In the history of baseball -- that is, until the playoff rules change again sometime in the future -- we will only have one chance to see 75 percent of a division make the playoffs. That chance is the 2012 season. This isn't conjecture, it's mathematical fact.
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The American League West is the only division with four teams and this is the first year with two wild cards. Next season, the AL West will get a fifth team. So the only time for 3/4 of a division to play in the postseason is now, and it's entirely possible, thanks to the Oakland Athletics. Or, as they should be called: David. Only in this case, David is facing off against more than one Goliath.
The A's did it again this past weekend, sweeping the mighty Yankees in four games. They've now won a whopping 15 of their past 17, bringing back memories of the 2001 A's.
As things stand before Wednesday's games, the A's and Angels are the leaders for the two American League wild cards, with the Rangers leading the AL West. So, yes, it's very possible this division sends three of its four clubs to the American League playoffs. Wouldn't that be something? One division with 75 percent representation in the postseason?
The Angels and Rangers are absolutely where they were expected to be, so the A's are the big story here. They have the feel of a rag-tag group who keeps finding ways to get it done against all odds. That's a story the general public could rally around, should the A's have staying power.
If these A's truly do have staying power this season, Billy Beane's offseason makeover may just be his best flurry of moves yet.
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