Consider this a kind of a respectful rant if you will.
I grew up in the East Bay and the A’s are my team. I’ve been vocal about that for a while and it’s no secret. But unlike a lot of A’s fans, I do not hate, despise or whatever you call it with the Giants. They are the other team across the Bay. They aren’t a real rival to the A’s. I appreciate and love the Bay and I want good things for my area.
With that said, the Giants winning another World Series would be very tough on me as an A’s fan. Part of it is because I wish my team could have beat the Tigers. But the real reason has nothing to do with the game, but the aftermath.
Who will win?
Growing up in the East Bay, I became an Oakland A’s fan and it’s the team I feel the most passionate about. With being an A’s fan, there is that “rivalry” with the San Francisco Giants.
At least to me, the rivalry doesn’t really exist. But in recent years, it has become something I think has gotten out of hand.
Since the Giants won the World Series in 2010, the bandwagon has gotten out of control for them. Pandering to their requirement for panda hats and fancy lifestying, the new Giants “fans” have given me an A’s fan a hard time. It seems that at any opportunity, they mock everything that is Oakland. Whether it’s the team’s stadium or even the city’s not so glamorous appeal, Giants fans have recently made an effort to look down on me and my team.
I was there last night. And last night reminded me why I love baseball. In fact, the entire season for the 2012 Oakland Athletics is a constant reminder of why the game of baseball is the best in the world.
Last night featured great drama with the Tigers taking an early lead. Then Josh Donaldson with a great defensive play. The A’s bullpen finding a way to keep it close. Then the improbable A’s doing what they do best, they rally in the 9th and produce one of the greatest comebacks I’ve ever seen.
Josh Reddick’s single brought back life to this Coliseum that had a nervous feel to it. The crowd still believed, but until Reddick got that hit, and the crowd exploded. Josh Donaldson’s double blew the roof off. And once again, the team started to feel the mojo at the Coliseum. Seth Smith’s double blew the roof off the place and the improbable comeback was complete. This excitement could not be matched.
I am still at a loss for words on my experience last night at the A’s game. It was a tremendous experience in a packed house. Maybe I’ll be able to write more about it but for the time being, here are some videos I shot. Enjoy!
Matt Wieters didn’t block the plate.
I finally got around to watching the “matrix” scoring playing from Ichiro that everyone is talking about. It takes some kind of special athlete to be heads up and to be that swift to the plate. But the praise for Ichiro on this play needs to tone down a bit.
As impressive as this play was, it’s actually aided by one of the worst mental blunders catchers frequently make.
When a runner is trying to score, catchers are taught to block the plate. Their goal is to get in the way of the runner so they can’t score. Wieter’s first attempt to tag Ichiro was not textbook. But I’ll let Wieters slide on this one since he was off the plate receiving the ball.
You explain this to me.
The infield fly rule is to prevent an infield from intentionally dropping a pop up to start a double play. But as you can tell, that ball was in in the infield. And the ball wasn’t intentionally dropped. It fell because of the fielder’s error. And with the umpire giving such a late call on the fly rule, we had angry fans tossing beer bottles onto the field.
Whatever explanation MLB sends us, it will not make any sense. The fact that this was one of the worst calls in league history, it led to two outs and the Braves were unable to build on their rally.
But I do look forward to whatever explanation MLB gives as to why the Braves protest was denied or how they explain the rule — a rule they don’t even know.
You don’t want to face these A’s. Nobody wants to meet them in the playoffs. But that’s what the Detroit Tigers have to deal with this weekend.
I am bias but I have watched every A’s game this season and they are playing at a level that I haven’t seen in a long time. They are the little engine that could but with a swagger so strong. These Oakland A’s are on fire right now.
When it comes to playoff baseball — or any sport in fact — you don’t want to face against the hottest team entering the dance. The A’s not only are the hottest team, but they snatched the AL West away from the Texas Rangers in the process.
The A’s are the most dangerous team right now. Maybe they can harness that into this ALDS. Maybe they won’t. Who knows? But trust me, this A’s team is for real and the rest of the AL better be careful.
Great celebration last night.
Celebrate good times, come on!
That’s the song that plays after every Oakland Athletics home win at the Coliseum. It’s a fitting song for the team that is celebrating not only good times, but an accomplishment that didn’t seem possible at the beginning of the year.
Trading away All-Star pitchers Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill and Andrew Bailey looked like the team was ready to rebuild with the young prospects they got in return. Instead these rookies filled in their roles nicely in the pitching staff and catapulted the A’s into the playoffs.
Major props have to be given to Billy Beane for believing in his moves despite criticisms. Key players like Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, Sean Doolittle and Ryan Cook have carried the team to where they are right now. Even pitchers like A.J. Griffin and Dan Strailey emerged midseason to boost this team.
I still can’t believe the A’s have made it this far. They weren’t supposed to be sniffing the playoffs but here we are.
With three games remaining in the regular season, the A’s could clinch a playoff spot as early as Monday night. Right now, the A’s are two games behind the Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West. The A’s are also have the second Wild Card spot, sitting one game behind the first spot.
The A’s magic number is 1 to reach the playoffs, so either a win by them this Monday or a loss by the Angels and Rays will secure a spot for Oakland. But the A’s can also still get the top Wild Card playoff spot since they’re only one game behind it.
But for me, I am looking forward to the AL West. The Rangesr are coming into Oakland for a three game set and if the A’s want the division title, they have to sweep the Rangers. Pretty tall order but if you’ve watched the A’s this year, it can happen.
If Major League Baseball installed the new playoff format last year, this walk-off home run wouldn't have mattered.
According to FOX Sports, Major League Baseball will go to a 10-team format this upcoming season. Each league will have two Wild Card teams and both will square off in a one-game playoff to determine who gets to face the top seeded team.
I can see why MLB would want to try this out, but ultimately it just doesn’t work.
Adding two more teams waters down the excitement of a playoff chase towards the end of the season. If this new system was installed last year, then both the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays both would have made the playoffs and the exciting finish we saw at the season finale would have just been pointless.