Cheapskate Champs: Low-Budget Oakland A's Insert Quarter, Win Division

In sports as in politics, spenders win. But not every time.

In sports, as in politics, spenders win.

But not every time. The Oakland A's, with the second-lowest payroll in Major League Baseball, just played their way into the playoffs. So they had a better year than the Philadelphia Phillies, third in their division, out of the playoffs, second-highest payroll in the MLB. Better than the Los Angeles Angels, third in their division, out of the playoffs, fourth-highest payroll in the MLB.

People are saying this team is more "Moneyball" than "Moneyball"—referring to the book/Brad Pitt flick about general manager Billy Beane using his superpower (spreadsheets) to pick up productive players on the cheap:

[A] team with the lowest payroll defeated a team that has represented the American League in the World Series over the last two seasons and a team that spent over a quarter of a billion dollars in free agency this winter. In fact, Albert Pujols’ salary covers the A’s payroll from the last four seasons.


In the original "Moneyball Year," 2002, the A's were the third-lowest spenders in the league, spending $41 million or so on their payroll. The biggest spenders that year were the New York Yankees, at $125 million. The A's won their division. This year, the A's spent about $55 million. The Yankees? About $198 million. Phillies? $175 million. The Texas Rangers, division rivals defeated by the A's this week? $121 million.

Even more incredibly, last year, the A's spent around $67 million and finished far worse—third in the division with 74 wins, which is 20 fewer than they've got this year, with a handful left to play.

So again this year, the A's spent their money wisely and the team played well and they clinched the American League West title, as a friend posted on Facebook, on a BART $2 Wednesday—Bay Area Rapid Transit's title-sponsor deal offering tickets to A's games on Wednesdays for just two of your wrinkliest dollars.

So yes, that's an affordable sporting event co-sponsored by public transportation. Are the Oakland A's the unofficial team of GOOD yet?

People always say things like "So-and-so is the New York Yankees of so-and-so" to mean that somebody's dominant—or that they spend a lot and buy up players, resources, whatever.

Can we start calling people the Oakland A's of things? I know a couple that is the Oakland A's of getting apartments—spend little on fantastic places. Totally awesome.

Hey, who wants to watch "Moneyball" with me this weekend?

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.


When former Pittsburgh Steelers' center Mike Webster committed suicide in 2002, his death began to raise awareness of the brain damage experienced by NFL football players. A 2017 study found that 99% of deceased NFL players had a degenerative brain disease known as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). Only one out of 111 former football players had no sign of CTE. It turns out, some of the risks of traumatic brain injury experienced by heavily padded adults playing at a professional level also exist for kids with developing brains playing at a recreational level. The dangers might not be as intense as what the adults go through, but it can have some major life-long consequences.

A new PSA put out by the Concussion Legacy Foundation raises awareness of the dangers of tackle football on developing brains, comparing it to smoking. "Tackle football is like smoking. The younger I start, the longer I am exposed to danger. You wouldn't let me smoke. When should I start tackling?" a child's voice can be heard saying in the PSA as a mother lights up a cigarette for her young son.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted about some favorable economic numbers, claiming that annual household income is up, unemployment is low, and housing prices are high.

Now, just imagine how much better those numbers would be if the country wasn't mired in an economy-killing trade war with China, bleeding out trillion-dollar-a-year debts, and didn't suffer from chaotic leadership in the Oval Office?

At the end of tweet, came an odd sentence, "Impeach the Pres."

Keep Reading Show less

October is domestic violence awareness month and when most people think of domestic violence, they imagine mostly female victims. However, abuse of men happens as well – in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. But some are taking it upon themselves to change all that.

Keep Reading Show less

At this point most reasonable people agree that climate change is a serious problem. And while a lot of good people are working on solutions, and we're all chipping in by using fewer plastic bags, it's also helpful to understand where the leading causes of the issue stem from. The list of 20 leading emitters of carbon dioxide by The Guardian newspaper does just that.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via International Labour Organization / Flickr and Michael Moore / Facebook

Before the release of "The Joker" there was a glut of stories in the media about the film's potential to incite violence.

The FBI issued a warning, saying the film may inspire violence from a group known as the Clowncels, a subgroup of the involuntarily celibate or Incel community.

Incels an online subculture who believe they are unable to attract a sexual partner. The American nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center describes them as "part of the online male supremacist ecosystem" that is included in its list of hate groups.

Keep Reading Show less