OAKLAND (BCN) Oakland Athletics fans are buzzing with excitement in anticipation of today's game, in which the team could clinch its first division title since 2006.
All over the Bay Area, fans are gearing up for the game against the Texas Rangers, including 30-year-old lifelong A's fan Ramses Moran, of San Jose.
"It's pretty exciting. There are a ton of people in the parking lot, people are chanting, barbecuing and drinking," Moran said from the O.co Coliseum late this morning. "It's a real turnout."
Moran took time away from his work-from-home job for the game. He showed up at the Coliseum at 9:15 a.m. and was the first in line, only to find out the game was sold out. He and his friend bought two tickets from a scalper, he said.
"It's incredible, to walk up and be told it's sold out -- it's like the 2006 (playoff) season all over again," Moran said.
When the 2012 Major League Baseball season opened in late March, not even the most avid Oakland A's fans could have guessed how the year would play out.
Coming off a 74-88 year in 2011, finishing in third place in the American League West, 22 games behind the division champion Rangers, not many baseball pundits expected much in 2012.
But with 161 games down in the 162-game regular season, the A's, a team comprised of an all-rookie starting rotation for much of the year, have put together a 93-68 record, and are deadlocked at the top of the AL West with the Rangers, with one game to play.
The A's have taken the first two games of the three-game, season-ending set against the Rangers to pull even in the division, clinching at least a Wild Card spot for the 2012 postseason.
A win this afternoon would give the A's their first division title since the 2006 season.
If the A's lose, they will be forced to play in the Wild Card one-game elimination match against either the Baltimore Orioles or New York Yankees.
The Bay Area sports pride was reflected on Twitter this morning.
The San Jose Earthquakes, who surprised many with their first-place standing in Major League Soccer, tweeted, "Good luck to the Athletics today, do the Bay Area proud."
A win would send the A's into the postseason with a six-game win streak. Moran says that would be a good sign.
"The hottest team wins in the postseason," he said.
The first pitch is set for 12:35 p.m. with the A's A.J. Griffin toeing the rubber against the Rangers' Ryan Dempster.
Fans without tickets for the sold-out game are being discouraged from going to the Coliseum today.
Bay City News