Oh, the joy! I was only able to watch two half-innings of the entire Twins-A's ALDS. Bottom of the ninth in game 1 and top of the ninth in game 3. But what an enjoyable two innings they were. The Guinness in my hand was shaking last night as Street wobbled through the ninth inning towards the save and the sweep.
When was the last time the A's won a postseason series? It's been 16 years! The last time the A's won a series, they swept the Red Sox in the 1990 ALCS. Since then, post-season agony:
-1990 World Series, swept by the Reds
-1992 ALCS, lost to the Blue Jays 4-2
-2000 ALDS, Lost to the Yankees 3-2 ("Jill" Heredia gave up 6 runs in the top of the first inning of game 5 with some help from CF Terrence Long)
-2001 ALDS, Lost to the Yankees 3-2 (lost three straight after taking the first two games in New York. Oh, and there was that whole Jeter flip, Jeremy Giambi no-slide play...)
-2002 ALDS, Lost to the Twins 3-2 (lost the last two games after going up 2-1. The tastefully named Billy Koch gave up three runs in the top of the ninth of game 5, which the A's lost 5-4)
-2003 ALDS, Lost to the Red Sox 3-2 (Went up 2-0 before baserunning blunders by Eric Byrnes and Miguel Tejada and Ricado Rincon's inability to stop Todd Walker submarined the A's.)
That's six consecutive post-season series the A's had lost, the last four in excrutiating fashion. So, I could hardly believe it was happening as Luis Castillo popped out to Jay Payton in left to end the series. It's been so long, and we've rooted for such great teams in the last few years. It just seemed like we were destined to root for a postseason loser. Clearing that hurdle, getting that monkey off their backs is such a relief. If only the A's had gotten past the Yankees in 2000 or 2001, if only they'd gotten past the Twins in 2002 or the Red Sox in 2003... Well, let's hope this is our year.
"For all of those die hard A’s fans that haven’t seen a World Series since 1989, we hope to bring that back to them." -Barry Zito
Let's Go A's!
From around the interweb:
-Video from the A's locker room. I love me some Nick Swisher.
-Barry Zito: "I Can't Explain How it Feels" (Another excellent piece from Zito's blog. Really well written and heart-felt.)
-Catfish Stew: "Woooooooooooooooh! Woooooooooooooooo! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Woooooooooooooooooooooooo!"
-David Pinto at BaseballMusings: "Many people said the Twins were the scariest team in the playoffs, mostly due to their great pitching. That was there in the first two games, but Oakland managed to pitch just a little bit better, and hit a bit better."
-Blez, at Athletics Nation: "Bring on the Yankees or Tigers. I personally would love to see the Yankees and finish that book that Michael Lewis started years ago. But right now, I couldn't give a rat's ass who it is..."