Playoff-bound A's still have goals to meet

Playoff-bound A's still have goals to meet

Playoff-bound A's still have goals to meet
OAKLAND -- The A's have clinched a playoff position, but a host of variables will dictate where, who and when they'll be playing in the postseason.

The list of scenarios includes everything from the A's traveling to Baltimore for the Wild Card game, all the way to the A's holding the top seed in the American League.

"I think we need to get through these games here first with these next couple games, starting with today," manager Bob Melvin said before Tuesday's matchup with the Rangers, which they would have to win in order to keep their hopes of an AL West title alive. "If we have to, we'll take a proper look down the road. Our personnel and front office has looked at this thing at every possible angle you can possibly look at. I will insulate on today, and they'll look to the future, and that's probably a good dynamic for us to work that way."

And with not only the division title but also home-field advantage still in play, the A's don't have much time to enjoy clinching their first postseason appearance since 2006, which culminated in a raucous clubhouse celebration following Monday's 4-3 win against the Rangers.

"I think it's business as usual for us," Melvin said. "I don't think anybody was here until 2 in the morning last night. I think everybody got out of here at a decent hour, and as a matter of fact, I know they did. I don't think anybody overdid anything. I think we had a lot of fun with it in the time that we were here, but I think everybody recognized that today is as important as a game as yesterday, as is tomorrow. I think it's business as usual for us."

The differing postseason possibilities affect not only the A's as they peek ahead to who they may be facing, but also the potential 25-man roster, especially the size and personnel of the bullpen.

"I think the uncertainty of it, if you look that far out, is difficult," Melvin said. "But I think that the underlying theme with that is that we're in and we're going to be somebody, and we're all pretty happy about that. You don't want to get too wrapped up in the all the variables because there's too many to think about where you'll potentially be. You try to win today's game, and then when it's all said and done, somebody will tell us where to go."