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2014 Oakland Athletics Thread

  • vaden
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Hope mlb fixes this playoff system soon. It's absurd that a team can win 100+ games and be out of the playoffs after 1 crapshoot game. And I've said this from the start, so it's not homerism. I'm confident we'll win the division and it would even help us if the Angels get knocked out in a play-in game, but it wouldn't feel right.
  • vaden
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Originally posted by DelCed2486:
Originally posted by socalfan21:
Question so when sonny gray pitches a gem... How do we win with zero runs scored?

That's what I was talking about the other day, that the A's have this great rotation that's set up to only give up 2-3 runs per game in the playoffs...but then the A's will be scoring like 1 or no runs.

I'll say it again, Cespedes only gave brief glimpses of his potential, but he was still a force in that lineup, really made it a 3-4-5 that could make pitchers change to how they pitched to them and everyone around them...still have Moss and Donaldson, but it just ain't the same. And I know it could've happened any night with Cespedes, but how "fitting" and such a bad omen that the first game without him they lose 1-0 to the Royals and Jeremie Guthrie (who???) and his 4.50 ERA.

IIRC, he was our best postseason hitter and got a hit in all 10 of his playoff games, which I think tied a record. Granted it's a small sample size and he's shown alarming regression over the last two seasons, but he seemed like a clutch performer. Still, I won't second guess our masterful GM.
Originally posted by vaden:
Hope mlb fixes this playoff system soon. It's absurd that a team can win 100+ games and be out of the playoffs after 1 crapshoot game. And I've said this from the start, so it's not homerism. I'm confident we'll win the division and it would even help us if the Angels get knocked out in a play-in game, but it wouldn't feel right.

Same here, this play-in game they've created is just idiotic and unfair to the "top"wildcard team. It's not too far-fetched to have a scenario where the A's could win 100+ games and be a wildcard, 10 games up on say Seattle who gets the 2nd w/c, and then the A's have to face Felix Hernandez in a play-in game.

I'd prefer to just not have it at all and keep it at one wildcard, but if they're going to insist then it should be best 2 of 3, and if there's an issue with start dates, TV times, etc. then make every team play at least 1 scheduled double-header during the regular season so they could have this best of 3 series start "on time".

Originally posted by vaden:
IIRC, he was our best postseason hitter and got a hit in all 10 of his playoff games, which I think tied a record. Granted it's a small sample size and he's shown alarming regression over the last two seasons, but he seemed like a clutch performer. Still, I won't second guess our masterful GM.

Yeah, he was the only one who hit well in both 2012 and '13 playoffs...and sure it's a small sample size, but that's all we have to go by, whereas Moss and Donaldson were both awful in that same sample. As for Cespedes regressing, he definitely did last year, but he was back on the upswing this year, striking out less, driving the ball to RF/RC more, and probably most important staying healthy.

Overall the A's had something like a .640 winning pct with Cespedes in the lineup. Obviously it's not all him every night, but it does underscore that he did bring a lot to this team offensively and defensively...we know he could be very inconsistent with both, but when he was on he showed his superstar potential. I have never actually been a huge fan and was hoping he'd get dealt at some point, but not now in the midst of a penant race and not in a deal that IMO does not make the A's better.
Honestly, the best playoff solution would be to admit the Top 5 winning teams in each league, regardless of division, with the divisions only staying around for scheduling purposes (because you can't have West/East coast teams playing the same amount of games as teams that share coasts because of travel concerns).

1-3 get seeded like the current division winners, with 4-5 playing the 1 game WC game. And keep it at one game because baseball needs 2 guaranteed "win-or-go-home" games. A post-season without those is very underwhelming, IMO.

As it stands, I like the current format far better than the 1995-2011 1-WC/League format, which gave the WC teams far too similar a reward for not finishing 1st. Yeah, you have more security if two 100-win teams share a division, but despite the current A's predicament, I like that they are under pressure to win the division. It's a more "honest" finish to the season in my view.

BTW, applied to last season, my 1-5 ranking sans division titles format would have been identical to what occurred in the AL (1. Boston, 2. Oakland, 3. Detroit, 4. Cleveland, 5.Tampa/Texas) while the NL would have had the 1-game playoff be the Dodgers hosting the Reds, with the Pirates being the #3 instead of LA.
[ Edited by captveg on Aug 3, 2014 at 1:56 AM ]
  • vaden
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Originally posted by captveg:
Honestly, the best playoff solution would be to admit the Top 5 winning teams in each league, regardless of division, with the divisions only staying around for scheduling purposes (because you can't have West/East coast teams playing the same amount of games as teams that share coasts because of travel concerns).

ITA, have long wanted playoffs seeding purely by W/L in all sports. But I doubt it'll ever happen.
Second straight series loss. No power. No run production. I don't this this is a coincidence. I hardly doubt BB but I will keep preaching this: we didn't need Lester. Also, that Lester deal may have been the reason the tigers got Price. It screwed us in multiple ways.
Originally posted by socalfan21:
Second straight series loss. No power. No run production. I don't this this is a coincidence. I hardly doubt BB but I will keep preaching this: we didn't need Lester. Also, that Lester deal may have been the reason the tigers got Price. It screwed us in multiple ways.

