Heading into Tuesday's matchups the A's faithful are feasting on a blowout victory over their division rival. Perusing the MLB pages today I noted an interesting tid bit about the odd standings the analysts failed to predict:
The bottom three (3) club payrolls all are tops in their divisions.
28. Oakland Athletics $47,167,126
29. Tampa Bay Rays $43,422,997
30. Florida Marlins $22,650,000
The Marilns have a 1.5 game lead over the Mets, the Rays are in a 3 way tie for 1st in the AL East, and our won Athletics hold a 1 game lead over the Angels. There's something that just really feels like 2001 with our club. New pitching arrives and performs well coupled together with clutch hitting to push against conventional wisdom of big money = big wins. Granted we are missing a true power hitter like Giambi but the combo of Sweeney + Cust + Thomas should hold us down. Also absent is an April swoon to be followed by a late May onslaught, but I like this better.
Yes, the end of April is upon us and A's fans haven't gone into hiding like the ESPN experts predicted. Instead we have 5 starters with 4 posting ERAs of 3.00 or better (sorry Joe - 4.07), a bullpen that hosts 2 ER virgins in Andrew Brown and Santiago Casilla, and overall has given up the fewest runs by any club.
ALL HAIL BILLY BEANE!
Sure it may be only one month in, but I'm going to enjoy the ride. GO A'S!