With a split in the season opening series in Japan, the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners can now enjoy a rare share of the lead in the American League West for eight whole days.
The last time these teams were tied for the division lead, Mike Sweeney was Seattle’s designated hitter and Ryan Sweeney was Oakland’s right fielder.
It was April 21, 2010 when Oakland and Seattle each held a 9-7 record to look down at their division rivals from atop the standings.
Oakland lost 3-1 to the Yankees at home, while the Mariners scored a 4-1 victory over the Orioles at home.
Seattle shortstop Jack Wilson had a three-run double in the fourth to give FélixHernández the win, while Oakland’s Ben Sheets was dealt a loss after conceding an RBI triple to Robinson Canó in the fourth.
Although the A’s and M’s make up half of MLB’s smallest division, it’s become increasingly difficult in recent years for these two clubs to avoid being the resident bottom feeders.
The two big fish in their division, the Texas Rangers and the nomadically named Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have accounted for the last five AL West titles.
Entering 2012, the Rangers and Angeles grew even bigger and stronger to make the situation seem even bleaker for the little guys.
Albert Pujols and Yu Darvish entered the AL West this season with a storm of attention, but in the shadow of their arrival, a pair of young guns are giving new life to the other two teams.
Oakland’s Cuban slugger Yoenis Céspedes and Seattle’s second base sophomore Dustin Ackley each homered in wins for their teams in Japan.
With an injury here, a slump there, an unlikely hot streak and extra wild card spot on offer, the AL West could be headed for a much-needed shake up this season.
The short stack division has left us hungry for too long, so before the Houston Astros join the table in 2013, hopefully this square group can become an awesome foursome in 2012.
29 Marzo 2012