A's Feel Rangers' Pain

The AL Wild Card game on Tuesday night will go down as one of the great classic games in recent memory — do-or-die, extra innings, multiple comebacks, etc. You name it, that game had it.

The Texas Rangers fans across the Metroplex were able to enjoy the game from two perspectives. First of all, the Kansas City Royals are the underdog of baseball right now, making their first postseason appearance since 1985 when they won the World Series in the George Brett days. Second and most important, they got to see the A's historic collapse completed and see the A's feel the pain the Rangers felt, at the A's hands, down the stretch in 2012.

The A's went all in at the MLB trade deadline, and looked like they had sealed their fate as AL pennant winners when they acquired Jon Lester and Jeff Samardzija within a week of each other to bolster their already strong pitching staff. To do that, they sent away clubhouse glue and feared power hitter Yoenis Cespedes for Lester and prized shortstop prospect Addison Russell for Samardzija.

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Lester is a free agent and will undoubtedly head elsewhere in free agency this winter, and Samardzija will soon be in that boat himself, leaving the A's with a bare farm system and a declining big-league squad.

Time will tell how much longer the A's will be prime AL contenders, and their massive fall-off won't begin next year, but don't be shocked if they aren't the Rangers' top competition, or even second-best.

Tuesday night was fun for more than one reason, for both the short-term satisfaction of the A's downfall and for the long-term glance ahead into the coming years' AL West standings.

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