Coming off back-to-back 97-win seasons, the A's entered 2020 with aspirations of competing for a World Series title.
Those dreams have been put on hold by the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The start of the 2020 MLB season has been delayed until health officials deem it safe for people to leave their homes and gather in large groups.
While MLB and the Players' Association agreed to a number of items regarding the 2020 season, no one knows when regular-season games will be played or how many games the 2020 season will contain.
In the eyes of shortstop Marcus Semien, that shouldn't be a problem for the A's but starting hot will be key.
"We definitely have the talent, the arms, the depth," Semien told The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser on Friday on "The A's Plus" podcast. "You know, it's going to be interesting. Everything is hypothetical right now, so if there's a half-season, you know, three months, whatever, whatever the season length is, we like our chances. It's just different.
"You gotta get off to a better start, I would assume with the shortened season. In the past, we've had slow starts. I don't think there's any room for error there. You gotta come out to a better start."
Based on how the last two seasons played out, Semien is right. If there only is an 81-game season, it could be more difficult for the A's.
Through 81 games in 2018 and 2019, the A's had identical 43-38 records. Both teams were in third place in the AL West and not in possession of a wild-card spot at the completion of Game No. 81.
But both teams finished strong, going 54-27 over the final 81 games both seasons.
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If MLB were to shorten the 2020 season to just 81 games, the A's wouldn't have the ability to go on a second-half run.
If the A's don't start the season playing well, they likely will fail to achieve their goal of hoisting the Commissioner's Trophy.