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Open Game Thread: Game 159 - A's @ Seattle

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All the A's have to do to avoid a fourth straight losing season is win their last four games. Easy as pie, right? Mmm, pie.

The longest stretch of living under the .500 mark for Oakland is six seasons, from 1993-98, although this current run resembles that of the 1982-86 A's who- after losing 94 games in '82- went on to post eerily similar mediocre records of 74-88, 77-85, 77-85, and 76-86 in the ensuing years.

Of course none of this matters much, and it will matter even less after Dallas Braden's shutout in Game 7 of next year's World Series. It just happens to be in my contract to mention this kind of stuff.

I've been reading up on the varying opinions of whether this year's A's were actually in a pennant race, and I am in the "not really" camp. While it's true the Athletics made it to Game 154 before being escorted from the playoff tryouts, they were never quite in "it". When your team is in the race, there's no debate. The crowd is electric and hanging on every pitch. Hey, I've been around enough of these things to know, so let's not try to sugarcoat this season beyond what it was.

Still, it was nice to pretend for a month; which beats the crap out of the alternative. But I'm ready for the next step. It's been long enough already. Oh I know the Reds waited 15 years to get back, and it had been since '99 for the Rangers, but in Oakland, we don't believe in such droughts.

Since moving to the Bay Area, the longest period between post-season appearances for the A's is eight years (1992/2000), although were it not for the debacle of the 1981 strike-shortened season, there could have been a wider gap (1975/1988). But I don't make the rules here.

All I know is I am itching for some October baseball in Oakland, so the A's brass needs to get on that, pronto. As for this season? A perfect game, a handful of highlights, and a whole lot of meh.

I can't seem to get sentimental about my last (A's) game thread of the season. Probably because I have been around so sparingly this past month. Truth be told, it is the off-site moments and friendships that made 2010 special, although interviewing a certain Hall-of-Famer won't soon be forgotten.

Nino & Isaiah

The year 2010 consisted of 67MARQUEZ and Isaiah at the Coli.

I finally made it to a major league stadium outside of Northern California. Sat with our founding father and his precious daughter. I made it to my first Chez Nico, and lived to tell about it. I ate Feeba's tacos, without using my hands! (She fed them to me, sickos). I was the first AN'er to meet Mr. Bloom (or at least that's what he told me). I also met OldhamA, Manteca A's Fan, and ohtobe21likehuston! I got to hang out with a movie star. I attended ShowerGate, in honor of AN's First Couple. Even rubbed elbows with a couple of legends, Free Seat Upgrade and monkeyball. I ate and drank more than my body cared to consume. But my taste buds were content.

And then there was Suite 69. But we won't talk about that, will we?

What we will discuss is tonight's ball game. Keep the conversation going, gANg.

And thank you for a memorable year.

Your lineups:

Lineup

Oakland Athletics @ Seattle Mariners

09/30/10 7:10 PM PDT

Oakland Athletics Seattle Mariners
Rajai Davis - CF Ichiro Suzuki - RF
Daric Barton - 1B Chone Figgins - 2B
Mark Ellis - 2B Franklin Gutierrez - CF
Jack Cust - DH Justin Smoak - 1B
Kurt Suzuki - C Adam Moore - C
Kevin Kouzmanoff - 3B Matt Mangini - 3B
Jeremy Hermida - RF Greg Halman - LF
Chris Carter - LF Michael Saunders - DH
Cliff Pennington - SS Josh Wilson - SS