It’s not that hard, Barra. Tell him, Primer.
The 2002 Oakland A’s are one of baseball’s legendary teams. A hugely bestselling book by Michael Lewis and a popular, critically acclaimed movie starring Brad Pitt, both named Moneyball, will always be synonymous with those A’s.
Those A’s famously had no superstars; they won 103 games by acquiring bargain-price players who excelled in often overlooked statistics such as on-base percentage. They won the American League West, losing finally in the playoffs to a wealthier, big-market team.
...And they didn’t lose in the playoffs to a bigger-market team; they lost to a smaller one, the Minnesota Twins. According to Forbes, for the 2002 season Oakland’s operating budget was No. 24 at $172 million with an operating income of $6.6 million while the Twins were ranked 27th at $148 million with an operating income of $400,000.
Well, as Maxwell Scott says in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, “When fact becomes legend, print the legend,” and there’s no doubt the printed legend surrounding the 2002 A’s will continue to overshadow the facts.
...What is peculiar, though, is that Billy Beane’s A’s this year really are a “moneyball” team. They just clinched the American League West with a .596 win-loss percentage—second in the league only to the Red Sox. During September they are 16-5. And they are doing it with a payroll of $60,664,500—the fourth lowest in the major leagues and less than half of the payroll of their downstate league rivals, the Los Angeles Angels, who currently trail the A’s by 16½ games.
And they’ve done it all without any superstars. The A’s are arguably the most no-celebrity team among the pennant contenders; most of their players are barely household names in their own households.
Posted: September 25, 2013 at 05:14 AM | 36 comment(s)
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