It feels strange using a play on a quote from the man who is responsible for Mount Davis and the torn apart outfield as the title for this article, but it couldn’t be any more true for the Oakland Athletics right now.
The A’s fall from grace has been well documented. In just 33 days they managed to lose 15 games in the standings. It got so bad that there was a time when the A’s only had a one-game lead for the last wild card spot. They were in the midst of one of the worst collapses in baseball history.
But it doesn’t have to end that way. The final page hasn’t been written.
No, the A’s are very much alive. With six games remaining, the team has a 3 game cushion on the sputtering Seattle Mariners. Sure, the A’s didn’t win the division, but they can still get in. Maybe they suffered a collapse of catastrophic proportions, but that doesn’t have to define them.
That is the beauty of baseball.
If the players and coaching staff can manage to pull themselves together, forget everything they have been through, and focus on the next six games, they can rewrite their story. If they can just manage to make the playoffs, they can take a deep breath, hit reset, and play Green Collar baseball like only they know how.
“The biggest thing is, is just to find a way to get in, because once you’re in, anything can happen.” — Jon Lester
When the AL Wild Card game begins on September 30, it won’t matter how the two teams got in. It’ll only matter that they did.
If the season ended today, the A’s would play the Royals in the Wild Card game. The Royals stumbled through the first half and got hot after the All-Star break. The A’s did the exact opposite. But all that it boils down to right now is one tiny game in the standings. That’s why the only thing that matters is that the teams are where they are, and not how they got there.
Should the A’s make the Wild Card game and come out victorious, they will be on level ground with the Angels in the ALDS. No, they wouldn’t have home field advantage in the series, but after everything that they’ve gone through, I’m sure they will just be grateful to be alive. And no doubt they will be hungry. Maybe in the long run this rough patch will have a positive effect. Maybe it’ll make them start playing with a chip on their shoulder again. That’s when the A’s are at their best.
This last month and a half, we A’s fans have suffered through something that no fan should ever have to experience. But I implore you: do not give up. This team has life, and the A’s always fight until the end. Trust Billy Beane, believe in Stephen Vogt, and above all, believe in this team.