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.
Offensively, you can’t put a value on what Yoenis Cespedes has meant to the offense. Brining back Coco Crisp and finding hidden talent in Brandon Moss, Josh Donaldson and Chris Carter gave the offense a boost they needed. Josh Reddick and Jonny Gomes both are also vital parts to this major resurgence.
The list goes on with what the A’s have done and it seems like every player on the roster has an amazing story to be told. And maybe that’s why we can’t turn away from this team.
Unlike the Moneyball team that the A’s celebrated back in August, this team has done more improbable with less talent. The 2002 A’s were stock full of top of the line talent and were expected to contend for the World Series. This 2012 team had a major offseason overhaul and weren’t even expected to sniff 70 wins. Right now, the team is two wins away from a division title.
It’s the surprise that makes this team fun to watch. The underdog story is captivating and it fits perfectly for the identity of Oakland. For years this team has worked on not signing the big names but instead finding the diamond in the roughs with a limited budget. We love an underdog story and we have it right now.
The A’s can still beat Texas to win the division. The A’s eliminated the big spending Angels in the process. Eliminating these Goliaths only validate what the team has done this season. It’s not a fluke. This team is for real and they embody what we like to see in baseball.
The great thing about this celebration is that it’s only one of hopefully a few more to come. This fantastic run for the A’s isn’t over yet. They’ve secured at least one playoff game and hope to have that game at home. But with two more regular season games left against Texas, a sweep to end the campaign gives them the division title.
Watching the Rangers last night, I saw intimidation. I don’t doubt they’re confident in themselves, but I think they were starting to realize that they are dealing with a team that may just be better than them. And one thing they don’t want is to let the division title slip to the A’s.
But with a Cinderalla style story the A’s are having, other teams should be on alert. No big names or major budget to work with and that’s fine with the A’s right now. They have an unbelievable chemistry going on and are playing baseball at a level that the rest of the league needs to reckon with.
It’s hard to predict how far this A’s team can get in the postseason but if the past several months are any indication of anything, it’s that don’t be surprised if the A’s continue winning. They’re one of 10 teams that can win the World Series. That’s pretty special.