KCBS News Anchor Stan Bunger (who along with KCBS Sports Anchor Steve Bitker are the on-air duo known as KCBS Sports Fans) offers his unique sports analysis.

OAKLAND (CBS SF) – After a series of high-profile (and cost cutting) trades, it’s currently en vogue to take a swipe at the Billy Beane pinata. I’ll pass, and here’s why: the A’s, under Billy Beane, have been incredibly successful.

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Forget about “Moneyball.” Forget about the player turnstile. Well, that Yoenis Cespedes T-shirt giveaway day three days after he was traded WAS a bit awkward.

No, Beane’s record speaks for itself: in his 16 seasons as general manager, the A’s have averaged 88 wins a year and been to postseason play 8 times. The gripe is that they’ve consistently been early-round flameouts, but at least they’ve been there. Plenty of fans in other cities would be thrilled with results like the A’s have posted.

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Postseason baseball is its own world, where luck and the hot hand loom large. It’s a fool’s errand to predict outcomes. Let’s not forget that the A’s were sent home this autumn by a Kansas City team that came within a MadBum of winning the World Series, and that the guy whose 8th inning meltdown in that wild card game gave KC a chance to come back is the very one being chased by many teams as this offseason’s hottest free agent pitcher.

The stark reality is that Beane’s A’s have been a pretty successful team that hasn’t managed to grab the brass ring at the end. If that makes them failures, then misery loves company, because during Beane’s tenure, only 9 of the 30 MLB teams have carted home a Series trophy (and most of those have been won by four teams: the Giants, Yankees, Red Sox and Cardinals).

For A’s fans, it’s a pair of existential questions: do you want to see your team have a shot at October baseball and are you willing to accept Bean’s machinations as part of the bargain? Because the third question has already been answered by the facts: the guy DOES appear to know what he’s doing.

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