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POLL: Will the Oakland A's magic run out or will they go all the way?

The Oakland Athletics celebrate on the mound after defeating the Texas Rangers 12-5 to capture the American League West title at O.co Coliseum on October 3, 2012 in Oakland, California.
The Oakland Athletics celebrate on the mound after defeating the Texas Rangers 12-5 to capture the American League West title at O.co Coliseum on October 3, 2012 in Oakland, California. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

If you have a friend who say they know baseball ask them to name two players on the Oakland A's, who yesterday won the American League West. 

They might be utter the hilariously-named speedster Coco Crisp, who hit a measly .259 this year but swiped 39 bases. 

Your friend may even pull 39-year-old Bartolo Colon out of the air to which you should say, "fine, but name someone who is still on the active roster as Mr. Colon was suspended after he was caught using illegal performance enhancing drugs."

The truth - and the beauty - of this team is they really are a group of relative no-names who succeeded in a division where two of baseball's top five largest team salaries exist. The Texas Rangers spent over $120 million in salary, and your Anaheim Angels have a $155 million payroll.

The Oakland A's payroll is a paltry $49,137,500. 

The Angels' Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter combined will earn $43 million this season, if you'd like some perspective.

The other unbelievable part of the A's success is they have been winning all of these games without large salaries for so long that there has been a best selling book (Michael Lewis' "Moneyball") and a subsequent Oscar-nominated film (starring Brad Pitt) based on the techniques A's general manager Billy Beane has been using.

In a way they are playing poker with 29 other teams while showing them all of their cards. They struck out more than anyone in their league. They were second-to-last in the A.L. with a .238 team batting average. For a team that eked out 94 wins, none of their starters won over 13 games.

But when it mattered, during the stretch, in the clutch, they won all the games they had to in order to knock the Rangers out of first place.

So how are they doing it?

ESPN's David Schoenfield summed it up thusly, "This is a team with an all-rookie starting rotation, a rookie star outfielder, a rookie catcher. There isn't pressure on the A's. There's nothing but magic going on here."

So the question is, will they go all the way?

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