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Posts Tagged ‘2012 Oakland A’s’

Being as surprised as I think most A’s fans are about the team winning the division in a 2012 season that was supposed to be at best a .500 showing, I’m going to celebrate by lining up the ’89 A’s against the ’12 A’s on a few statistical measures. Is there a better way to celebrate, given that this is a blog about the ’89 A’s?

1989: four players with double-digit homer totals: McGwire, 33, Dave Henderson, 15, Parker, 22, Canseco, 17. The A’s ranked sixth in the A.L. in homers, with 127.
2012: eight players with double-digit homer totals: Reddick, 32, Cespedes, 23, Moss, 21, Carter 16, Gomes, 18, Crisp, 11, Smith, 14, Inge, 11. The A’s ranked sixth in the A.L. in homers, with 195.
1989: 157 steals, second in the league. Rickey with 52 and Lansford with 37. The A’s were caught stealing 55 times, fourth in the A.L.: Rickey was caught 6 times, Lansford 15 times, and Phillips 8 times.
2012: 122 steals, fifth in the league. Crisp with 39. The A’s were caught stealing 32 times, tenth in the A.L.: Pennington was caught 6 times to lead the team.

1989: 562 walks, fourth in the league: McGwire with 83, Rickey with 70 (in 85 games), Phillips with 58, Canseco with 23.
2012: 550 walks, fourth in the league: Reddick with 55, no one else with more than 50.
1989: .331 on base percentage, third in the A.L., led by Rickey’s .425 and Lansford’s .398
2012: .310 on base percentage, twelfth in the A.L., led by Cespedes’ .356 and Moss’ .358.

1989: .381 slugging percentage, tenth in the league, led by McGwire’s .467, Canseco’s .542, Rickey’s .438.
2012: .404 slugging percentage, ninth in the league, led by Carter, .514, Cespedes, .505, and Moss, .596.

1989: 712 runs scored, fourth in the league, including Lansford’s 81, Rickey’s 77, Hendu’s 77, and McGwire’s 74.
2012: 698 runs scored, ninth in the league, including Reddick’s 85, Cespedes’ 70, and Crisp’s 68.
The 2012 A’s struck out 1387 times, the most in the A.L., setting a new A’s “record”; the 1989 A’s struck out 855 times, ninth in the A.L.

1989 pitching: Team era of 3.09, first in the A.L. led by Mike Moore’s 2.61, Bob Welch’s 3, Dave Stewart’s 3.32, and, among the relievers, Eckersley’s 1.56, Todd Burns’s 2.24, and Honeycutt’s 2.35.
2012 pitching: Team era of 3.50, second in the A.L., led by A.J. Griffin’s 3.06 and Brandon McCarthy’s 3.24, and, among the relievers, Ryan Cook’s 2.09, Jerry Blevins’ 2.48, and Grant Balfour’s 2.53.

1989: 3 complete game shutouts, all of them Moore’s, to rank first in the A.L. 17 complete games, 8 by Stewart and 6 by Moore.
2012: 0 complete game shutouts, and only one complete game, by Tommy Milone.
1989: Saves: 57 for the team, 33 by Eckersley, 12 by Honeycutt, 8 by Burns
2012: Saves: 47 for the team, 24 by Balfour, 14 by Cook.

1989: 930 team strikeouts, including 172 by Moore, 155 by Stewart, 137 by Welch, and 55 by Eckersley.
2012: 1136 team strikeouts, including Jarrod Parker’s 140 and Tommy Milone’s 137.

The 2012 A’s were shut out 16 times, and shut out the opposition 13 times. The 1989 A’s were shut out 5 times, and shut out the opposition 20 times.

1989 fielding: errors: 129, sixth in the A.L., fielding percentage of .979
2012 fielding: errors: 111, third in the A.L., fielding percentage of .982

Finally, this is the sixth time the Bay Area versions of the Giants and A’s have both been in the postseason: along with ’89, it happened in 1971, 2000, ’02, and ’03. ’89, of course, is the only time both teams have won at least one playoff series.

