Monday, October 09, 2006

I was asked to make a post about the ALCS

So, as an A's fan, what's it feel like being one day away from watching my team play in the deepest playoff game it's played in during my relevant lifetime? (They last played in an ALCS in 1992. I was 5 years old. Suffice it to say, I wasn't quite aware it was going on.)

Honestly, I have no freaking idea.

Let me explain. In light of the debacle that was A's postseason baseball 2000-2003, all I've come to want, to hope for, out of the playoffs is that we'd just get past the first round. Really, that's all I've ever wanted. Now that we've actually done that, I don't know how to take the next step. I'm rather relaxed about this series, when I feel I ought to be tense in ways unimaginable. Maybe if we were playing the hated Yankees instead of the feel-good Tigers. Maybe if they were saying the A's had no chance in this. I dunno. Don't get me wrong. I am, by all humanly measures, as excited as can be to see them playing on such a grand scale. But, where I feel awkward about the whole situation, is that I just don't have that "omigodomigodomigodomigod" tension in me right now. Who knows, maybe by game time it'll come. I've never been in this position before. But, there you have it. I'm excited as hell that we're here, but I'm really not nervous at all for some reason. I just feel too good about this team, this year.

With that in mind, I'm now going to follow up my Reasons Why The A's Can Beat The Twins with a Reasons Why The A's Can Beat The Tigers:

1) The lucky Bill King shirt: I bought this shirt in the wake of longtime A's radio man Bill King's unfortunate death before the season, when they went on sale at Around mid season I finally decided to just start wearing it under my Nick Swisher jersey to every game. I went to 8 games with that shirt on, and the A's went 8-0 in those games. I wore that shirt (under other shirts) again on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. They won on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. This shit's gold.

2) The Tigers will help our pitchers out: Like the Twins before them, Detroit's free swingers will do the job for Zito, Loaiza, Haren, et al. If they're smart, they'll be working the counts and making guys like Zito (especially Zito) work out of tough jams. I have a feeling they'll be too swing happy though against the soft stuff most of our guys throw.

3) Marco Scutaro: Dude's been coming up big this October, and I only expect that to continue. He's one of the few guys on this team you can expect to turn a potentially great situation into a great situation. Frank Thomas also fits this description.

4) Home field advantage: The Oakland Coliseum is a tough place to play for a team like the Tigers. They make a lot of contact, and with all our foul territory, they're likely to find themselves making foul outs at a rate they just aren't used to. Also, center field, butchered by the Raiders, will be much more navigable for someone like Mark Kotsay who's used to it than it will be for young, inexperienced Curtis Granderson or whoever else may be out there. Also, A's fans can bring tha noize.

5) Rich Harden: The unknown quantity. He's had enough rest since his last outing in Anaheim, and if he can make a start and last 6 or 7 healthy innings, it'll be VERY hard to beat us in that game. Also, if he starts Game 3 and we're looking at a Game 6 or 7 in which he doesn't start, he could be an absolute shut down reliever outta the pen for those games as well.

6) Smart baseball: The A's exemplified it in the Twins series, taking the extra base at the right time, playing clean defense, managing well. If they run this efficiently again in the ALCS, the Tigers will have their hands full.

So there you have it. If we come back next week and the Tigers are in the World Series, look for posts by me to abruptly cease. Forever.

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