Walk Toward The Light: Your 2009 Oakland Athletics

Like 2008's Nail in the Coffin series, 2009's Walk Toward The Light aims to memorialize the eliminated teams that are gone and will likely be forgotten.

Oakland Athletics

Current record: 75-80

Season highlight Arguably, it could be both Matt Holliday(notes) trades. A's nation was over the moon when Billy Beane traded for a big stick, which was badly needed to bring in all of those guys who drew the walks. For Oakland, Holliday hit about as well the other A's, however, which led them to deal the free-agent-to-be to the Cardinals in July. In return, the A's got top prospect Brett Wallace(notes). Great deal for both clubs, as the phrase goes. ... The 10-run comeback against the Twins was exhilarating, if you're talking on-the-field stuff.

Season lowlight Dropping two pop ups in the same inning against the Dodgers made them look amateurish, but when they dumped Jason Giambi(notes), the front office also ripped him in a statement. It was awkward and unnecessary.

We knew the A's were done for when ... All-Star Justin Duchscherer's(notes) elbow went bye-bye. The A's don't have that kind of margin for injury. Unfortunately, Joey Devine(notes), Josh Outman(notes), Dallas Braeden and Vin Mazzaro(notes) also got hurt.

The Stew's favorite posts on the A's:

Moneyball sex! Brad Pitt and Steven Soderbergh might never take "Moneyball" to the big screen, but that doesn't mean we can't read the intended script, in which Pitt as Beane talks up OBP with Paul DePodesta at an Outback Steakhouse in Cleveland before Pitt's character schtups their waitress back at the hotel.

Home run ransom Someone from the jerk store caught Matt Carson's(notes) first big-league homer and tried to exchange it for a reported $10,000. Can we say "tool"? What a tool. Carson refused the ransom, partly because he's a 28-year-old rookie who doesn't have $10,000 to drop on a baseball worth, maybe, $100.

Bad stadium. Bad! After free-agent Rafael Furcal(notes) teased the A's about signing in Oakland, Fox's Ken Rosenthal became the latest to opine that the team's home ballpark was a big reason Beane can't attract talent. That couldn't be the only reason, we said.

Giambino stinkerino In one of the classic Create-a-Captions of all time, Giambi's face has a funny look on it.

What the team needs to do for 2010 After dropping 17 games under .500 on Sept. 4, the A's have outscored the bad guys 159-95 and are 17-7 this month. A recent sweep of Texas helped knock the Rangers out of the pennant race for good. They just came back from a 9-2 deficit to beat the division-leading Angels 15-10. Then you look at Sunday's lineup, and you'd have to give Tacoma or Fresno a real shot of winning. If the A's could score runs like this over a full season, their super-deep young pitching will make them contenders in the West again.

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