We’ve had all kinds of fun with the story of the 49 year-old Jamie Moyer coming back from Tommy John surgery and actually landing a job in the major leagues. But now it seems that fun is over:
Moyer made 10 starts for the Rockies and, overall, the results were poor. He was 2-5 with a 5.70 ERA and allowed a league-leading 75 hits in 53 and two-thirds innings while sporting a 1.733 WHIP. For his career, Moyer is 269-209 with a 4.25 ERA in a staggering 25 seasons.
Though the end — if this is the end — is sad, there was never any reason to believe he’d even make it back after his Tommy John surgery. The story, in my view anyway, is still a happy one. One of perseverance and determination, even if he never pitches in the bigs again. TV movie stuff, here, and I mean that in the best way possible.
Here’s hoping he latches on someplace. Or, if he doesn’t, that he finds peace in retirement. A long delayed retirement that many pitchers with twice Moyer’s talent and physical gifts started a decade earlier than he will.
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?