It wasn’t until the last day of last season that the A’s dramatically stole the AL West and its’ crown away from the grasp of the Texas Rangers. It took an unbelievable September to make up for the slow start that began the season. That last game was a microcosm of the A’s 2012 season as they got come clutch hits, good pitching, and a costly Josh Hamilton error. The roster had a lot of turn over to this season albeit the turn over was for the better. The A’s started off rocky for the first month, but got hot and stayed hot throughout the season which all culminated today with a Texas Rangers loss.
The Rangers were playing in Kansas City and therefore started earlier in the morning. With the A’s magic number at one going into Sunday a Texas loss or an A’s win would leave the A’s capturing the AL West title for back-to-back years. The crowd at the Coliseum did not need to follow the out-of-town scoreboard as most followed the Rangers-Royals game on their phones. The suspense and tension could be felt as that game went into extra innings. Then in the bottom of the tenth inning the Royals loaded the bases and Justin Maxwell stepped up to the plate.
A few people began to cheer. Then a few more began to cheer. Then entire sections began to cheer. Finally everyone in the Coliseum began to cheer. Justin Maxwell it a walk-off grand slam for the Royals to beat the Rangers and with that Rangers loss it happened.
At approximately 3:03 PST PM the Oakland A’s were once again, and for the second year in a row, crowned AL West champions.
It was an exciting yet decidedly awkward moment as it occurred in the middle of the game against the Twins. Agreeing with that statement the A’s won anyways for good measure.
Maybe it was because of that awkward moment of winning during a game, maybe because it was a week before the season ends, or maybe it was because the A’s expected to be in this situation this season but the celebration was very subdued compared to last years. Nonetheless it was very exciting and the players did a great job celebrating with the fans even spraying champagne on them at some points.
One thing that was very noticeable in all the post-game interviews and amidst the celebration was: World Series or bust. While that may be an extreme exaggeration there is no doubt this team not only still has the magic of last season, but even more talent, and a deeper bench.
October is almost upon us Oakland. Get ready for another round of playoff baseball.
Oakland will visit the Angels Monday through Wednesday for a three game set before finishing up the season in Seattle. If you’re looking to check them out in Los Angeles, you can find LA Angels tickets here from their official Ticket Exchange.