Sunday, October 15, 2006

Hats Off to the Tigers

Well, the A's put up a little fight in each game, but if you look at the 4-0 Tigers sweep, you really don't see any fight at all. The Tigers just flat-out beat the A's. The Tigers had great hitting, great starting pitching, great relief pitching and solid defense while the A's really didn't show nearly enough of those things.

From around the interweb...

-Ken Arneson:
...without Ellis and his MLB-record 2B fielding percentage, and without Justin Duchscherer, who can throw two shutdown innings in the middle of a ballgame, the A's M.O. was gone. Those two guys were the keys, the very heart and soul of the A's success in 2006.

-Barry Zito:
I'm sure in a couple of days I'll have a more positive outlook, and I'll be able to look back at the season and smile. But right now it's just really tough because of the fashion in which we lost. We just laid down, myself included...

Eventually I'll look back at some highlights. Beating Santana in the Metrodome, highlight of my career. Going in there, with all odds against me and the team -- not just that game but the whole series -- and getting through it on the positive side is definitely a highlight...

The plane ride home is going to be pretty emotional. That kind of stuff goes on every year, saying goodbye to guys because you know they're not going to be back or might not be back. You go up to those guys and make a real point to express how much you like playing with those guys, how much you love being around them. But this year I might be the guy leaving, so I want to go up to the rest of the guys and tell them how much I appreciate playing with them, their competitive spirit, their love, their determination and their support in the clubhouse. That's going to be emotional, I'm sure.

Finally, I'd just like to thank the people who have been following us and supporting us all this time. If this ends up being my last year here, I just want the fans to know how much I love them, too. That's all I can really say right now. Thanks for everything.

Man, I'm going to miss that guy.

-Nico on Athletics Nation:
From early in Game 1 to the end of Game 4, it was simply the Tigers time to play in the World Series. The A's, built on starting pitching, would fail to get a single quality start in the ALCS. Frank Thomas didn't get a single hit. You're not going to win too many series under those circumstances. ... I'm proud of the 2006 Oakland A's. And I can't wait for Spring Training, 2007.

-The Pastime: "Detroit was simply the better team over these 4 games. Eric Chavez took a lot of heat for saying that, but he was right. They made very few mistakes, and took advantage of the A's miscues."

-From Bruce Jenkins at the SF Chronicle:
"That man over there," said Bradley [of Frank Thomas], "that's just greatness. I grew up watching him play. Now I'm watching him accept defeat with humility. He's handling his struggles like a man. He taught me, a lot of us, how to be major-league players. You can't replace that kind of leadership."

-More from Jenkins:
Milton Bradley is the last Oakland player coming off the field, in a slow walk. He's pointing to someone on the Tigers, as if to say, "Job well done." He's pausing now, and I've got my eye on him, becase he was the Oakland A's today. Now he has been acknowledged, but Bradley is hanging around, all by himself, outside the A's dugout.

Wow. It appears that Jim Leyland is the man Bradley was acknowledging. Now Leyland is coming over to pay his respects to the A's. What a class act... Leyland knows the feeling of heartbreak, and he knows how the A's feel right now, and he has left the madness of his own team's triumph to commiserate with Oakland.

I guess I'll be rooting for the Tigers in the World Series. They're a hell of a team and a classy bunch.

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