The City of San Francisco is rocking and full of fandamonium while Giant’s fans are spilling into the streets to celebrate a victory over the favored Phillies in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.
The win has got to have A’s fans angered, jealous and wondering “what if?”
It wasn't’t that long ago when the Oakland A’s made a yearly appearance to the MLB playoffs. From 2000-2003 the A’s made four straight playoff appearances to the Giants three, missing the 2001 season and with the lone bright spot being a trip to the World Series.
What was it that changed these two teams’ fortunes? Up until this season the Giants were known as a ball club full of talented and electric arms, but lacking enough bats to carry them to the postseason.
In the beginning of the decade the A’s were the anti-Giants. A pitching staff loaded with young talented arms like Zito, Mulder, Hudson and veteran batters like Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada and Eric Chavez who not only added the all important long ball, but clutch hitting too. At a quick glance these two ball clubs almost mirror each other in the wins and loses column over the last 10 years.
What happened? Where did the A’s go wrong and the Giants go right? The mere sight of AT&T Park loaded with Giants fans cheering on their team, drenched in orange and black on a beautiful afternoon in the bay area has got to leave their bay rivals scratching their heads and optimistically looking to “next season”, again.
The Giants in postseason play should be a call to arms for the Green and Gold faithful.
Watching Giants closer Brian Wilson slam the door shut on the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Three was impressive to say the least. More impressive was the way in which the Giants assembled a roster of talented, but well traveled veterans and mixed them with a handful of farm grown talent. Of today’s starters only Posey, Sandoval and Schierholtz were drafted by the ball club. That is a far cry from the Oakland A’s Money Ball philosophy that has watched so many talented players cut their teeth with the club, only to be traded or watch them sign with a different team for more money. Could the Giants have found the secret to success? Who would have thought that youth and experience would blend together so well and drive a team into the postseason?
How long will Oakland fans have to suffer through the torment and torture?
When will enough be enough? Athletics fans must come together and make a choice.
Either fill Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and support their squad, which in the end will ultimately add revenue and allow the club to the chance to at least compete with other teams for mid-level to top free agents, or firmly remind A’s ownership and GM Billy Beane that Money Ball is not working and it’s time to charter a new path and team philosophy.
The latter would not be easy, but history shows that only after revolt does the people’s voice ring through deaf ears.
San Francisco has gotten it right and in dramatic fashion. Until Oakland can figure it out, all I can say is “sit back A’s fans, and enjoy watching the playoffs from your television and not the stands of the Coliseum."
Continue to hold on to those fond memories of seasons past when your team was much more than a .500 ball club.