By Ted Gay – @TedG63
It was going to be the old versus the new. The team built on big names, bigger sticks, and even bigger contracts, against inexpensive, anonymous, hard-hitting overachievers. The old school team starting their ace against the new generation of baseball managing starting a reliever. Once again Billy Beane, who got a movie made about him because he had a mid-season wins streak, fooled us into believing the A’s were contenders. When they hit the bright lights of Broadway they folded. The A’s proved themselves to be another Billy Beane special, a team that comes close to winning it all, and will probably be dismantled in the off-season so they can go back to hoping that they overachieve.
When Bob Melvin said the winner take all wild-card game would be started by a reliever the fans should have reacted as if their son told them they were dropping out of Harvard to start growing cannabis in the backyard. This was crazy. Why pitch five 50 cent pieces when the other team is starting a five dollar bill. It was ludicrous. But we went along with it, dumb enough to believe a few organizations have discovered something that no other team had discovered for 150 years.
So there, in the footsteps of wild card winning pitchers like Madison Baumgartner went Australian Liam Hendricks, with a 4.13 ERA and zero wins on the season, to the mound at Yankee Stadium in a nationally televised game against the greatest homerun hitting team ever. It took two batters for Aaron Judge to go bridge and the Yankees to take a 2-0 lead they would never relinquish.
Now the Yankees are shipping up to Boston for what should be an epic series and Billy Beane’s boys return home, the Raiders will no longer have to navigate second base on game-winning drives, and the baseball world will discuss how that great baseball mind created a 96 win team from nothing.
And they ended up with nothing. Give me a franchise born to win and not surprise.
Now the real show begins.
BENNY & THE BETTS PODCAST (EP. 84)
ARE THE RED SOX BUILT FOR OCTOBER? WHO DOESN’T MAKE THE PLAYOFF ROSTER? TERRY PREFERS YANKEES, JEREMY/BILLY PREFER OAKLAND!
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