July 28, 2006

A's Refusing to Leave First Place Spot

For all the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth one has seen from A's fans of late, you would think the team was a cellar dweller, approaching only the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates for prolonged futility. But, following a two-game winning streak, the team has opened up a minute 1/2 game lead over the charging Los Angeles Angels, and continues to be atop of the American League Western Division.

The A's, who had a horrible May and an outstanding June, have treaded water in July, but somehow managed to never let go of first place, holding it solely or tied for the spot for the entire month, if memory serves. And this has happened despite not having the team's best pitcher practically all year, and despite lingering injuries to key players including Eric Chavez, Bobby Crosby, Milton Bradley and Frank Thomas. The team's offense hasn't really wowed anybody of late, but for some odd reason, they are still managing to outscore the other team more times than not.

I've seen this phenomenon in person - most recently on Wednesday, when I played hooky from the office to see the A's beat the Red Sox 5-1, in a mixed partisan crowd, of whom approximately 40 percent were Boston fans. I also attended Monday night's game, which the A's lost, and am set to be at the Oakland Coliseum through the weekend before traveling to Boston myself (for work, not baseball).

In a screed on Athletics Nation, I wrote Tuesday that fans' need to be negative derives from their need to be first to make a claim, but if we could all exercise patience, one will see the A's don't intend to go quietly, and they'll be in a race for the playoffs all season long.

Listening to ''Another Woman'', by Moby (Play Count: 7)

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