In a lot of ways, the Oakland Athletics have already had a very successful 2010.

The campaign isn’t over by any means—with more than 50 games yet to be played, anything and everything can still happen.

However, the A’s sit nine and a half games off the American League West pace set by the division-leading Texas Rangers. With the Texas in town for the weekend, they have a chance to shave some of that margin and they’d better.

Because they’re even further behind in the AL Wild Card race.

Granted, with the juggernauts out in the AL East, the playoff side door was probably never a realistic option.

Nah–it’s the pennant or bust.

Since the Rangers look to have a pretty firm grasp on the flag, Oakland’s hopes for contention are dwindling with every nine innings.

Nevertheless, the Elephants have shown a lot of pluck and resiliency over the course of the season. They started behind the eight-ball due to a minuscule payroll and then had their plight compounded by Lady Luck, who gave them only two flavors—bad and rotten.

Even so, the Green and Gold are treading water and posted a respectable 14-10 record in July, which was fourth-best in the Junior Circuit.

More importantly, there are plenty of silver linings that should give the franchise and its fanbase hope for the immediate future.

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