Once there was book that was developed into a movie about the Oakland Athletics and GM Billy Beane. You may have heard of it; the film was called “Moneyball”. A story of how a baseball team used advanced stats and metrics to build a team with a smaller budget than everyone else, like the Yankees. The movie was a gigantic success and really opened eyes more and more to how such a crazy idea worked for a professional baseball team. This philosophy brought the A’s to the playoffs in the 2002 and 2003 season, even ended up getting Beane offers from other teams like the Boston Red Sox, however he turned it down and has been with the A’s ever since. Since then, people have questioned Beane many times after moving many guys from a playoff team years ago like Josh Donaldson, who went to the Blue Jays and became an MVP. However, in the year 2018, Beane and the A’s are doing something remarkable once again.
The A’s are the hottest team in baseball, and while the Red Sox have been phenomenal, the A’s are just finding incredible ways to pull off games left and right. If it is an 8 run comeback, they got it and win 13-10 (just happened), if they have to have a pitching duel, don’t sweat it. This Oakland A’s team has found that crazy magic once again, and if I asked most people who their best player was, I feel you would have no answer. But that is why I’m writing this, to make the A’s respected and to educate on how they are doing this.
They have once again went with the idea of Moneyball it feels, considering their highest paid player, Khris “with a K” Davis is just being paid $10 mil this season. In baseball, that is unheard of, unless you are the A’s. And while Davis, who has hit 27 HR this season and 77 RBI, is the highest paid player, he is not the best for the A’s this season. The best has been the closer of the Athletics and the best reliever in baseball this season, Blake Treinen. Oh, I bet I got a big “WHO?” on that one. Blake Treinen is 30 years of age already and paid just $2 mil. He was drafted in 2011, but took until 2014 to make the big leagues, in which he made it with the Nationals. Never was he given a full closer role until right now, where he has beyond flourished. Peep this:
This guy is unbelievably nasty on that sinker. The sinker ball pitcher has made that pitch the best sinker in baseball. And the statistics? Even more outstanding. He has appeared in 43 games, where he is 5-2, with a fantastic 26 saves, 68 SO, and the most unbelievable ERA for a closer this season… 1.04. Treinen has been so untouchable this year and has guaranteed the A’s victory any time they get to the end of the game. He was going to be their best trade piece until they turned it on and became a force in the league. Treinen was one of two All-Stars for the A’s this season, and you may know the guy as an old friend to Red Sox fans.
2B Jed Lowrie is a journeyman in the MLB. While it seems as though he has been on the same team for a while, he has went from Boston, to Houston, to Oakland, to Houston, and back to Oakland. It feels as though Lowrie was only apart of the teams where they were bad. Houston wasn’t what they were now, Oakland for the most part has been Oakland, and the Red Sox were good but this doesn’t count because he just was not an everyday player and they began to struggle. Now, at the age of 34, Lowrie is having his best season where he made the All-Star team and has already passed his career high in HR with 17. Batting .282, Lowrie has been a cog in the A’s lineup for the entire season and is a good reason they continue to role. With a solid OPS of .850, Lowrie will hopefully continue to be the leader of the A’s and get them to the playoffs like they must be, because them in the playoffs at a wildcard spot would be best for the league.
Oakland is now just one game back for the 2nd wild card spot, trailing just the Mariners. And if we are being truly honest, an A’s-Yankees Wild Card playoff game sounds so much more exciting than if the Mariners were in there. It would be exciting, scary for New York, and the A’s would be going into that with nothing to lose. The A’s are riding this winning streak and the period of dominance to a hopeful playoff run and proving the Moneyball method isn’t dead. You need to pay attention to this team, because besides the Red Sox, this is the most enjoyable team to watch in the league. Nothing is better than an underdog story that could turn out to be successful. Follow them, enjoy them, and start to respect them.
Do you think the A’s can actually do it? Or do you think a roster like there’s will falter eventually?
Let me know!!!
-Scott Edwards, Creator of WTF Sports