Originally Posted by Craig Grebeck
I believe it's centered around the idea that the playoffs are a total crapshoot (as evidenced by WC teams winning the World Series). If you get in and get on a hot streak, anything can happen. Competing on that payroll is impressive, no matter what the organizational philosophy.
That's Billy Beane's perennial excuse. It's also hogwash. The fact that WC teams win doesn't prove squat except that a team that finishes one or two games ahead in the standings isn't necessarily a better team, especially considering the unbalanced schedule. I'm not impressed by above average finishes.
There's a difference between building a team to win in the regular season and building a team to win in the playoffs. Over the last 7 years, Oakland and Minnesota have done a good job at the former, but have been abject failures at the latter. For all the "miracles" these low-payroll teams have wrought, Beane has never won even one post-season series, and the Twins in the last 7 years have only won one, and that was by beating Oakland.