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A Question for Salb and other statistical types

It seems that recently there has been a fair amount of discussion about the need to acquire someone who hits for high average to drive runners in. The implication in this line of thinking is that a base runner is significantly more valuable in front of Hitter A with a  .300/.350/.450 line than hitter B at .250/.350/.450. Is it possible that, by emphasizing OBP over everything, the A's have actually reached a point where a high OBP is no longer providing the expected marginal benefit due to their lineup construction? Is it possible we really do miss Jay Payton's .270 average more than we're happy to be rid of his .700 OPS?

I wish I could work this out for myself, but I have a much greater ability to interpret statistics than actually devise them. Thanks.

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