NEW YORK -- The A's may be leaving the Bronx on Sunday and heading to Texas for a showdown with the first-place Rangers, but they're not going to get ahead of themselves. Yes, Oakland needs a positive result to have a chance at catching Texas, but manager Bob Melvin doesn't look at it that way.
"We just have to take care of our business and concentrate on what we're doing," said Melvin. "The schedule would suggest we're playing all teams that are in that situation, but that shouldn't affect us. The only thing is that they're really good teams fighting for their lives as well. It's all the same for us each and every day, whether we're at home or on the road. No matter who we're playing. Every day has to be for us. Like you're playing your last day. You've got to leave it all out there."
Indeed, the A's are in the midst of one of the most crucial stretches of their season. Oakland has played in consecutive series against the Angels, Orioles, Tigers and Yankees, and will go into the series with Texas holding the American League's second Wild Card spot.
Oakland will play four games in Texas starting Monday and will conclude the season with a three-game series against the Rangers at home. Melvin will allow that his team should be hardened by its late-season schedule, but he won't allow his players to get too far ahead of themselves down the stretch.
Talk about the postseason is still forbidden in the Oakland clubhouse, and Melvin is confident that his young team is maintaining its focus on every game and every opponent. Melvin was asked Sunday if he considers himself an old-school manager.
"I think you have to change and adapt with the times," he said of his managerial profile. "And more than anything, you have to adapt to the type of team you have. We have a young team. I enjoy younger players. You're more apt to teach over the course of the season and instruct, and we've put together a very good staff that's able to do that. I would have to say I'm probably more middle school."