After the Oakland Athletics fell to the Detroit Tigers in five games in the American League Division Series for the second year in a row, the rush to label the season as a success or a failure was upon us faster than a Justin Verlander fastball.
Such is life when you capture a second straight division title and fail to make it out of the first round. While that harsh reality is certainly a disappointment, it’s hard to say that the entire season was an all-around failure when the A’s won 96 games and secured their second straight AL West title.
All this considering they’re essentially playing against a stacked deck every year when it comes to competing in a league where payroll size and playoff success have a glaring correlation, and you can at least take solace in the fact that although the ALCS was there for the taking in Game 4, the A’s succeeded monumentally just to put themselves in a position to put themselves in that position.
Still, that song gets a little old to fans that are hungry for at least a World Series appearance, if not a victory to show that one of the biggest underdog story in sports deserves some mainstream recognition for all they’ve been able to accomplish. A championship would not only validate every feeling that’s marinated with that underdog association over the past 20 years among the fan base, it would also force everyone else in the game to recognize and respect Oakland baseball and all of the advantages and shortcomings that come with it.
But I digress. In this review of the 2013 campaign, we’ll lay out a comprehensive month-by-month breakdown, and by the end we’ll revisit these thoughts laid out above. Here we go.