There are not a lot of other points of similarity between ’89 and ’12, but one is that in ’89 the Giants’ Dave Dravecky broke his left arm on the mound in Montreal in August; this year, the A’s Brandon McCarthy had a batted ball come fairly close to killing him on the mound in Oakland on September 5. Two ugly, frightening in-game injuries suffered by Bay Area pitchers. And, of course, the ’89 A’s and the ’12 A’s and Giants have all been tainted by steroids. Bob Melvin was not an ’89 Giant: he left San Francisco after the ’88 season, and was an Oriole in ’89. Some personnel on the ’89 A’s and Giants are now with the 2012 A’s or Giants, namely Gallego and Curt Young as coaches with the A’s.

In ’89, the A’s were 99-63; the Giants were 92-70: in 2012, both teams were 94-68.

In the wake of hearing about the death of Pat Neshek’s infant son as the A’s were celebrating winning the A.L. West, I should add that Dave Dravecky re-broke his left arm at Candlestick as the Giants celebrated beating the Cubs in the NLCS, and, as noted elsewhere on the blog, Jose Uribe’s wife died in May 1988, two days after prematurely delivering a boy.

Also, here are a few other items about the ’89 A’s:
Team salary: $16.3 million

Players you might not remember as ’89 A’s: Storm Davis, Greg Cadaret, Eric Plunk, Felix Jose, Billy Beane, Ron Hassey, Glenn Hubbard, Ken Phelps

Average team age: 29.3: oldest regular Parker, 38; youngest regular McGwire, 25
Average age of pitchers: 29.8; oldest pitcher Eckersley, 34; youngest pitcher Burns, 25. The starters were 27 to 32.
Three A’s pitched more than 200 innings, including Stewart’s 257 2/3rd, Moore’s 241 2/3rd, and Welch’s 209 2/3rd innings.
Notable season streaks and stats: the A’s were 10-2 against the Indians, 9-3 against the Yankees, 9-4 against the Mariners, and 5-7 against the Red Sox, their lone losing record against a team. They were 29-18 in one-run games, 5-10 in extra-inning games, 18-8 in April, and 13-14 in June.

The A’s were only 2.5 games ahead of the Royals as late as September 20.
The A’s closed the season on a 26-14 streak, to run away with the West, after being tied for first during three straight days in mid-August. The A’s were 11-13 from the end of May to June 23, the day after Rickey’s first game, when they were 44—29, then were 46-32 on June 30 and 52-36 at the All-Star break.
The A’s were 8-1 in the ’89 playoffs. The A’s had 20 shutouts, and were shutout 5 times. They scored 10-plus runs 8 times.

Player on the ’89 A’s who you don’t remember being so good: Mike Moore. Don’t you remember Mike Moore?
Best players on the ’89 A’s (based on what they did in ’89): Rickey Henderson, Canseco, Lansford, McGwire, Mike Moore, Stewart, Eckersley, Honeycutt, Todd Burns
Tony Phillips might be the most underrated ’89 A: for his career, he scored 1300 runs, had 2023 hits and a career on-base percentage of .374.

Award voting and the 1989 A’s
Cy Young: Stewart 2nd, Moore 3rd, Eckersley tied for 6th
Manager of the Year: LaRussa 3rd
MVP: Eckersley 5th, Henderson 9th, Parker 11th, Stewart 14th, Lansford 17th, Moore 20th, McGwire tied for 25th
All-Stars: Steinbach, Stewart, Moore, McGwire, Canseco
Two of the ’89 A’s, Rickey Henderson and Dennis Eckersley, have joined the Hall of Fame, with Parker, McGwire, Canseco, Welch, and Stewart I think the only other A’s to get HOF votes. Well, Phillips got one vote in 2005.

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