The Oakland A’s: The Most Exciting Playoff Team You Know Nothing About

Pitching. Offense. Defense. Fans. An old stadium that sometimes gets filled with sewage. They’ve got it all in the East Bay.

1. Meet the 2013 Oakland A’s. Oakland: Where a Cuban defector can become a Home Run Derby champion.

2. Where a 27-year-old third baseman who’s never played a full season and is scared of curveballs can become a legit MVP candidate.

That’s Josh Donaldson.

3. Whose right-fielder has an arm that would make Tom Emanski’s palms sweat.

And that’s Josh Reddick.

4. And who celebrates like this.

Jason O. Watson / Getty Images

5. They’ve hit the most home runs in baseball since the All-Star break.

Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

6. And their pitching rotation is anchored by an incredibly tubby, scientifically enhanced 40-year-old.

Tim Sharp / Reuters

7. The 2013 Oakland A’s are a team whose rotted barn of a stadium can make overflowed sewage a national story.

Just another day at the Coliseum. Sewage mess still being cleaned up in A's dugout

— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB)

Jane Lee

@JaneMLB

Just another day at the Coliseum. Sewage mess still being cleaned up in A’s dugout

/ Via

8. Twice.

9. But that’s why you keep the garden hose nearby, for both cleanup and division title celebrations.

D. Ross Cameron / Bay Area News Group / MCT

Grant Balfour.

10. These A’s are a team that hazes rookies by dressing them up as superheroes and TV characters.

Thanks to @JaneMLB, Sonny Gray makes a good Robin. Sadly, no Batman.

— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser)

Susan Slusser

@susanslusser

Thanks to @JaneMLB, Sonny Gray makes a good Robin. Sadly, no Batman.

/ Via

Straily

— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB)

Jane Lee

@JaneMLB

Straily

/ Via

Winner winner! Nate Freiman as Marge Simpson

— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB)

Jane Lee

@JaneMLB

Winner winner! Nate Freiman as Marge Simpson

/ Via

13. These Oakland A’s are run by Billy Beane, who still resembles his 1999 self.

14. And of course there’s the whole Brad Pitt thing.

Christian Petersen / Getty

15. $2 Wednesdays are the best-kept secret in the Bay Area.

16. These A’s have won 90-plus games in back-to-back seasons and are poised to (maybe, finally, FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING THAT IS HOLY) make their first World Series since 1990.

D. Ross Cameron / Bay Area News Group / MCT

It’d be a great moment for their crazy hardcore fans and a validation for sabermetricians everywhere.

17. But even if it doesn’t happen (again!), they’ll be plenty fun to watch.

D. Ross Cameron / Bay Area News Group / MCT

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