I’ve said this about a million times on Twitter, but I am tossing my support behind the Oakland A’s in this postseason, and I hope like hell that they can finish off the Tigers tonight and head to the ALCS (where they’ll hopefully face the Orioles in a 1979 ALCS rematch).
It’s funny rooting for Oakland, since they were the bane of my existence back in the late 80s, early 90s, when those Dave Stewart-fronted teams used to carve up the Sox whenever they met in the postseason. But without a horse in the race, I’m happy to watch Coco go nuts and Josh Reddick, AKA the $484,000 Man, tear things up. They’re a scrappy team that’s fun to watch. And I hate the word “scrappy” so you can see how gosh darn happy they’ve made me.
More importantly, I think a team like Oakland winning big is just good for the game. After watching the Red Sox’ bloated, $180 million zeppelin crash down to the bottom of the AL East, it’s refreshing to see a team with less than one-third of our payroll — and in fact the second-lowest payroll in all of baseball — make it to the postseason. If they can win tonight and go a bit farther, even better. Sends a message to owners that you don’t need to toss bags of cash at every high-priced free agent that comes out of the gates.
Case in point: Freakin’ John Lackey made $15,950,000 this year, which is roughly one-fourth of the A’s entire payroll ($55,372,500). And he’s spending October wrapped in a Snuggie watching Food Truck Wars while Oakland’s modestly paid players make shit happen.