The Oakland Athletics had an extremely successful season last year. Maybe you didn’t notice. In a discussion where the A’s were probably relegated to the kiddy table, while big-boys Texas and Anaheim were supposed to contend for the division, the A’s won it. LA of Anaheim missed the playoffs all together, and Texas went out in a pretty unceremonious way against Baltimore in the new-fangled one-game playoff.
The team’s supposed strengths going into the season were pitching and, well, pitching. Albeit in an enormously large ball park where a game of cricket can be played down the right field and left field foul territories.
Oakland’s strength ended up being not only pitching, but also a tendency to hit home runs. And lots of them. The A’s were one of the better teams at the art of the long ball (7th in baseball last year.)
Last year as well, the A’s got the bulk of their power from their first base/ corner outfield/DH spots from a mix-matched group of role players and journeymen.
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