The Oakland Athletics season came to an end last Thursday when they lost the win or go home game against the Detroit Tigers.
It was a disheartening lost, but the comradery, passion and excitement the athletics and fans shared this season was unforgettable.
The back-to-back American League West Division Title champions have gained the respect from many viewers worldwide.
So, the Athletics have been eliminated from the playoffs, but can they still be in the talk as one of the best teams in baseball?
This season they won their division respectfully, five and a half games ahead of the second place Texas Rangers. They also were tied for the third best record in the major league at 96-66.
The Oakland Athletics 2013 opening day player salary was $60,664,500, ranking 27th lowest out of 30 major league teams.
The majority of baseball fans consider the Oakland A’s the Major League farm team implying that they are minor league quality because they don’t invest in their producing players or trade them away.
Examples of not investing in quality players include trading away their two best starting pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill after the 2011 season. They also traded their all-star closer Andrew Bailey.
“I loved watching the Oakland A’s this year. The passion coming from the whole team, including the young and inexperienced players, made me love them even more,” said senior Evan Williams. “They brought up and played with no-names, proving they belonged in the Major Leagues.”
Many professional analysts projected that the A’s were not going to be successful, but the team definitely managed to prove them wrong.
For anyone who is curious in learning more about the history of the team’s failures and triumphs, it would definitely be worth it to take a look at the award-winning movie Moneyball, which depicts events based on the true story of the team’s American League record of 20 consecutive wins.
It’s about a professional scout who reinvents the approach on evaluating players. He applied these methods to the Oakland Athletics and it turned out be very successful.
2012 American League Manager of the year Bob Melvin, has led this youthful team to back-to-back division titles and playoff appearances.
An interesting thing to take note of is how the Oakland Athletics, in 2012 were the seventh youngest MLB team with an average age of 27.7.
Again in 2012, the Oakland Athletics claimed first place in the American League West Division with a record of 94 – 68.
The Oakland A’s trailed the first place Texas Rangers by 13 games on June 30 with the season winding down.
They miraculously brought the deficit to two and half games out of first place with three games left against the first place Texas Rangers.
They ended up sweeping the Rangers taking the American League West Division title in the last game of the regular season.
It was quite the road to gratitude for anyone on the winning side and bitter disbelief for Texas Rangers.
The Oakland Athletics 2012 opening day player salary was $59,493,290 ranking 29th lowest out of 30 major league teams. The Texas Rangers 2012 opening day salary was $134, 283,218, ranking seventh out of 30 major league teams.
The Oakland A’s are a great inspiration to any organization that is battling against money-loaded big dogs.
In order to sum up the point that I am trying to get at here, Mark Twain might have said it best: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
I really do believe that the Oakland Athletics are true underdogs in the sense that they are often overlooked but still manage to surprise everyone with what they can accomplish.
With out a doubt, I believe that this team is one of the best teams in baseball, despite being the only team to still share their field with an NFL team.