Leading Off

Leading Off: Now we must wait for A’s-Tigers showdown

Was there ever a better day of trading in baseball?

It could go down as the best ever, but that won’t be determined until most of the leaves have fallen off the trees and store shelves are stocked with Halloween candy.

A’s general manager Billy Beane finally believes he’s holding the winning hand in this high-stakes poker game and pushed all of his chips into the center of the table. He started July by trading for Chicago Cubs standout pitcher Jeff Samardzija and finished the month by trading slugger Yoenis Cespedes to Boston for ace pitcher Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes and $1 milllion.

We’re just guessing that cash won’t be used to pay for sodas in the A’s clubhouse.

Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski not only called but raised the stakes by trading for Tampa Bay ace David Price, giving Detroit the American League’s past three Cy Young Award winners: Justin Verlander (2011), Price (2012) and Max Scherzer (2013).

There hasn’t been a toe-to-toe staredown like this since Rocky Balboa’s rematch with Clubber Lang.

“Gonna bust you up!”

“Go for it.”

Of course this battle only takes place if both teams handle their business the rest of the season. But it all points to a great showdown between Oakland and Detroit, two gutty teams from two gritty cities.

The A’s and Tigers are on a collision course for a third consecutive postseason, possibly the American League Championship Series. In 2012 and 2013, Verlander shut down the A’s in the fifth and deciding game of their divisional series.

Imagine Lester on the mound against Detroit’s Price in Game 7 of the ALCS, a trip to the World Series on the line.

The stakes would never be higher.

– Victor Contreras


Weekend poll

Which team improved itself most during Thursday’s baseball trades?

• A’s

• Tigers

To vote, go to sacbee.com/sports

Friday’s results

Who is the greatest sports announcer?

• Marv Albert: 4%

• Dick Enberg: 6%

• Chick Hearn: 5%

• Keith Jackson: 14%

• Bill King: 16%

• Al Michaels: 16%

• Vin Scully: 39%

Total votes: 231

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