|Countdown to Ecstasy|
|Written by Lawr Michaels|
|Wednesday, 03 October 2012 08:23|
Well, I guess I sort of had an inclination back when the Athletics took four from the Yankees, and even documented accordingly on the July 21 Bed Goes Up, Bed Goes Down.
So, here we are, a little over two-and-a-half months past, on the last day of the 2012 season, and three of the playoff teams have the exact same record of 93-68 (Baltimore, Texas, and Oakland) with the Yankees having just a one game edge at 94 victories.
At one point those Athletics were nine games under .500, and 13 games back of the Rangers, and to tell the truth, exactly how this team of kids and castoffs pulled off one of the more unlikely post-season pushes ever is beyond me.
It is also big fun, for if we remember back to the spring, Oakland had Scott Sizemore penned to man third base, Manny Ramirez ready to come off his suspension as the DH, and that guy Bartolo Colon in the rotation. Oh yes, and that untested Cuban refugee, Yoenis Cespedes was signed.
Then Sizemore was injured and Josh Donaldson tried the hot corner, was dispatched to Sacramento, and replaced by Luke Hughes, who was similarly sent packing before Brandon Inge came to sort of stop that bleeding.
In the mean time another Brandon--as in Brandon Moss--which made him the fifth Brandon to hit the team roster (along with Inge, Brandon McCarthy, Brandon Hicks, and Brandon Allen) in 2012 which has to be some kind of record.
There were closer issues with Grant Balfour, then Brian Fuentes, then rookie Ryan Cook--the lone team All Star--and then back again to Balfour, and by the time Manny retired and Colon suspended, leaving Oakland with an unlikely rookie rotation of Tommy Milone, A.J. Griffin, Jarrod Parker, Dan Strailey, and Travis Blackley: a quintet that destroyed the record for rookie rotation starts for a season (the old mark was 69, and the Oakland rotation is approaching 100 starts).
When has a team of such odd parts been moving and tweaked during the season and wound up so successful?
Beats me how the combination of Billy Beane and Bob Melvin pulled all these strings, but here we are, on the last day of the season, with Oakland assured of a playofff spot and with a big win over the Rangers and my pal Ron Washington--whom I would not know had he not been an Athletic for so long--the team will win the American League West crown.
Oddly, in late August I managed to cop tickets to today's game for my band mates and me simply thinking it would be fun to hit the last game of the season.
Meaning out of nowhere we all get to see the biggest and most exciting game of the season, so far.
Like I said: "Who knew?"
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 October 2012 09:30|