Athletics GM: 'We sort of relish our underdog status'

Jonah Birenbaum

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Despite capturing the American League West division title in successive seasons, the Oakland Athletics still aren't afforded the kind of respect befitting a team that's enjoyed so much success of late.

And that's just fine with general manager Billy Beane.

"We sort of relish our underdog status," Beane said Saturday, via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. "I think we use it to our advantage. It makes it more enjoyable when you do win the division back-to-back against bigger franchises spending more money. We don't see ourselves as underdogs, but if other people see it that way, we kind of like it."

While the A's operate under more stringent financial limitations than some of their division rivals, the club still managed to enjoy a busy offseason -- they added Scott Kazmir, Jim Johnson, Luke Gregerson, Eric O'Flaherty, and a handful of other players this winter -- and have averaged 95 wins in each of the last two seasons. 

"I think we're still trying to prove to people that we're worthy," said outfielder Coco Crisp, who signed a two-year extension with the club earlier this week. "With the Angels and Texas having plus-caliber players on their rosters, we don't really have those $100 million contracts, so in that sense, we're still the underdog."