I’m about as likely to listen to Chipper Jones’ theories on the JFK assassination as I am to listen to Luke Scott’s theories about President Obama’s place of birth, but for those of you who demand more of your baseball players than mere athletic prowess, please know that Jones does, indeed, have a theory. At least a broad one, which he told to Dan Scholssberg of The Post Game:
“Having shot a hunting rifle all my life, I personally believe there was more than one shooter. The conspiracy behind it is what really intrigues me. I’m sure it went pretty high but I don’t know how high. Let’s just say somebody had to put it into motion—and it was somebody high-ranking in the U.S. government.”
Whatever you say, Chip. For my part I put more stock in James Ellroy’s theory as described in “American Tabloid.” It’s complicated, but let’s just say that you do not want to steal heroin from the mob as a way of taking revenge against them for failing to back you in your plan to assassinate Fidel Castro following your failure in the Bay of Pigs invasion. Because if you do, they’ll make you kill Jack the Haircut as payback, get me?
Or else it was Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people, under the supervision of the reverse vampires. I could go either way with it.
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).
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?