Cheapskate Champs: Low-Budget Oakland A's Insert Quarter, Win Division
In sports, as in politics, spenders win.
But not every time. The Oakland A's, with the second-lowest payroll in Major League Baseball, just played their way into the playoffs. So they had a better year than the Philadelphia Phillies, third in their division, out of the playoffs, second-highest payroll in the MLB. Better than the Los Angeles Angels, third in their division, out of the playoffs, fourth-highest payroll in the MLB.
People are saying this team is more "Moneyball" than "Moneyball"—referring to the book/Brad Pitt flick about general manager Billy Beane using his superpower (spreadsheets) to pick up productive players on the cheap:
[A] team with the lowest payroll defeated a team that has represented the American League in the World Series over the last two seasons and a team that spent over a quarter of a billion dollars in free agency this winter. In fact, Albert Pujols’ salary covers the A’s payroll from the last four seasons.
In the original "Moneyball Year," 2002, the A's were the third-lowest spenders in the league, spending $41 million or so on their payroll. The biggest spenders that year were the New York Yankees, at $125 million. The A's won their division. This year, the A's spent about $55 million. The Yankees? About $198 million. Phillies? $175 million. The Texas Rangers, division rivals defeated by the A's this week? $121 million.
Even more incredibly, last year, the A's spent around $67 million and finished far worse—third in the division with 74 wins, which is 20 fewer than they've got this year, with a handful left to play.
So again this year, the A's spent their money wisely and the team played well and they clinched the American League West title, as a friend posted on Facebook, on a BART $2 Wednesday—Bay Area Rapid Transit's title-sponsor deal offering tickets to A's games on Wednesdays for just two of your wrinkliest dollars.
So yes, that's an affordable sporting event co-sponsored by public transportation. Are the Oakland A's the unofficial team of GOOD yet?
People always say things like "So-and-so is the New York Yankees of so-and-so" to mean that somebody's dominant—or that they spend a lot and buy up players, resources, whatever.
Can we start calling people the Oakland A's of things? I know a couple that is the Oakland A's of getting apartments—spend little on fantastic places. Totally awesome.
Hey, who wants to watch "Moneyball" with me this weekend?
Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Turning Rubbernecking in Bangladesh into a Lifesaving Moment Without 9-1-1 or a reliable ambulance system, one med student and 100 volunteers launch a mobile-based emergency response system
Female Monks Challenge Buddhism’s Misogynistic Tendencies Long relegated to being the handmaidens of the more revered male monks, devout Thai women are now establishing their own religious order
If You Really Love Nature, Don’t Live Anywhere Near It Almost universally, people living in urban locations have a much smaller environmental footprint.
For Ernesto Yerena, Los Angeles is the City of Hustle and Hope Artist Ernesto Yerena’s visual love letter to the City of Hustle and Hope.
Books Stop Bullets at Tragic FSU Shooting A tragic shooting, a confusing profile of a would-be-killer, and a student saved by his library books
These Grandmas Smoke Pot For The First Time. And They Absolutely Love it. They take a few epic bong rips before waxing poetic on the merits of ironing, mistake a vaporizer for a sex toy, and stonily lose track of whatever thoughts they were briefly attempting to articulate.
If You See One Iranian Vampire Western Movie This Year, Make it This One The chador-wearing, skateboarding, vampire protagonist of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night would fit right in to a John Hughes movie
There’s No Reason for Any Nation Not to Vaccinate its Feral Dogs Targeting the semi-wild dogs that roam city streets and rural hamlets all over the world can break the chain of rabies transmission and eliminate cases in humans
The Secret Origin of Neil deGrasse Tyson It took perseverance, intense training, and a willingness to defy expectations to turn a curious kid into the sharp, affable scientist we know today.
VITAMINS 101: Know What You Need Get the dish on your nutrition
Games Theory: 6 Views of a Mockingjay Just how socially relevant is The Hunger Games? Let us count the ways.
Here’s to You A toast to local hotspots around the world The best of the world’s neighborhood nooks.