The Day of Reckoning is Upon Us…
If you’ve been a frequent visitor to BayAreaBall, A.) Thank You and B.) You are probably wondering whay I have been a little MIA as of late and it’s because I’ve been basking if the glow of the Oakland Athletics season. It’s a weird process trying to write about something after you’ve been wholeheartedly invested both emotionally and physically along with every ounce of energy getting drained out of you at the end of every single game. But the season has come down to the next 3 days of Baseball Euphoria or Purgatory depending on who you’re asking for the Oakland A’s.
Honestly I don’t think that I can stress enough how much anguish and joy this season has brought me but I literally can’t wait until tonight to head out to the Oakland Coliseum and watch game 1 of the 3 game series versus Texas. So let’s break down the brass tax of what needs to happen in terms of scenarios for the A’s to make the playoffs as either a Wild Card team or Division Champions (I can’t believe I just typed that last thing).
The A’s come into this series only 2 games behind the Texas Rangers with 3 left to play to end the season. They were able to put themselves in this position by sweeping the Seattle Mariners over the weekend with a down pour of Home Runs and one very epic walk-off started by Josh Donaldson and ended by Brandon Moss. I don’t even want to talk about destiny because I think in some ways it belittles what is going on with this young A’s team. By saying something is “destiny” ostensibly tries to throw out the skill and level of excellence that the A’s have been playing at in order to make the story a bit more magical. Destiny denotes happenstance, chances and a fortuitousness as opposed to giving credit to the players, managers, and all those involved with getting the team to this point. This team is flat out playing great baseball and getting even hotter at the right time if that is indeed possible.
Alright, enough of the long winded prose, let’s get to the scenarios:
1.) Wild Card: So with the A’s being 2 games back of the Rangers, yesterday’s loss by the Angels on the back end of their double header with the Rangers guaranteed both the Yankees and Orioles a playoff spot. Interestingly enough, both the O’s and Yankees are tied right now for the division with 3 games left versus the division rival Red Sox and Rays. So unless one of those 2 teams gets swept, it is possible that the A’s will be in line for the 2nd Wild Card Spot. The Athletics are 1 game behind in the Wild Card standings with both the Rays and Angels 3 games back for the last WC spot.
The A’s will be able to solidify a Wildcard spot with a win tonight and/or a loss by both the Tampa Bay Rays or Anaheim Angels. Here is another less exciting scenario, if the Rangers are able to pull out a victory tonight, and both the Rays and Angels lose. The Rangers will become the AL West Champs and the A’s would get the final Wildcard spot. Either way both teams make the playoffs and then the last 2 games of the series aren’t really as important.
Now for my personal favorite scenario,
2.) Division Title: Since the A’s are 2 games back of the Rangers, that means that if they are able to sweep the Rangers in this season’s final series they would have both shocked the world but also won the division by one game and essentially on the last day of the season. There is one big reason why I really hope this happens, it would guarantee a full playoff series and probably go down as one of the most historical runs in baseball history. Also if I’m not mistaken, that would drop the Rangers into the Wildcard spot who would then have to play the Wildcard winner from the AL East in a one game playoff. Tell me a New York vs Texas one game Wildcard playoff wouldn’t be awesome and the fact that it would give Bud Selig nightmares would be an added bonus.
So there you have it A’s fans, all the team needs to do is win and continue to win in order to keep its playoff hopes alive and more importantly its hope for the division at the forefront of their collective minds. Let’s Go Oakland, do it one more time and bring this thing we call post season baseball home! The day of reckoning has finally come, now how will you greet it Oakland?
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