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Comparing the 1989 and 2012 Teams

Here are a few of the more interesting simple stats (nothing sabermetric) comparing the '89 and 2012 A's. They come from my blog about the '89 team, which has a longer list of comparisons:

1989: four players with double-digit homer totals: McGwire, 33, Dave Henderson, 15, Parker, 22, Canseco, 17. The A’s ranked sixth in the A.L. in homers, with 127.

2012: eight players with double-digit homer totals: Reddick, 32, Cespedes, 23, Moss, 21, Carter 16, Gomes, 18, Crisp, 11, Smith, 14, Inge, 11. The A’s ranked sixth in the A.L. in homers, with 195.

1989: .331 on base percentage, third in the A.L., led by Rickey’s .425 and Lansford’s .398.

2012: .310 on base percentage, twelfth in the A.L., led by Cespedes’ .356 and Moss’ .358.

The 2012 A’s struck out 1387 times, the most in the A.L., setting a new A’s "record"; the 1989 A’s struck out 855 times, ninth in the A.L.

1989 pitching: Team era of 3.09, first in the A.L. led by Mike Moore’s 2.61, Bob Welch’s 3, Dave Stewart’s 3.32, and, among the relievers, Eckersley’s 1.56, Todd Burns’s 2.224, and Honeycutt’s 2.35.

2012 pitching: Team era of 3.50, second in the A.L., led by A.J. Griffin’s 3.06 and Brandon McCarthy’s 3.24, and, among the relievers, Ryan Cook’s 2.09, Jerry Blevins’ 2.48, and Grant Balfour’s 2.53.

1989: 3 complete game shutouts, all of them Moore’s, to rank first in the A.L. 17 complete games, 8 by Stewart and 6 by Moore.

2012: 0 complete game shutouts, and only one complete game, by Tommy Milone.

If you think of the '89 A's as setting a standard for future teams, the A's, more than anything else, need to get their OBP up in order to get ready to win a World Series. And here are a few '89 What Ifs: I think people looking back would have a very different image of that team if Canseco had missed the entire season, Saberhagen hadn't had such a good season and Moore/Stewart had gone 1-2 in the Cy Young vote, or the A's had a no-hitter/perfect game or two to remind people how good the pitching was.

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