This fact has triggered a battle inside my brain. You see, I was raised in a Swedish family, and we're trained from birth not to show any sort of emotion that would make you appear better than anyone else. It's OK to be better, but to act better--in Swedish culture, there is no greater sin.
Now you combine being a Swede with being an A's fan, and that's probably a perfect recipe for some kind of emotional disorder. The A's, nearly every year, swing from extreme lows (the first couple months) to extreme highs (the big mid-season comeback), and then (come the playoffs) back to extreme lows again.
I am struggling. Get me some lithium or something. I need help.
There's an American inside me, being held hostage by those Swedish sentries of my upbringing. And now, RIGHT NOW, this American A's fan...he wants out. He's like John McEnroe's soul trapped inside Björn Borg's body. It's about to explode.
The Swedish sentries...they talk to the American...try to calm him down...
Be calm. Be reasonable.
Remember, in May, how poorly the A's were hitting? They weren't just terrible, they were unbelievably terrible. Darn near every player was hitting at their lowest possible projections: the team couldn't possibly be that bad.
Now, look at the A's outstanding pitching. The team ERA in June was 2.83. The A's young pitchers are good, but they're not a 2.83 ERA good. For a single player, that's hard enough to achieve, but for a whole team: that's unbelievable. The young pitchers will certainly go through a few more rough patches again before the season is out.
Their current overall record is probably a pretty good indication of their true talent level: they're about an 88-win team. That might be good enough to win the wild card, but with so many teams bunched together in the standings, it's unlikely. Someone will go on a hot streak, win around 94 games, and take the wild card.
And then the McEnroe inside me breaks his chains, kills the Borg, and shouts as loudly as possible:
Yeah, Baby! We've taken 7 of 9! We're on a roll! We're playoff-bound! Get out of our way! There ain't nobody nowhere who can stop us now! WOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!
KABOOM! I am not a BLOCKQUOTE! I am a free man!
I believe! I believe in the dream! And if you don't...you suck!
Oh, and...did I mention we've taken 7 of 9! Oh, the irony! Hee-yah! Meanwhile, autopsies have revealed that the Borg sentries were mortified to death. They could not survive their blush with danger. Funeral arrangements are pending. Mwahahahahaha!