Found October 04, 2012 on
The Daily Rival:
When it comes what the Oakland A’s accomplished this season, culminated by Wednesday’s division-clinching win, one words best describes it.
This was a team that was 13 games back in the division entering July. This was a team that had less than a one-percent chance to make the playoffs. And now not only is this team going to the playoffs, it’s doing so as AL West champs.
Not just any team, either. This team. We all heard it. We all read about it. Some of us wrote about it. The A’s weren’t supposed be a factor in the AL West because they have a payroll of a button and three sticks of chewing gum. Meanwhile the Rangers and Angels spent in excess of $120 million, which evidently nobody told A’s players was a lot more than what their team was spending. Jocks never were supposed to be good at math.
But the makeup of the A’s is most, if not all, of their charm. Part of the ******* craziness of the A’s miraculous turnaround is the fact that they’re doing it with an anonymous roster jampacked with no-names.
Josh Reddick? Who was he before this year other than an odd-man out in the Red Sox outfield? Boy, dontcha think Boston would have loved to have his 32 home runs this year?
Brandon Moss? Who was he before this year? He was just trying to get a gig overseas. And now he finishes the regular season with the club’s second-highest batting average at .291.
And then there was the rookie explosion. A total boon for the A’s this season. With the club hampered by injuries left and right throughout the campaign, it seemed as if rookie after rookie rose to the occasion and exceeded what would normally be expected of somebody with their novice status. (This isn’t hyperbole, either. The A’s were relying on a five-man rotation of all rookies down the home stretch of the season.)
Tommy Milone? He only went on to break the franchise record in wins by a rookie pitcher.
Sean Doolitte? The converted first baseman has been the A’s best lefty in the pen.
Jarrod Parker? Only the A’s most reliable and consistent starter at the ripe old age of 23.
Travis Blackley? The first person perhaps to ever become a rookie after being a veteran shook off a brief slump to get the W in A’s second game of the Rangers series this week.
Yoenis Cespedes? When he wasn’t hitting baseballs into the doldrums of the Coliseum like it’s batting practice, he led the team in batting average.
(The list can go on and on. But why do that here when I already did it here.)
The fans, obviously, have become familiar with this motley crew. Now it’s time for the rest of baseball to. Of course, people who think they know things will tell you all this inexperience isn’t a good thing in October. But do you really want to keep counting these guys out? Have you not learned your lesson? I’m still not convinced we haven’t been witnessing some Angels in the Outfield-type ****.
Moving forward, the natural reaction for A’s fans now is to get greedy, to expect a run deep into the postseason. And the proper time for that will come. But for now, with the next game not until Saturday, A’s fans should just marvel at how far this team has come. It’s been a trip.
Photo by Keith Allison
BEST OF MAXIM
On Wednesday, a heartwarming story emerged about how Oakland A’s relief pitcher Pat Neshek went from celebrating a playoff berth with the team to racing cross-country to witness the birth of his son in Florida. Tragically, the story has a heart-wrenching ending: Neshek tweeted Wednesday night that little Gehrig John Neshek had passed away, a [...]
A's pitcher Brandon McCarthy has shown he knows how to joke about his scary head injury. His teammates are now joining in the fun. When Oakland clinched its playoff berth, A's players took to celebrating -- but not before making sure McCarthy was protected. McCarthy, who was hit in the head by a line drive early last month and had to have surgery to treat a fractured skull...
On Wednesday the Oakland Athletics won the American League West division championship in front of their home fans at the O.co Coliseum. The A's celebrated when the final out was made, but one fan in the stands stood out for his exuberant style of celebrating that was conveniently captured on another fan's cellphone.
We'll go out on a limb and say that this A&...
I love stories, and what the A’s did this year is one of the most amazing stories in baseball history. I haven’t written about the Oakland Athletics at all this year because I didn’t know what to say. I don’t know anybody on their team, I couldn’t take them seriously, and I didn’t know how they were winning. They seem like a rag-tag crew of pickings off the scrap heap...
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Pat Neshek said that his newborn son has died.
The former Minnesota Twins right-hander posted on his Twitter account late Wednesday night that he and his wife lost their first child 23 hours after his birth "with no explanation." He asked for prayers, and words of support began flooding Twitter.
Neshek took a flight...
The Oakland A’s seem to be a team of destiny as they swept the Texas Rangers in the final three games of the regular season to claim the American League West title. They will head into the playoffs as the second seed in the American League and square off against the Detroit Tigers in the AL Divisional Series starting Saturday.
They’re a team of misfits. Their most notable...
Oakland turned to Travis Blackley to stay in the AL West race, and the journeyman left-hander pushed the A's into a tie with the Texas Rangers with one game remaining. Blackley's outstanding outing was fitting. Expectations were low, after two starts in which he had not made it past the second inning, but he came through, which sums up Oakland's astonishing season....
OAKLAND -- Baseball's most improbable story of 2012 is complete: The Oakland Athletics are champions of the American League West. Written off by the experts following an offseason in which young stars were again traded, the A's faced a 13-game deficit as late as June 30 before stealing the division title from Texas, beating the Rangers 12-5 Wednesday. "The bottom...
This old dude was super excited that the Oakland Athletics had a 6 game winning streak to close out the regular season, edging Texas by 1 game in the AL West, thus sending the Rangers into...
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A few weeks ago, I advocated for a wild card play-in game strategy that involved beginning the game with a reliever and relying heavily on a team’s bullpen to get them through. In that scenario, we used the Atlanta Braves as the example of how it could work. Well, we’re not yet to the wild card play-in game, but with Texas and Oakland going head to head for the AL West title...
Grant Balfour Is His Own Action Figure
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(Eds: With AP Photos.) By TIM DAHLBERG AP Sports Columnist Forget the movie about these Oakland A's. Already been done and, besides, Brad Pitt has moved on to other things.
No one would believe this anyway, even if it came from a Hollywood script.
The events that unfolded on a sun-splashed afternoon Wednesday in Oakland should never have happened - they shouldn't have had...
Remember when the Texas Rangers were running away with everything and were on course to be the the Greatest Team in the History of Whatever? Well, this afternoon the As might just take the 2012 American League West title from them. Certainly the biggest factor in the Oakland’s success this year was the incredibly boring Moneyball movie (if only they had used the alternate script...