Saturday, September 27, 2014

Oakland A's fans and schadenfreude

Oakland A's fans are still up in arms over the Yoenis Cespedes trade costing their team the American League West title - perhaps making their aspirations at a playoff run a little dimmer.

Reading bits and pieces on this Web site, I chuckle at the self-assured nature of A's fans who claim the team's second half swoon had nothing to do with the team trading Cespedes - maybe getting an ace pitcher like Jon Lester back is better than a so-so slugger, but losing offense was what killed the A's in the second half.

To understate Cespedes' value, even as a flawed hitter is silly talk - Cespedes was a looming threat in that A's lineup.

He might have had a sub .300 on-base percentage this year and his slugging percentage may not seem all that great - but the guy was a proven slugger in the middle of the lineup that had the ability to 'go off' at any time.

As is, the A's still have a chance to get into the playoffs through the Wild Card playoff game and can match up with the the Angels with a much deeper starting staff - substandard offense aside, it might be a new season come the American League Division Series.

1 comment:

Fuji said...

As an A's fan, it was sad to see Cespedes go. But I definitely don't think the trade is the sole reason for Oakland's struggles the past month and a half. Did the trade hurt their offense? Of course. Like you said... Cespedes was a thread both in the middle of the lineup and defensively in the outfield.

But the A's actually went 6-3 during the nine games following the trade... whereas right before the trade they had gone 9-8 during the seventeen games prior. In other words, the A's bats were already beginning to get cold long before the trade.

Plus injuries impacted the Melvin's platoon strategy. It didn't help that their amazing starting rotation turned "average" at best. Sonny Gray went 1-7 with a 4+ era (before today's AWESOME shutout) during August and September. Scott Kazmir struggled too going 3-6 with a 6+ era during the same stretch.

As for Lester? He went 6-4 with a 2.36 era, which is twice as many wins as any other Oakland starter. As a whole, the rest of the A's starters went 9-19 in August and September.

So everyone on the A's roster (except maybe Donaldson and Reddick) has played a role in the A's struggles the past two months (but even Donaldson has struggled to get on base in September after a solid August).

I agree with you though... if the A's can beat Kansas City, it's a brand new season. Ironically... they'll be sending the guy they traded Cespedes for to try and win the wild card game.