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Winning Streak Or Losing Streak, 8 Is Enough

As the A's winning streak ends at 8, it's always interesting--if bad for your mental health--to try to do a little revisionist history. How might the rest of the game been different had the A's gotten that elusive go-ahead run across in the 6th? Would every subsequent decision, and every outcome, been exactly the same? Or, given a lead to hold and 9 outs to get, would we have seen different pitchers at different times and a different result? I suppose an opinion on this and $3.50 will get you a latte. For now, the .500 mark will have to wait. Perhaps hoping for 9 wins in a row seemed, to the baseball gods, to be a little...Crede...

As the A's fall back to 10 games behind the Angels, I want to put in a plug for the concept of the Wild Card, which has its supporters and its detractors. I love the integrity baseball has preserved regarding what it means to make the playoffs. In basketball and hockey, you practically just have to show up; in baseball, you really have to be one of the better teams.

But the addition of the Wild Card has done so much good. Still only 8 of 30 teams (26.7%) make the playoffs. Yet without the Wild Card, right now the A's would be sitting 10 games out of a playoff spot, the Indians 10 games, the Twins 9.5 games, the Cubs 9.5 games. Instead, even if the Angels, Whitesox, and Cardinals prove uncatchable, these teams are in a dog-fight for a playoff spot that really does mean something. And a team can generally stay in the Wild Card race longer. Good for fan interest, good for parity, good for baseball. Your thoughts?