The Oakland A's are rebuilding. They'll explain their reasons to you personally if you go to a game. They might even let you on the field if you buy a season-ticket package. And if you bring a glove and a fake moustache, well, you could be playing first base at some point.
Billy Beane used to fight the good fight, acknowledging that his team was at a constant disadvantage, but still attempting to build the best team he can within his means. But recently, his message became more dire:
"We've been through this [rebuilding] cycle numerous times, and it gets shorter and shorter because the gap between us and everybody else grows," Beane said. "The fact of the matter is, for us to compete, we're going to have to have a new stadium ...
Over at Grantland, though, Jonah Keri isn't convinced:
But far more often (talk about a team's window to contend is) a bullshit excuse. It's a vague, faraway goal that always seems several years out of reach. It's a cover for cheap, greedy ownership, lousy scouting, drafting, and player development, and myopic trades. It's a weak attempt to placate a fan base screwed over by years of management incompetence and indifference.
The whole thing is a step-by-step takedown of the A's and other teams that cry poor. Keri should know about this sort of thing, as he grew up a huge Montreal Expos fan and wrote a book about the Tampa Bay Rays. Small markets and teams overcoming fiscal Goliaths is sort of his niche. The article is definitely worth a read.