Well, here we are, 7 games back with 10 to play. This is the end. The must win situations where even if the A's win all their games, they can be eliminated if the Rangers win 4. Logic and probability say the A's are not going to the playoffs. But inside me is a voice yelling, "This A's team is GREAT! We are better than the Rangers! We should be going to the playoffs!"
One game does not a season make, but last night with their backs against the wall, facing the team that can eliminate them, Dallas Braden, with one of the 5 slowest fastballs in the majors, almost pitched his second no hitter this year.
I love this team the way I haven't loved an A's team since 2006. I just can't bear to let this season end. I look all over the diamond and see guys either dominant or just about ready to dominate. Can Daric Barton really be valuable as a first baseman without much pop? All I ever see him do is get quality ABs and either walk or hit a line drive somewhere. How about Pennington at SS? I thought this guy was the weakest link on the team at the start of the season, then I started to see him make great play after great play and get big hit after big hit and get stolen base after stolen base. Coco and Rajai turn a lot more hits into doubles than they do into outs with their SBs.
And where do I begin on this pitching staff? That guy who almost pitched his 2nd no hitter last night is at best the 3rd best guy in the rotation, maybe the 4th best. Number 1 starting pitching in baseball. Before Thursday's game I was telling people that I couldn't remember the A's blowing a 9th inning lead, something that happens a lot to many other teams.
But there is goodness and there is greatness. I am biased and maybe this team is just good. Some would look at the W-L record and say only average. I really feel like you could rewind this season and start again with the same bunch and this team might win 95 games. Maybe not, but the team appears that good to my eyes. And I just don't want it to end. But with baseball seasons as with all living things, there is no permanence. Death is coming for all of us and it's coming for the 2010 A's season soon. I just hate it.
Jim Morrison had it right about something else too, The West is the Best. I think we can easily get spoiled in the Bay area, but I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis. If you like high humidity hot summers and temps in the winter in the double negative digits, Minnesota is a great place. I found the story in Money magazine which listed Eden Prarie as the best city to live in absolutely laughable. Just wait until the Twins play outdoor playoff baseball again. Expect weather below freezing. When I went to the homecoming football game at my 20 year high school reunion on Oct 3rd the temperature was 9 degrees. That said, the Twins are my main hope to dethrone the Yankees. Unless the A's can pull out a miracle the postseason slogan should be Win Twins!