Curtain finally falls on an A’s season to remember

It was an odd scene to observe inside the A’s clubhouse after a 6-0 Game 5 loss to Detroit. Players were packing their bags, giving hugs, shaking hands and heading their separate ways for the offseason. The past few years, we’ve seen the finish line coming well before it arrived. But the way this season unfolded down the stretch, there was no time (or reason) to think about the finish line. Every game mattered. And then, with the final out in the ninth Thursday, it’s all done. And it hit quick.

There’s no doubt this year’s A’s team struck a chord with fans and formed a bond that past teams didn’t quite achieve. Anyone who was in the stadium after the game, when so much of the crowd stuck around and gave a huge ovation, could feel that. There were reports that G.M. Billy Beane was shaking hands as he drove out of the parking lot. Who saw this love affair coming just a couple months ago?

“It felt great,” A’s right fielder Josh Reddick said of the postgame ovation. “We knew something like that was gonna happen with these guys. I got really close with the right field fans. You gotta give back to the fans when they’ve been giving it to us all year.”

How do the A’s keep the ball rolling once spring training arrives in February? Hopefully Beane unveils part of his plan when he holds his end-of-the-season chat with reporters. But it sure doesn’t feel like the A’s are due for a roster tear-down and rebuild this winter, and that alone has to make an A’s fan smile …

Joe Stiglich