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.

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

Keep Reading Show less

Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

The Planet