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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Can anyone explain why the A’s are good?

The 2011 Oakland A’s offense was, in a word, inept. As a team, the Athletics hit .244/.311/.369. They finished 20th in runs scored and 24th in home runs. Just one player on the entire roster hit higher than .265 that season: Jemile Weeks, the team’s primary second baseman, who managed just two homers all year. On the final day of the 2011 season, with the A’s out of contention, the Mariners let Oakland hitters stand on the outfield grass for all their at-bats; not a single player reached the warning track.

The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: April 24, 2013 at 03:20 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, oakland

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   1. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4424936)
Well, in 2012 they had an average offense (that looks worse due to park effects) and good pitching and defense. That combination usually makes you good.

This year, the pitching has been averagish, but they're hitting well.
   2. It's a shame about Athletic Supporter Posted: April 24, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4425028)
On the final day of the 2011 season, with the A’s out of contention, the Mariners let Oakland hitters stand on the outfield grass for all their at-bats; not a single player reached the warning track.


Actually, it was second base, no need for exaggeration.

I'm still not totally sure that this is a good team -- the projections for 2013 were what, like 78 wins or so? Which seems reasonable -- but the past year-plus has been quite enjoyable
   3. Walt Davis Posted: April 24, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4425029)
I know it's only 21 games but some of these numbers are video game silly:

Seth Smith has a 201 OPS+. That's the second best on the team.

I suppose it's possible that the park is playing like a hitter's park so far ... for whatever strange reasons it is that parks do that sort of thing.
   4. zenbitz Posted: April 24, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4425030)
Didn't they play 6 games against the Astros?
   5. cardsfanboy Posted: April 24, 2013 at 05:46 PM (#4425032)
I suppose it's possible that the park is playing like a hitter's park so far ... for whatever strange reasons it is that parks do that sort of thing.


I think the last year or two previously something was going on environmentally that affected all the west coast parks.. (only half joking)
   6. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: April 24, 2013 at 06:04 PM (#4425062)
I think the last year or two previously something was going on environmentally that affected all the west coast parks.. (only half joking)

Addressed in TFA.
   7. cardsfanboy Posted: April 24, 2013 at 06:07 PM (#4425069)
Addressed in TFA.


You expect me to read an article? You do know this is bbtf right? :)
   8. Bourbon Samurai Posted: April 24, 2013 at 07:26 PM (#4425130)
Moneyball. Duh.
   9. Dale Sams Posted: April 24, 2013 at 08:52 PM (#4425198)
Lost 5 of their last 6.

Also, they have Joltin Jed Lowrie....until he gets Lupus or something.
   10. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 24, 2013 at 09:30 PM (#4425227)
TFA links to another FA. I had not realized the Mets payroll was quite as pitiful as it is: $73,396,649. A bit below the Pirates and the Royals, and less than one-third the payroll of the Yankees.

Well done, Fred!
   11. bobm Posted: April 24, 2013 at 09:51 PM (#4425238)
[10] Johan Santana counts for a full 1/3 of that $73M IIRC.
   12. Traderdave Posted: April 24, 2013 at 09:56 PM (#4425244)
I live in the East Bay, near enough to O.co that I sometimes hear the PA speakers. It has been windy as HELL this spring. It's always breezy here, but this year has been really strong. That can only be helping offense...
   13. Austin Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:05 PM (#4425255)
the projections for 2013 were what, like 78 wins or so?

Surprisingly, no... they were projected more in the 85-87 win neighborhood by all the systems I saw. I still can't quite figure out how, either.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 24, 2013 at 10:11 PM (#4425260)
[10] Johan Santana counts for a full 1/3 of that $73M IIRC.

And Bay's another $15M, IIRC.

Edit: Cots have them at $93.7M for 2013, $43.6M is Santana and Bay.
   15. Baldrick Posted: April 25, 2013 at 12:00 AM (#4425334)
Cots have them at $93.7M for 2013, $43.6M is Santana and Bay.

Hahahahahaha.

At least with the Mariners, we've invested a big chunk of resources in an actually good player. It's all the guys making peanuts who are killing us.

Like Jason Bay...doh!
   16. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 25, 2013 at 12:08 AM (#4425336)
I think Bay's in the 93m "figure". Bobby Bonilla's in there too!
   17. Walt Davis Posted: April 25, 2013 at 12:11 AM (#4425338)
Well, the A's did win 94 last year, 92 pythag. And while Moss, Carter and Gomes somehow combining to be Jim Thome had a lot to do with that, most of the rest of the performances seemed reasonable enough (maybe the bullpen). Sure, you don't normally see young starters do that well but nothing shocking there.

Part of it is that many of us (and I'm definitely in that boat) just have a hard time understanding how a team can outright suck at 3-4 positions and win.

Among the many amazing things about this year's A's is that Colon seems to have found even better PEDs and they greatly improve control (1 BB in 26 IP).

An amusing aspect of the A's is that they so often rely on incredible winning streaks. The 2012 A's were 39-42 at the halfway point. They then won 14 of 16 then won 15 of 18 across late Aug/early Sept. The famous moneyball A's don't get a movie made without that ridiculous win streak. The 2006 A's (93 wins) were 42-39 and just 53-50 on July 28. So they won 15 of 17. The most "analytic", "play the percentages" team keeps benefiting from ridiculously unlikely runs. It's the only evidence that God likes sabermetrics although mainly I think He is just getting our hopes up before lowering the hammer in the playoffs.

Anyway, why are the A's good? I'll go out on a limb and say Billy Beane. After several years of seeming to spin his wheels, a lot of his most recent moves have worked out well. And I will never doubt the great Coco Crisp again!
   18. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: April 25, 2013 at 12:37 AM (#4425346)
Fun with selective endpoints, Coco Crisp edition:

On June 12 of last year, Coco was hitting .165/.224/.226 with 146 PA.

Since then, he's hit .302/.376/.528 in 447 PA (101 games), with 38/43 SB thrown in for good measure.
   19. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 25, 2013 at 01:11 AM (#4425352)
On the final day of the 2011 season, with the A's out of contention, the Mariners let Oakland hitters stand on the outfield grass for all their at-bats


Is that even legal?
   20. boteman Posted: April 25, 2013 at 01:57 AM (#4425358)
#19 - I too would appreciate a clear, unambiguous explanation of what happened, if it really did and isn't a joke.
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: April 25, 2013 at 02:05 AM (#4425359)
#19 - I too would appreciate a clear, unambiguous explanation of what happened, if it really did and isn't a joke.


The author (Chronicles?) is claiming the A's were allowed to hit from the edge of the infield grass, and yet they still couldn't reach the warning track, due to their total lack of pop. Obviously, it was a joke.

(The confusion probaly stems from the inclusion of the Mariners, an even-worse hitting team. Because if you miss the "hitters" note about the A's, you may think he was talking about the Mariners hitters/A's fielders).
   22. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 25, 2013 at 03:56 AM (#4425371)
At least with the Mariners, we've invested a big chunk of resources in an actually good player. It's all the guys making peanuts who are killing us.


The Zunino/Hultzen/Walker/Franklin/anyone-but-Ryan era really cannot begin soon enough. I wish I had any confidence in the front office not to screw them up somehow.
   23. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: April 25, 2013 at 06:05 PM (#4425891)
A year and a little bit is a crapshoot? If you wanted to be a bit more analytic, maybe extreme fly ball pitchers get an even better BABIP than SIERA and whomever else does this projects?

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