July 13, 2014: This is a date the Oakland A’s wish they could go back to knowing what the second half of the 2014 MLB season fate holds in store for them.
July 17, 2014: A date in which the A’s wish the second half never started for them and the beginning of what could possibly be one of the more epic collapses in baseball history.
Standing at a record of 59-36 at the end of the first half, which at the time was the best record in all of baseball, this A’s looked to strive for bigger and better things.
That certain bigger thing they pulled for was a World Series Trophy to hoist in Oakland for the first time since 1989 when they last won it all.
As of Wednesday night going into Thursday, that is the least of the A’s goals, due to many things happening in the last 24 hours to undermine their position for the postseason.
It began with their American League West rival Los Angeles Angels solidifying their postseason appearance with the clinch as division champs.
Then, in a turn of events, Oakland suffered a tough loss to the Texas Rangers Wednesday night.
The only playoff spot the team can go for now is one of the two wild card spots, which is also in jeopardy with the Royals and Mariners fighting for the two spots themselves.
The Royals, unlike the A’s, were victorious Wednesday night to tie for the top wild card position.
This Oakland team has not caught much of a break. Rocking a 24-32 record in the second half as of September 18, something has to give for the A’s on where they are heading.
Historically a miracle finish second half team, it has become the complete opposite this season.
To make matters worse one of their division rivals rose to AL West supremacy. The other rival, the Seattle Mariners, are now only two games behind for a chance at a wild card berth.
Of course, the stories of the Royals and M’s seasons in 2014 are storybook worthy but the A’s have been in the thick of everything since Day 1 on Opening Day.
Fans, players, and anyone contributing to the team’s efforts want to point fingers at the culprit who began this mess. In reality, it all comes down to how much heart this team has.
With a little over 10 games left in the season, Oakland is running out of time to punch their ticket for more baseball in October.
Built on a foundation of farm hands, decent players who have made a influential impact, and players who used to be good but found their way again, Oakland is a branded team that works from the bottom up. Missing the postseason will be devastating to the point of low confidence transitioning to 2015.
11 games will define the Oakland A’s season.