afterthought

This week on Sports 1140 KHTK, we’re taking a look at the 2012 Oakland Athletics, a team that defied the odds and clinched the American League West.

Thursday night, tune in to 1140 AM to catch Game 4 of the 2012 ALDS between the A’s and Detroit Tigers, starting at 5:00 PM.

Low expectations, high aspirations

After five seasons of finishing .500 or below, the 2012 Oakland Athletics were looked at as a cellar-dweller in the American League West.

Since advancing to the ALCS in 2006, Oakland had compiled five straight seasons finishing at .500 or below with no playoff appearances. Bleacher Report pegged the A’s to finish 69-83 in 2012, while many other publications also predicted the Athletics to finish under .500 and miss the postseason for the sixth-straight season.

(Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)

Oakland made a flurry of off-season moves to gear up for 2012.

Manager Bob Geren, who managed the team since 2007, was replaced midway through the 2011 season by seasoned manager Bob Melvin. Melvin was named manager for the 2012 season shortly after the 2011 season concluded.

The biggest addition of the offseason was the signing of Cuban slugger Yoenis Céspedes, who inked a four-year $36 million deal to be Oakland’s left-fielder. Céspedes was seen as a five-tool player with massive power, seeing he hit 33 home runs over 90 games in 2011 during play in the Cuban National Series.

Another acquisition made by Athletics GM Billy Beane was acquiring right-fielder Josh Reddick from the Boston Red Sox. To get Reddick, Beane dealt A’s closer and two-time All-Star Andrew Bailey to Boston to acquire the slick-fielding outfielder.

With rookie third baseman Josh Donaldson starting the season down at AAA, the opening day start was given to Eric Sogard.

2012 Opening Day Lineup and Rotation

  • 2B – Jemile Weeks
  • SS – Cliff Pennington
  • LF – Coco Crisp
  • DH – Seth Smith
  • C – Kurt Suzuki
  • RF – Josh Reddick
  • CF – Yoenis Céspedes
  • 1B – Brandon Allen
  • 3B – Eric Sogard

Rotation

  • Tommy Milone (LHP)
  • Jarrod Parker (RHP)
  • Bartolo Colon (RHP)
  • Brandon McCarthy (RHP)
  • Travis Blackley (LHP)

Bullpen

  • CL – Grant Balfour (RHP)
  • RP – Ryan Cook (RHP)
  • RP – Jerry Blevins (RHP)
  • RP – Jordan Norbetto (LHP)
  • RP – Sean Doolittle (LHP)

Balfour, the setup man from 2011, was moved to closer for the 2012 campaign. Oakland tapped rookie left-hander Sean Doolittle, who was formerly a position player in the minor-leagues to be the new setup man out of the bullpen.

Oakland also inked 39 year-old former Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon to slide into the rotation. In 2011 with the New York Yankees, the right-hander went 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA.

With some new faces onboard and low expectations, the Athletics began their regular season uncertain of what was to come.

Coming Up

Tomorrow, we will take a look into how the 2012 regular season unfolded for the Oakland Athletics, and how they built one of the greatest comebacks in franchise history.