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A Mostly Lousy Season Ends With A Pretty Great Game

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I have to hand it to all of us. It’s Game 162, the National League pennant races are going OFF, football is well under way, and we’re still hanging around AN, watching a meaningless game between the A’s and the team that most of us hope will be ejected quickly from the playoffs. About the only thing left to play for today was third place instead of the cellar, and thanks to Seattle, we accomplished that.

I won’t lie and say that it has been a great season. I won’t even lie and say that the A’s didn’t simultaneously frustrate and bore us at times this year. But I won’t pretend that I didn’t have fun on AN, discussing all facets of baseball and beyond with this great crowd. I love rooting for the green and gold, and my whole year was a little less bright because of the A’s inability to contend. If by some miracle (named Harden, Haren, Barton or Buck) we are able to contend in 2008, I won’t take it for granted, and it will certainly be interesting to see where next year takes us. I look forward to AN Day V, SoCal AN days, and the after-midnight chats on AN after an extra-inning A’s win.

And let’s be honest; it could have been worse. I don’t care how painful this season was for us; it was not worse than having as close to a sure thing as possible slip through your fingers on the very last day of the season. Mets fans have to be heartbroken. We simply have been resigned and jaded for months now. It hurts less.

Today’s game featured another Barton homerun, in yet another game he has gotten himself on base (this kid is a keeper, right? Please?); a Swisher sac fly, an unusually bright moment in what has to be one of the most disappointing seasons in the whole major leagues; a blown save by Street (am I allowed to mention that in a happy recap?), and a ninth inning victory started by a Hall of Fame veteran, and ended by the rookie duo of Hannahan and Suzuki.

The A’s take it 3-2, and leave us wanting more. As it should be.

Crank up “Celebration” on your stereos and dance a little bit. Because the A’s will be coming back next year, and starting at 0-0. The best part about baseball? Anything can happen, and usually does.

My deepest appreciation to all of you for your faithful visits to AN, and a hope for a fun and speedy off-season! Keep checking AN for daily special features, and baseball discussions as we get ready for 2008!

Bonus baseball tomorrow as the Padres take on the Rockies in a one-game showdown for the last playoff spot.