Friday night was a reminder of how far the Oakland A’s had fallen.
They were already assured of their first 100 loss season since 1979 when they were shut down by Shohei Ohtani. Then, on Friday, a walk-off home run by Cal Raleigh not only gave the Mariners the victory, but clinched their first postseason berth since 2001.
Oakland A’s can find hope against Seattle Mariners
It is a stark reminder of how the two franchises are heading in different directions. The A’s had been a playoff contender for years before ripping the roster apart as part of their continued rebuilding cycle. The Mariners, meanwhile, are finally on the ascent, reaching the postseason after coming agonizingly close in recent years.
It is also a message to the A’s. The Mariners had rebuilt, taking apart their roster to get more athletic and to find the types of players that Jerry Dipoto felt would be a success in Seattle. He restocked the farm system quickly, revitalizing the organization and the major league roster in the process.
For the A’s younger players, it is something to strive for. They have gotten to see the joy of reaching the playoffs, Seattle’s two decade long drought having come to an end. For the veterans, what few will be on the roster next season, it is a reminder of the good times in Oakland and something to return to. Only this time, they will be the leaders guiding the next crop of youngsters to the postseason, imparting the wisdom they had learned from the veterans just a few years before.
The Oakland A’s can get plenty of inspiration from the Seattle Mariners. Maybe, in another couple of years, they will be celebrating their own playoff berth.