FOR OUR YOUNG A’S, LEARNING TO WIN IS A PROCESS

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Much has been made about our
club’s record against bad teams vs. good teams this season.  Yes, as one of our beat writers mentioned in
today’s paper, we enter tonight’s game against Boston with a 24-10 record against opponents with
losing marks, compared to 22-36 vs. clubs with winning records.  In my past years in the business, I have
heard this refrain many times before.  To
some, it’s as though our overall record doesn’t really count.  Well, the last I checked,
the Team Standings section list teams in the order of winning percentage.  Period.  There is no column that says “victories over marshmallow
teams.” For what it’s worth, I’ve seen teams advance to the playoffs because they beat the team they were
supposed to.  It’s actually part of the
formula of becoming a winner. 

 

In fact, I think it’s quite
common that a team that is learning how to win first makes the postseason by
simply winning a high percentage of the games against sub .500 opponents.  And once they’ve done that, the next goal is
to hold their own against the league’s best teams.  It’s the same thing about home vs. road
record.   Teams that learn how to win,
learn how to win consistently at home.   Our
A’s are 26-20 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum this year, while 20-26 on
the road.  If we can continue to fashion
wins at home, then become more competitive on foreign soil, we’ll have
concocted the recipe for reaching the playoffs.

 

It may not sound like much,
but the Athletics have posted a 90-90 record over their last 180 games dating
back to last season.  This may be a half
full vs. half empty glass argument, but for me, this is a significant sample
size that represents progress.  Not only
have we played .500 baseball for longer than
a full season, we have done it with one of the youngest rosters in Major League
Baseball–a group of young players who are getting better every day.  The next step is to start posting a winning record, and to do that, we need
to start claiming more games against baseball’s elite.  Riding a five-game winning streak, we start a
six-game homestand against the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox.  Sheets vs. Dice K at 7:05 tonight in a pretty
good matchup.  Could there be a better
time to take the next step?

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