94-68, 1st in the AL West
Lost in the ALDS to the Tigers
So this is the final team-based Season in Review for 2012 and normally I recited the WARs of the top players and talk about the club’s big story lines. This one will be different, because it deserves it. If you want to check out the stat leaders for the 2012 A’s, here is the link.
When 2012 started, everyone had Oakland pegged as a cellar dweller. Everyone. Me too. When August started, we all agreed they were playing better and we should have been nicer to them. Fair?
Then everything went bonkers. Absolutely bonkers. The made up 13 games on Texas and caught them on, you guessed it, the final day of the season. The final day of the season.
This would be an appropriate time to hear the radio announcer from Moneyball say “WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OAKLAND?!”
What was happening in Oakland was that the geniuses out there got scrap heap platoon split guys and threw them in a blender. Then they got a bunch of young pitchers and told them to pitch well. Lather, rinse, repeat. Pray.
And it worked. Lots of people made the Orioles the Cinderella story of 2012, but the Oakland A’s were the ones to talk about. This was the story of baseball in 2012. There was Mike Trout and perfect games and lots of great stuff going on, but gosh darn it, the Oakland A’s came from nowhere and won the division on the final day of the season.
That was magical.
Tied with Texas going into the final day, the winner was going to real playoffs and the loser was going to a coin flip. I remember watching the final inning on my phone while my wife drove me home from a night class. Watching those guys celebrate winning that division was what sports are all about.
No one saw this coming. How much fun was that?
2012 Grade: A
Early 2013 Projection: 87-75