Tigers hit nine homers in win over Braves

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On Saturday, the Tigers pitched a one-hitter in a 2-0 victory over the Braves. Today, they went about things a bit differently, crushing nine homers in a 18-3 rout.

The rundown:

Alex Avila – two-run off Randall Delgado in the first
Ryan Raburn – solo off Julio Teheran in the second
Brennan Boesch – solo homer off Julio Teheran in the second
Prince Fielder – solo homer off Julio Teheran in the third
Delmon Young – solo homer off Julio Teheran in the third
Jhonny Peralta – two-run off Julio Teheran in the third
Austin Jackson – solo off Julio Teheran in the third
Ryan Raburn – grand slam off Jason Rice in the fifth
Danny Worth – solo off Jaye Chapman in the seventh

All nine likely regulars started for the Tigers and seven homered, with only Miguel Cabrera and Andy Dirks getting left out of the fun. Poor Julio Teheran, regarded by most as one of the game’s top three pitching prospects, never had a chance with the wind blowing out to right.

Yeah, there’s good reason to worry about Detroit’s defense — Cabrera committed one of the team’s three errors today — but everything else is looking mighty fine.

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?