We lost that Houston series WITH Yo though. This squad is struggling. I agree that our lineup got weaker with the trade. But our core guys (JD and Moss) haven't been hitting very well since the break.

I think that the one true coincidence is that there's no Coco Crisp at the top of this lineup, setting the table. Yo was our most talented bat...but Coco might very well be our most important hitter.
[ Edited by DaDDieO on Aug 3, 2014 at 10:53 PM ]
Not to mention, our boy Jed Lowrie is having a sh***y year.

.240 / 5 HR / 41 RBI / .672 OPS

Stephen Vogt has also run into a mini-slump. Hitless in the last 4 games that he's played in.

Dudes are gripping right now.
[ Edited by DaDDieO on Aug 3, 2014 at 11:00 PM ]
Originally posted by socalfan21:
Second straight series loss. No power. No run production. I don't this this is a coincidence. I hardly doubt BB but I will keep preaching this: we didn't need Lester. Also, that Lester deal may have been the reason the tigers got Price. It screwed us in multiple ways.

The A's at times have struggled offensively even with Cespedes, but the fact remains that since he got here in 2012 this team was much, MUCH better with him in the lineup, a .635 winning pct with, .400 without...his presence meant something not only to opposing pitchers, it obviously also meant a lot to the A's.

And then to your point re: Price, I could not agree more, and short of Dave Dombrowski explicitly stating it, I am 99% certain the A's getting Lester pushed the Tigers to make that deal. But even if they would've done it anyway, on a potential playoff matchup vs Tigers, I'd rather take my chances with the d**n good pitching the A's already had PLUS Cespedes in the lineup, the one guy with the A's who has thrived on the big stage.

But if Beane was so adamant about getting a pitcher, I don't know why he didn't make another run at Price, would much rather have had him for 2 months PLUS one more year...and besides being younger I think he's just better than Lester. Who knows, maybe Beane did, but the Rays got Franklin, Smyly, and an A-ball prospect...think they wouldn't have dealt Price for Cespedes and say Milone?
  • vaden
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I'd much rather have Lester in the playoffs than Price, who I suspect lacks mental toughness. This is again a small sample size, but in 4 career postseason starts he's 0-4 with a 5.81 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. Now I'm sure he'll improve on that over time, I'll still want to avoid him in the playoffs, but Lester is on path to becoming one of the greatest postseason pitchers in the history of this game.
Originally posted by vaden:
I'd much rather have Lester in the playoffs than Price, who I suspect lacks mental toughness. This is again a small sample size, but in 4 career postseason starts he's 0-4 with a 5.81 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. Now I'm sure he'll improve on that over time, I'll still want to avoid him in the playoffs, but Lester is on path to becoming one of the greatest postseason pitchers in the history of this game.

So much this ... I cannot believe the overwhelming public opinion that Price is so much better. Come money time, when the pressure is on, he still has to prove himself. Lester already has, and has the jewelry to back it up. The only glaring thing Price has over Lester is he is under contract next year. But with the way the A's work, a rental may be all they want. Their motto is take a shot and immediately rebuild on the cheap.
Originally posted by Bluesbro:
So much this ... I cannot believe the overwhelming public opinion that Price is so much better. Come money time, when the pressure is on, he still has to prove himself. Lester already has, and has the jewelry to back it up. The only glaring thing Price has over Lester is he is under contract next year. But with the way the A's work, a rental may be all they want. Their motto is take a shot and immediately rebuild on the cheap.

Keeps them going all these years. They have the highest win percentage and still empty seats
Is Hammel pitching for his spot in the rotation tonight?
Hammel lives, at least for another couple starts. He makes me nervous, puts a lot of runners on base hits/walks, threw a ton of pitches in 5.2 innings, but at least he made enough good pitches to wiggle off the hook multiple times.

A's offense finally got a couple RISP hits, but they've still been dismal recently...over past couple weeks they rarely jump out to those quick 2-0 or 3-0 leads, usually a bunch of 0's on the board and then they break through later in the game.

Reddick continues to surprise and impress, he's the only hitter that has shown any consistency of late, and Fuld reminding me why I was p**sed when they released him first week of season. A's have shown they can win while Moss and JD are in slumps, but would be nice for them to both get hot.

But even with the A's looking out of sorts lately, they still have a shot today at sweeping a Rays team that had been very hot on the road. Then the A's have Twins coming in for 4-gamer, while Angels have Dodgers for 2 more then host Boston for 3...decent shot at padding that lead by a game or two.
[ Edited by DelCed2486 on Aug 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM ]
Offense has been brutal to watch for over a month now. The team is currently playing far below standards, and just is not the entertaining team I enjoyed watching June 2012-June 2014.

Gonna take a week off of watching them and hope they aren't 6 games back in the standings next Wednesday.