Link-O-Rama: Penny Lane vs. Lyla Garrity!

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* According to the New York Post, there’s some trouble brewing in Yankee land as Alex Rodriguez’s actress girlfriend (Kate Hudson) isn’t getting along with Derek Jeter’s actress girlfriend (Minka Kelly). Penny Lane versus Lyla Garrity! My brain just exploded.
* After going 3-for-4 last night, Kaz Matsui is one hit away from totaling 2,000 for his career between Japan and America, which would gain him membership to the exclusive group of Japan’s greatest players called Meikyukai.
* Joe Posnanski makes the case for calling bad baseball contracts “Ricciardis” in honor of the Blue Jays’ general manager.
* After receiving no offers to play in the majors this season, 41-year-old Luis Gonzalez admitted yesterday that he’s probably played his last game. Once he officially retires, Gonzalez is expected to rejoin the Diamondbacks’ front office.
* First-year Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz isn’t very impressed with the tackling displayed in baseball brawls. In fairness though, he hasn’t had to sit through a season of watching the Lions try to tackle people yet.

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

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The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.

Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).

Yay?

John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.

What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.

The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?