A group weblog for Oakland A's fans

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wait Til Next Year!

Today I have a weird empty feeling. Ever since I became an A's fan in the middle of the 2000 season, almost every day of the regular season has been a day where I thought the game mattered. The A's were in contention until the 2nd to last day last year, and now they are out, but they still have 5 games to go. I guess they are the 6th best team in a league where only the best 4 go to the playoffs. We can all contemplate what could have been, had Rich Harden and Bobby Crosby not been injured. But the future looks bright for these guys. That whole pitching staff oughta get better, Swisher, Ellis, Johnson ought to all get better. One or 2 big bats acquired next year might make a huge difference.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

4 games back, 7 to go

The Rangers coun't even beat the Angels once, but they beat the A's 2 of 3 this weekend. The Rays even helped the A's by beating the Angels this afternoon, but the A's couldn't inch any closer. If the A's won 3 of 4 from the Angels they'd be 2 games back and need help over the weekend, but they wouldn't be done. 2 of 4 and they are done. The best scenario is A's win all 4. It looks tough, but.....Lets look at what I posted last October here:

Saturday night I went to see a band called the Hot Snakes at Slim's in San Francisco. Rockin' band from San Diego, featuring members of Drive Like Jehu and Rocket from the Crypt. I had ordered 4 tickets but only 3 of us ended up going, so I was outside waiting for someone who needed a ticket to come by. I had my blue Red Sox T-shirt on. A chubby guy with a "Speed Queen" hat comes up to me and says, "Great shirt man. Those Red Sox were great. This was the best thing that ever happened in the history of sports and I don't expect it to ever be any better."

As a guy that likes to make over the top statements, I was a stunned to hear him say that. Was this the best thing that has ever happened in sports? This guy, like me, didn't sound like he was from Boston, he just got caught up in the story of the Red Sox. It wouldn't be wrong to say it was the greatest comeback in the history of sports. Once they got to the brink, down 3-0, they never lost again. 8 straight wins against the best teams that MLB could throw at them. Having the comeback be against the Yankees and winning game 7 in Yankee Stadium with all the subplots was pretty incredible. There are a lot of sports stories talking about when the momentum shifted, in ESPN the Magazine, Buster Olney makes the case that the momentum shifted during the game 3 19-8 loss when Wakefield volunteered to give up his start to save the bullpen. Bill Simmons at ESPN.com said it was in the late innings of game 4 when the fans at Fenway stood and cheered as their unreliable pitcher, Derek Lowe, went to the bullpen to warm up. I don't think fans believing could have helped, but them cheering probably could have. I am starting to question my understanding of what I saw, maybe there isn't any momentum, maybe a bunch of Red Sox who normally would have given up decided not to this time, and a bunch of good breaks randomly went their way. But I believe by the time the Red Sox had won game 7 of the ALCS, they could have beaten anyone 4 straight games, the Cards, the Yankees, an NL all star team, they were on the roll of a lifetime. The greatest thing that ever happened in the history of sports? Yeah, why not?

So my point with that long-winded cut and paste? I am not asking the A's to do the impossible, or even to match the greatest feat that ever happened in sports. I am not asking them to win 8 straight against the teams with the best record in baseball. How about just 4 in a row against the team with the 5th best record in the AL? In the grand scope of things it is not that hard to imagine. They are still alive.

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