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Coco Crisp wants to win in Oakland

O.CO COLISEUM — In 2013, a 33-year-old Coco Crisp had his best statistical season since signing with Oakland in 2009.

Photos by Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay

Photos by Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay

After a winter where big-name free agents signed monster deals with other AL contenders, Crisp took from Oakland less money than what he could have received elsewhere in free agency.

The now-34-year-old Crisp said the decision didn’t require much thought.

Crisp has Bay Area roots and Bay Area goals, the most substantial of which is to get a ring:

“I didn’t try to break the bank, obviously. … I could have gone into free agency next year and made a heck of a lot more money playing somewhere else. But that’s not my intent. I would really love to get a World Series ring here.”

It’s not just Crisp talking big. He’s backed by 22 home runs, 21 stolen bases and a .779 OPS (on base percentage, plus slugging percentage) in 2013.

That’s about the same as Jacoby Ellsbury, who signed a seven-year, $153 million contract with the Yankees in December.

It’s not just the fans in Oakland, the drums and horns in the right field bleachers.

It’s not just the nostalgia, with Crisp growing up idolizing Rickey Henderson, whom his play resembles.

Crisp really believes the A’s have what it takes to win another World Series:

“I think we have the capability. The staff, the way they think. The way it trickles down to the players, and even the upper management. I really think that this is a team that deserves to win a championship.”

For Billy Beane and the rest of the organization, Crisp has been an offensive catalyst. It’s been said multiple times by those around the club: Offense gets going when Coco gets going.

As the most experienced returning player on the A’s roster, one might imagine that he would be in the ear of younger players. Crisp says that it’s not the case, and in fact, it’s not even needed:

“If I do see something that’s out of character, the way they’re playing, then I’ll say something. But they do such a great job of grooming and scouting guys from within the organization, you really don’t have to say anything to these guys. They’re already pretty well polished. You have a lot to learn about the game, but personality wise, they’re real humble people.”

It’s one of the most visible parts of the A’s, they like to have fun in the clubhouse. Whether it be the Bernie Lean, a banana cream pie being quashed in one’s face during a post-game interview or just some jokes in-between innings, it’s very easy to see.

What’s more than that, the fun comes with wins. There were 96 of them in 2013. And there’s no doubting that Crisp had a lot to do with them.

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