Back home in the East Bay the past few days, this Oakland A’s fan has had time to reflect on what a great season it is has been in so many ways.
The good has outnumbered the bad by a big margin, but let’s get to the bad.
The A’s had no answer for the Detroit Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander. So despite that spine-tingling rally in the bottom of the ninth to win Game 4, they were in effect doomed once they lost the lead three times in Game 2 in Detroit and ultimately the game in the bottom of the ninth.
That’s because Verlander pretty much shut down the A’s in two other games, the opener and Game 5.
The only other bad thing for yours truly: I wasn’t there in the ballpark to see in person some great games down the stretch in the last week of the regular season or those two wins over the Tigers in the ALDS.
The good: I did get to see four of those pivotal games either on TV or on a hi def computer screen via MLB.TV with our older son, a big A’s fan, in West Virginia. I hope we didn’t awaken some of his neighbors or his sleeping wife upstairs when Coco Crisp came through with the walk-off hit that capped that rally in the ninth off Tigers closer Jose Valverde in Game 4 of the ALDS.
It may have been about 1 a.m. in West Virginia, but it still hadn’t struck midnight yet on the Cinderella A’s season.
Almost as much fun for us was the regular season finale against the Rangers.
It wasn’t on ESPN like a couple of the other exciting final games, of course. But kudos to MLB.TV. Over the final week of the season, it offered feeds to all MLB games the rest of the way that weren’t subject to a blackout in whatever area you happened to be for $3.99.
So on that Wednesday a little after 4 p.m. Eastern time, we joined the CSNCA feed of the game on MLB.TV just in time to see Michael Young’s base-clearing hit down the right field line snap a 1-1 tie and lead to a 5-1 Texas lead.
That deflating moment, however, was soon replaced with many uplifting moments for A’s fans everywhere, and we watched in amazement when Josh Hamilton dropped that fly ball for what would have been the third out of the inning. We exploded much like all those fans at the O.co.
Ironically, I have been part of a group of four or five guys who have bought a bloc of $2 tickets to every Wednesday day home game the past few years. And this was the first such game I had missed because of the previously planned trip of almost three weeks to visit our sons in Massachusetts and West Virginia.
Yes, I would have loved to have been there. However … watching with my son who is an A’s fan … priceless.
Coming: My recipe for even more joy in Beane-town and why the Giants ownership makes it difficult for A’s fans to cheer for S.F. the rest of the playoffs. Follow Jack Rux on Twitter at @JackRux.