Let’s All Say Nice Things About The Oakland A’s

Here are 20 Oakland A’s runs. That they scored 20 isn’t a surprise. That it took them one game instead of six might be.

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But this will not be a blog where we take shots at the peripatetic Athletics. Oh, no. In this blog we respect .500 ballclubs. We celebrate teams that are just 1.5 games back of first. We honor teams that are not the Chicago White Sox.

The A’s, in their final season before leaving Oakland for Sacramento and then parts unknown, were supposed to have the vibe of your city’s crummiest dive bar after the lights come up. Instead they have shattered expectations by being merely mediocre—ninth in the AL in runs allowed, and after Saturday’s 20-run outburst against the Marlins, 12th in run scored. OK, that’s still pretty rough. But it’s not historically rough or embarrassingly rough and recently they have been scoring those runs when it counts: The A’s have won six straight and eight of nine. Don’t look too closely at who they’ve played this week. (And two out of three from the Orioles before that is no light work.)

Everyone got in on Saturday’s win, with eight different batters knocking in runs, and six sockdolagers from four different A’s. Among those dinger-distributors was Brent Rooker, who became the first Athletic since Mark McGwire to homer twice in a single inning. Are the Bash Brothers back?!?! No, they are not.

But 17-17 is 17-17! Do you know how many eventual World Series winners started 17-17? The Elias Sports Bureau would probably tell me “several” if I asked them. It’s Sunday and I don’t want to bother them.

Staring up at the A’s are the late-dynastic Astros, and the team who until this week had the greatest hitter of his generation. Yet they are mere fodder for the mighty Athletics, who hold the AL West’s best intradivisional record (2-1 baby!). What’s more, the A’s are a healthy 8-3 in interleague play, forcing us to conclude that the entire National League is inferior to the Oakland A’s.

Plenty of reasons to hop on the A-wagon now, while there’s still room. Rookie Brett Harris’s first two career hits were both home runs. Closer Mason Miller’s elbow hasn’t kerploded yet. You can get good seats for a fair price, no problem; I’d like to see the “Dodgers” offer that.

“This is one of the best clubhouses I’ve ever been a part of,” said catcher Shea Langeliers, and the good vibes are translating to perfectly inoffensive MLB-quality baseball. Oakland A’s fever: Catch it, before it catches you!

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