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Elephant Rumblings: The A’s 2022 season is over

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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics
Oct 5, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Tony Kemp (5) lays on the field following his team s final game of the season, a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels at RingCentral Coliseum.
D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!

The A’s 2022 season is over, and by the numbers—60 wins to 102 losses—it was quite a downer. Only in 1979 did the team fare worse in the franchise’s Oakland era with a 54-108 record.

As it happens, I first started buying wax packs of Topps baseball cards in 1980; that year’s set “covered” the nadir of Oakland A’s history. I was already an A’s fan because my parents were, having lived in Stockton, CA during the heyday of the “Swingin’ A’s” dynasty. But it was delving into the stats and factoids on the backs of those cards that made me a real baseball fan.

Of course, from the abyss of the 1979 season sprang arguably the Greatest Athletic of All Time: Rickey Henderson, who helped lead the team to its last World Series Championship in 1989. I sure wish I’d hung onto that rookie card that I pulled from one of the wax packs I bought at the corner drug store.

For me—and many of you, I believe—there were many silver linings this season despite so much losing. Perhaps the shiniest of them was watching the franchise’s potential future stars cut their teeth in the big leagues: Shea Langeliers, Nick Allen, Cristian Pache, Ken Waldichuk, and their fellow aspirants likely won’t emerge as titans of Henderson’s stature, and they all have weaknesses to overcome, but there’s a lot of talent in the mix to get excited about.

There was also the fond and magical farewell of Stephen Vogt, and the camaraderie of clubhouse leaders like Tony Kemp and Chad Pinder to warm us in this season of so much discontent. And let’s not forget the Cinderella season Paul Blackburn had in becoming the A’s lone All-Star rep—even though it turned into a bit of a pumpkin after the ball.

Last but not least, I’d cite this Athletics Nation community and all the good times we’ve had spitting hot takes and savoring the season’s best moments together as a highlight of my A’s fandom in 2022. We suffered a huge hit with the departure of our long time Editor in Chief Alex Hall, but I think better days are ahead for both the A’s and our community. Why? I dunno—call it a gut feeling. I’m an optimist.

Anywho, no need for goodbyes, as we’ve got a stadium saga and offseason moves to talk about in the months ahead. Seeya around, thanks for the good times and support, and have a great weekend, AN. Who you got for the 2022 World Series?

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Waldichuk chucked 12 fine innings in his last two starts to cap off a rocky September.

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I lost count.

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