The Oakland Athletics have done it again. They won the AL West division for the second straight year with a team that is full of quality players. No one on the Athletics team is really going to jump up at you and tell you that a particular person is a superstar. Oakland has won ball games through gritty baseball, and even have a chance to improve its win total from 2012.
However, since the 2000 season, the Athletics have won the division five times and has only gotten to the AL Championship Series once, in 2006. The Athletics were swept by the Detroit Tigers on the heroics of a Magglio Ordonez walk-off home run. This year, the Athletics have to do better. It should be time for Oakland to focus on the World Series.
The Athletics played a very intriguing AL Division Series against the Tigers last year. Oakland’s fan base rallied around Grant Balfour but in Game 5, Oakland had to face Justin Verlander and the end result was a 6-0 shutout and the Tigers moving on. With a bit of experience underneath the young Athletics’ belt, Oakland could be looking at the ALCS again this year, depending on who they get.
Oakland will have a tough time coming up with their final 25-man roster going into the playoffs but with a bit of playoff experience, there may be a good chance that Oakland gets to where they needed to go.
Oakland needs to get back to ALCS to prove that they are a legit team. Winning the West and not making any waves in the playoffs are not showing anyone anything. With the way Oakland is run, another poor showing in the playoffs might mean the destruction of the team again.