Originally Posted by Rambo
Sorry Douglas, but he's right. Can you name one player on the A's roster other than Yoenides Cespedes? Hell, up until last month I had no idea they were even within striking distance.
Jonny Gomes. Josh Reddick. Coco Crisp.
The only reason you can name anyone on the O's is because you're a Yankees fan and have to keep an eye on the O's. Everyone expected them to fade all season. Half the starting lineup is injured or out, only 1 starting pitcher has made 30 starts. Of the opening-day 5-man rotation, only one guy is still there (Chen. Hunter, Arrieta, and Matusz have all been demoted. Hammel is hurt). 2nd base has been a mess. Last year's opening day leadoff batter (Brian Roberts) showed up midseason and then disappeared again. This year's opening day leadoff batter (Nolan Reimold) got hurt early and missed the season. The current leadoff batter (McLouth) is a 2-time castoff from the scrap heap. The starting 3B is a late-season callup. O's have succeeded in the big, bad AL East, which, granted, seemed to be down the Sawx this year, but they still have good players on that team. Tampa's pitching is probably the best in baseball.
This is not to take anything away from the A's, who have been an exciting team and no doubt have a similar list of castoffs and scrap heap acquisitions and surprising performances, but the O's have had such a long record of futility and eroding fan base that it's also a great, great story. All the extra inning games, the 1-run wins, hell, the negative run differential.
In the context of things, is anyone ultimately THAT surprised that Billy Beane picked some pockets in the offseason and came away with a haul of good young players that can ball? The only surprise around the O's front office is that Dan Duquette actually has a job again.
Both great stories, and obviously both NorCal and I are informed by our geography, but I can tell you it's been a long, long, long time since anyone's been able to root for the O's, and this team has such a great team concept and has won so many late, nailbiting games and hung around til the end of the season despite every talking head in the game saying it couldn't last, that I'm gonna stand with my team.