Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Slap Hitter: A's ball gives way to Baseball

By Kibby Kleiman
Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 10:56 PM

The Oakland A's are in the midst of getting swept out of 2010 by the New York Yankees. The Athletics cannot catch the Texas Rangers and have had their pitching prowess beaten down by the powerful pinstripe crew in the Bronx. There is sadness that the decent run of a season has lost its narrative urgency, but what a treat to have had five compelling months in a six month season.

The A's season gave locals at least a full eight weeks more interest than last year's model. Never quite making a run, never quite falling out. The Oakland squad has run out of time, rather than quality. The team has been better than expected and when you buy your ticket on a team, if they aren't built for championships, that's the next best thing.

It has been a season to celebrate, with stellar pitching, an offense that is of the go-go variety, when it was moving at all. Even though September awaits, it will mostly be playing out the string. Throw out the June swoon, when the Athletics lost ten games off the lead and it's safe to say the Green and Gold has been as good as the Rangers.

The best thing to watch during the last month of the season is all of the baseball that exists in the margins while watching your own team. Watching the highlights mostly for the home team, I sort of follow the rest of the big leagues, but now it's time to enjoy the rest of the games. So rather than worry about Jeff Larish, instead be amazed at the Cincinnati Reds running away with the National League Central, see whether the Padres bandwagon has finally struck midnight, and whether the Atlanta Braves will finally overachieve after decades of the reverse.

Without the anxiety of following the fortunes of our own team, it's time to enjoy the agonies and ecstasies of teams that you have no rooting interest in. Turns out to be pretty interesting after all.

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