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Why We Love The Oakland Athletics

Even if you're not an A's fan, it's difficult not to love this team.

I.

It's annoying when some writer takes a thrilling sporting event and then ruins it by attempting to make some larger point about the human experience?

Yeah, um, well, that's exactly what I'm about to do. Sorry.

I watched last night's Oakland Athletics game.

I don't consider myself an A's fan (I like the Minnesota Twins; don't ask).

But you would have to be odd (or, be from Detroit) not to root for this team. When Coco hit the game-winning single, it was high-five time around the Bay.

If you've been a diehard A's fan your whole life, it's easy to understand why you love this team. You've been emotionally invested for years and you're cashing in big time right now. Your love comes from loyalty.

But for the rest of us, even non-sports fans, who have jumped on the A's bandwagon, why do we care?

II.

In our daily lives most people, to some extent at least, like logic. It brings reason and structure to the world. But if you like logic, you should hate the 2012 Oakland Athletics.

This isn't exactly breaking news, but the A's success this year is completely ridiculous. The rookie starters, the success of the Cuban defector that analysis said the A's overpaid for, the first baseman who decided to be a pitcher one day and somehow succeeded at it, Brandon Moss suddenly becoming good — you could go on and on.

We might like logic when it comes to making routine life decisions like, "Should I touch this hot iron or should I not?" But picking baseball teams based on logic doesn't really make sense. You have to be incredibly boring to love things because they're logical.

One theory on what has not only made the A's successful this year — and made them so much fun to watch — is the team's belief in themselves, even when they were doubted by almost everybody else.

That sounds really good, but is it true?

Well, that's practically what general manager mastermind Billy Beane said on Monday to MLB.com.

Because so little from the outside was expected of us, there was a lot of satisfaction among Bob, the front office and myself. We enjoyed this year a lot. I think we felt like we were better in Spring Training than everybody thought we were.

The problem with that quote is this other quote Beane gave to MLB.com last December, when he traded away star pitcher Gio Gonzalez.

We've been through this (rebuilding) cycle numerous times, and it gets shorter and shorter because the gap between us and everybody else grows...The fact of the matter is, for us to compete, we're going to have to have a new stadium, and I don't think there was a move we could have made that would put us in a position to compete with a club like the Angels or Texas given what they have and where they're headed and some of those signings.

Beane didn't believe in the 2012 A's in 2011.

In reality, the A's finished ahead of the Rangers and Angels because there players were better than everybody thought they were (including Beane) and a whole lot of luck (15 walk-off victories).

Being lucky is nice and all, but is it really a reason to root for a team?

III.

Rooting and hoping for the improbable to happen — for the A's make one incredible comeback after another — is simply just fun.

The A's run this season has been historic, it has gone against logic, nobody (not even themselves) really believed what they accomplished this year was possible and every game you watch you hope and even expect the unbelievable to happen.

Tonight, the A's face one of the best pitchers in baseball. Honestly, if my life depended on me picking a winner I would go with the Tigers. It makes sense.

But it sure will be more fun if the A's win.

(Patrick Creaven edits Dublin Patch where an extended version of this column originally appeared.)

liming6622@126.com November 15, 2012 at 11:32 AM
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