This season wasn’t supposed to be like this for the Oakland Athletics. They were expected to maybe finish in third place at best in the division. The team was supposed to be contending for the postseason in 2019. Maybe 2020. No, they were not supposed to be here.
But they arrived sooner than expected. They got 97 wins and got into the postseason as a wild-card team. That’s how stacked this American League was. Three teams had at least 100 wins and the A’s at 97 wins had to settle for the second wild-card spot.
And that’s what made this season so special. Sure, it sucks that they lost their wild-card game and their postseason dreams were dashed just like that. But what can you do when the rotation was made up of spare parts and a bunch of inexperienced players lead the team to the postseason?
On Saturday I was at Angel Stadium and I saw the greatest catch of my lifetime.
I was sitting near the A’s dugout when this play happened. I didn’t realize the time how difficult the catch was. I saw it and was shocked that he made the catch.
Then it all was a blur. The ball was in the air and reached Mark Canha’s glove to complete the double play. What did I just witness?
I still was processing that the ball did not hit the cut-off man. It was after viewing numerous replays did it come to me that the throw was at 321 feet and it was on the money.
On Saturday, Oakland A’s pinch-hitter Mark Canha hit a go-ahead two-run homer vs the Giants. After the swing, he “flipped” his bat, stared at his own dugout before trotting the bases.
People are upset about the flip.
Of course, these “unwritten rules” debates have existed for some time. Some people are upset that Canha shouldn’t show up a pitcher and he should expect to get a pitch thrown at his body the next time up.
Other feel that it’s OK to have emotion during the game and the best way to avoid a bat flip is to not give up a home run. After all, pitchers can show emotions after a strikeout but a batter can’t do it after a big hit?
Seven games out!
The A’s entered this season with a faint hope of maybe securing that last wild card spot. But after an impressive sweep of Detroit (with some fun comebacks sprinkled in there as well) the A’s are only seven games out of the final wild card spot.
Of course this is still only the halfway point and there are plenty of things that can happen.
But this team is surprising many people. With so many starting pitchers injured and some key players also coming on and off the DL, it’s hard to predict. But we had some bats heat up lately. Jed Lowrie has been tremendous during this stretch and the A’s never say die attitude is giving this team a spark.
It’s actually pretty hard for me to put into thoughts on Ichiro’s career. He’s now in the front office and likely will play a couple more games next year when the Mariners visit Japan. After that, I think it’s officially over for him.
But with today’s news, I still can’t help but reflect on all the times I saw him play live when the Mariners came to Oakland. I knew I was in the presence of greatness. This once-in-a-lifetime talent was bigger than what I could have imagined.
He had speed. He could hit. He had an arm. He had power. He had it all. And every time I saw him play I was just amazed at what he would end up doing.
It was announced that the regular season Bay Bridge series between the A’s and Giants will now feature a trophy to the series winner.
Here are the rules
- The Bridge will be awarded to the team that wins more games in the regular-season Bay Bridge Series.
- If the series finishes tied, the winner of the final game shall win The Bridge.
- If one or more games is postponed and the series has not yet been clinched, The Bridge will not be awarded until the postponed game(s) can be made up. If the postponed game(s) can not be made up, the standing of the series at the end of the season shall determine the winner of The Bridge. Whether or not postponed games are made up, if the series ends in a tie, the team that wins the final game will be awarded The Bridge.
With the annual exhibition game between the A’s and Giants in Oakland coming up, it will be a great way for the Bay to prepare for the upcoming baseball season. Additionally, the Warriors are playing at home that day too so the parking lot will be packed.
The A’s decided to use this situation to get back at Giants fans.