View Full Version : Interesting A's observation

08-17-2005, 01:58 AM
I was looking for something on the A's new ballpark and a search led me to athleticsnation.com, the "official' unofficial blog of the A's. I say "official" because there are a lot of interviews with players, execs, Billy Beane, etc.

Anyone who read moneyball should know that in the book, the A's were obsessed with OBP. It was the most important stat for a player to have. Not only because it led to runs, but because the market did not place a high value on it. (Scott Hatteberg with the red sox for example.) Now, thanks to the Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Dodgers all trying to out-Beane the A's, OBP is not undervalued any more.

"You know how we know the market is valuing it? Because $18 million a year to Jason Giambi. Eight or nine years ago, people weren't paying for it at the level that they are now. Now they are. The highest paid statistic in the game now is on-base percentage. We're not dunderheads here, if other teams are paying for it and we can't get it, we're going to go out and try and find out what other teams aren't paying for. One of the reasons we got Mark Kotsay is because of his defense. We had to start shifting and finding guys in other areas. We led the league in fielding percentage last year and we were second in the league in pitching. So, if you listen to the people that cover this team, there's this assumption that we're this slow-pitch softball team. At one point, we were probably close to it. Back in 1999, we had a lot of homers, we were a high on-base percentage team and we scored a lot of runs. But we didn't have a particularly great defense. The shift over time was because the market started valuing those things. We were the top team in the league, fielding percentage-wise, but you would've never believed that five or six years ago."

I always thought of the A's as the team that was placed OBP above all else, especially defense. I see now that "moneyball" does not refer to OBP, no defense, no steals, etc., but rather players who can get the job done even though the market undervalues them.

Full Story (http://www.athleticsnation.com/story/2005/7/5/03653/46632)

What I'm getting at is, come playoff time, if the A's are more of a pitching-and-defense team, that should distance them from the 'chokeland A's' image that theyve been carrying over the last five years in the first round. And most of all, I just think that it's suprising that defense is now part of the new moneyball, when before we've heard that defense is overpriced, over-rated, etc.

(But who knows, with the A's offense hitting the way it is right now, the Yankees may just over take them and they might not even make the playoffs.)

08-17-2005, 02:04 AM
(But who knows, with the A's offense hitting the way it is right now, the Yankees may just over take them and they might not even make the playoffs.)

I like the A's to take the AL West with New York and Anaheim fighting for the Wild Card. I rather face Anaheim in the playoffs instead of Oakland or New York.