Wow. What a final day of baseball.
The Oakland A’s completed an unprecedented sweep of the Rangers to storm to the AL West division title<
/a>, thus avoiding the terrifying one game playoff for the two wild card teams:
…. Down 5-1 early and looking like they were in trouble, the A’s fought back to tie the game in the fourth on a double by Coco Crisp and took the lead on Josh Hamilton’s error that same inning. They then held on through reliever after reliever to beat the powerful Texas Rangers 12-5 on Wednesday at the Coliseum.
“It’s kind of like the story of our whole season,” reliever Sean Doolittle said. “At the end of June, we were 13 games back, we had injuries, young guys stepping up, and we were never out of it. It wasn’t if we were going to do it. It was how or when we were going to do it.”
That makes the A’s – yes, 13 games out on June 30 – your
American League West winners in 2012. Oakland is just the third team in big-league history to win a division or a pennant and spend exactly one day in sole possession of first place, joining the 2006 Twins and the 1951 New York Giants.
The Yankees magic number is one, and they are pounding the Red Sox 7-1 in the sixth inning. Should they hold on, they would have the best record in the AL, and would host the wild card winner, which would be either the Orioles or the Rangers.
Miguel Cabrera has become the first Triple Crown winner since 1967, leading the AL in home runs, batting average and RBI.
Buster Posey has won the NL batting title, (albeit due to Melky’s humble decision to remove himself from consideration), finishing with an MVP-worthy .336/.408/.549 .957 OPS. Posey is the front-runner for the NL MVP, comeback player of the year, and the Silver Slugger award for best hitting catcher.
Oh, and Dusty Baker is coming home for the NL Division series, bringing his terrific Cincinnati Reds club to PacBell this weekend. All in all, I’d say the double wild card team experiment is an absolutely terrific idea. This decision, Selig nailed it.