HBT Commenters always tell the truth

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Back before Christmas I did a post about Lenny Dykstra that inspired some fun comments from a person named Monica Foster. Those of you who hung around that thread heard Ms. Foster explain how Lenny Dykstra bounced a check to her for escort services in a Beverly Hills hotel.

As soon as she began posting that stuff I contacted her because I didn’t feel like dealing with a libel lawsuit. Without going into too much detail, I was pretty darn convinced after talking to her — and after seeing some documentary evidence — that what she was saying was true. At least the major points of it.  I didn’t write anything more about it because, at some point, beating up on Lennny Dykstra gets too easy and because it was pretty attenuated even for my normally loose standards of what constitutes baseball news. But I didn’t take her posts down either.

The whole thing has percolated in the blogosphere for a few weeks now, and today it has actually reached a major newspaper’s website (Buster Olney even gave it mention over at ESPN).  It’s still a little out of our bailiwick, but since there were a number of you who took interest in the thread at the time, I figured it was worth noting that the story has made the big time.

So, yeah, Lenny Dykstra. Awesome.

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?