The party’s over*. The Rustbelt Puddy Tats keep on playing the same way they played all year, and Oakland, like the Yankers before them, are so severely affected by post-season hype they’ve forgotten how to do the things that Little-Leaguers do every day. Baseball is a simple game: you throw the ball, you hit the ball, and you catch the ball. Except when you’re so full of nerves that you don’t.
Jim Leyland has programmed his kids to tune out the noise and focus on the immediate task, and Ken Macha hasn’t. So that’s the way the season ends, not with a bang but a whimper.
*Technically, the Puddies have to win one more game, but it would take a miracle of epic proportions for the A’s to pull this one out; something like parting the waters of the Red Sea only bigger. Hope springs eternal, so maybe it will happen. I’d like for it to happen, don’t get me wrong. But I ain’t betting the farm on it. Or the car. Or even a stick of gum. I like my gum, by gum. Go A’s!