Thursday, October 4, 2012

Stealing First!

The Texas Rangers held 1st place in the AL West Major League Baseball standings for 176 days, and 161 games... Yet, on the day 1st place counted (after the 162nd game), They found themselves traveling home to save their hopes as a "Wild Card" contender to keep alive a return trip (for a third straight year) to the Fall Classic, World Series of Baseball, as the AL representative. Billy Bean, of "Money Ball" fame and long time GM magician for the Oakland Athletics compiled (unbeknownst to baseball analysts and fans alike) a perfect chemistry of rookies and unknowns with "The Right Stuff" to burst the bubble and assumptions across the landscape of Baseball lore. A team with an astonishing vintage $55 million dollar budget rose from the depths of the only dual sport decrepit (creaking and archaic concrete) stadium left standing in the US located in the East Bay of Northern California, to slash the assumptions and expectations of all competition near and far in the American League. 

What's more stunning, is the statistics. Since June 1, Oakland A's have gone 72-39, a .648 winning percentage! That winning angle comes close to insanity... The Texas Rangers went  62-49 with significant drops in July (going 9-14) and September (going 15-13) for practically 50% baseball at .558! Oakland was on a mission. No team in history of MLB with 9 games to go, and 5 games behind, made a statement on where they felt they should be going, the playoffs. 

Before the trading deadline, July 31, it appeared Oakland Athletics were unloading, trading away Gio Gonzales (starting pitcher), and Kirk Suzuki (catcher), evaluated as two of their premier players to the Washington Nationals. Well, those two did contribute to the Nationals first playoff appearance since relocation from Montreal, Canada in 2004 (formerly the Expos). I don't think there are many sports analysts outside of Oakland, CA whom could even name more than two players on the 25 man roster in Oakland! ( I know I would struggle, being a San Francisco Giants Fan). 

More interesting than that, Oakland Athletics go in to the playoffs undoubtedly with the best starting pitching, bullpen, and hitting (the triple threat), yet NO ONE seems threatened by them or feels they're the most dangerous team to face in the playoffs to make the "Fall Classic". Overlooking Oakland may be the mistake every other team and analyst makes in 2012.  The only persons whom seem dialed in to their threat, are the beat reporters, and sports analysts, who've quietly watched their rise out of the "Stepchild" City of Oakland CA. 

Only the delirious folks surrounding the NorCal corridor are excited about a desired and long overdue "Battle of the Bay" World Series. 1989 literally shook the earth, bringing a Championship to Oakland. Will the Earth shake again in 2012? These 'wild and crazy' fans that seem to know "nothing" about baseball have been enjoying the rise of talent no one seems to notice anywhere else in Anytown USA. Hmmmm..... Maybe West Coast Sports Lovers should have a "Gripe" versus the trends and headlines around our Nation. 

I am absolutely enjoying the view of a little known team in Cali stealing a title from the Big Blue Boys in Texas! 

Enjoy the Gallery! 

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