OAKLAND -- The champagne that was sprayed with unbridled elation is dried and sticky. The plastic sheets that acted as a clubhouse splashguard have been wadded into a huge ball and hauled away. The cigar butts that littered the floor are now swept out and disposed of. Today is a new day, and the 2012 Oakland Athletics live their lives one game at a time.
As a result, it's time for them to hide their grey American League Playoffs shirts and hats, stow away the goggles, and file away the memories of Monday night in order to focus on staying alive in the division. "We've got one thing on our mind," Jonny Gomes said. "And this is definitely a stepping stone to what we are trying to do." Sure, the Wild Card is a nice ace up their sleeve, a guaranteed spot in the postseason, but it isn't the most desirable route. If the A's can keep defying the odds and win their next two games against the division-leading Rangers they will be the American League West champions and will be assured at least a full series."We're still shooting for something," Reddick said. "We still got a lot of work to do."
RATTO: A's celebrate before it's back to business
The A's took advantage of the opportunity to celebrate -- and it was a pretty wild one for a while. As they let loose they acknowledged that it could be a small taste of what could be ahead if they handle their business the next two days. The champagne is much more effervescent when it is division-winning bubbly. If they lose just one game, it will be the Rangers that get to party like animals instead. The A's will be sending Travis Blackley to the mound on Tuesday. The Australian lefty enjoyed the celebration but had a more stern look on his face while his teammates partied around him. He has been struggling mightily lately. Last Thursday he gave up five runs against the Rangers and didn't make it to the second inning. He is 1-2 with a 7.00 ERA in four starts against Texas this year. It would appear the odds are against the A's on Tuesday, but when hasn't the deck been stacked against them this season? They have lost veterans Brandon Inge, Brandon McCarthy, Bartolo Colon and Brett Anderson -- and they keep on winning. It seems surprising, but it makes sense when you look at the big picture. The A's aren't a team stacked with All-Stars. They get contributions from every player on the roster and don't lean on one player to carry the team.
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"We've got a great group," Brandon Moss said. "There's not a single guy in this clubhouse that hasn't contributed to something."While all the remnants of Monday night's celebration may have been disposed of, the A's know there's plenty more where that came from. The big question is if they can keep it out of the visiting clubhouse.