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Under the Radar: The A's and the Media

Nobody's taking notice, right? And those who do are often being dismissive. That's okay. They're missing a story that we're all seeing firsthand, a story that they will eventually catch up to.

It's funny to see the Dodgers post essentially the same record as the A's for 17 games, but be at the center of ten times the number of stories. Everybody loves the Dodgers, it seems; yet everybody wants to explain why the A's don't really deserve any love.

Take the story at Baseball Prospectus today (paid content). As Salb detailed in the DLD it misanalyzes the A's in some significant ways. But that's to be expected. The guys at BP often write with an undeserved authority. Joe Sheehan, who wrote the article, is definitely one who does. Sure, there are many good insights to be gleaned at BP, but an overview of our team isn't going to be worth much to most of us. And that goes for the stuff at ESPN, the Hit Lists and Power Rankings, the flippant columns by the likes of Bill Simmons. It's all going to tell us much, much less than we already know.

Because most of us know the team better than BP and ESPN and the rest do. We watch them much, much more; can contextualize statistics; we know the difference in performance between now and, say, April; and we see beyond run differential to how they're actually winning. We know about Swish's weight loss, about Chavy's forearms, about Haren's last five starts, about Loaiza's slight improvement, about Calero's value, about Frank Thomas since Chicago, and on and on.

The very, very obvious story to write about the A's right now and that most people are writing--if they even bother--is that they'll win the West but nothing more. That they're no real threat. Whatever. That's now. That story will change. Dan Haren will likely be a developing story. The A's offense "since the return of Bradley" will be a developing story. Their bullpen and Frank Thomas will get more of the attention they deserve.

If the A's continue to win, their winning will need to be explained beyond, "They're lucky and they play good defense." They will have to be reckoned with--by both the media and by their playoff opponents.

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