Oakland Athletics: Halfway Through, They're Five Games Out; Thank Billy

Peter Fournier@@P_FournierContributor IIJuly 2, 2012

Ryan Cook is the A's 2012 All-Star Game representative.
Ryan Cook is the A's 2012 All-Star Game representative.Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

As the Oakland A’s play their 81st game of the MLB Regular Season against the Boston Red Sox on Monday night, the half-way point of the year, they’re just five games back of the two American League Wild Card spots.

This should be seen by every single A’s fan as an overwhelming success. Who figured the A’s would be within a few games of the .500 mark at this point of the regular season? Not many. How many figured they would-be within an earshot of a playoff berth?


It’s been the transactions of Billy Beane before and during this season that have helped the A’s catch fire at times, and sputter during others. It’s an inconsistent truth. They won eight of nine games at one point in June but then lost six of their next 10 games, four of those by one run and two via blown saves.

Ryan Cook has become the team’s surprise closer and All-Star selection. He’s usually solid when called upon in the ninth inning and has been even better as a reliever. He was acquired in the offseason in the Trevor Cahill-Jarrod Parker trade. Also, Parker has been solid since being thrown into the starting rotation.

Thank Billy Beane for that.

Brandon Moss has been a home run machine since being called up from Triple-A Sacramento. He was signed to a minor league deal this winter. He’s made A’s fans forget Daric Barton ever existed.

Thank Billy Beane for that.

Remember that guy Andrew Bailey, the A’s former closer who hasn’t thrown a SINGLE pitch for the Red Sox, since being traded there for Josh Reddick in the winter due to a thumb injury? Who doesn’t think Reddick is the real deal?

PRAISE Billy Beane for that.

Finally, who corralled Yoenis Cespedes right before spring training started?

Yep, high-five Billy Beane again.

Whether or not this roster makes the postseason isn’t the question. It’s if Beane can move the right pieces to make it even better over the next few years. So far, Beane has shown he’s made some great deals this year. If he keeps it up, the A’s could be a playoff contender this year. Even to be considered in the running should be somewhat of an accomplishment.

Keep watching A’s fans, because Oakland is far from out of it, and they can thank Billy, for now.