Quickly, what’s the best team in the AL? If you were thinking Boston, New York, Cleveland, or Anaheim, you’re wrong. Those four playoff teams from last year are enjoying mixed success this year, with both Boston and Anaheim at 8-6. But much to my surprise, and probably yours, it’s not one of these talented and high-payroll teams that leads the league — it’s the Oakland A’s who currently hold the best record the AL. Only a couple of months ago I declared that the A’s had conceded the 2008 season. Clearly they’re out to prove me wrong.
While I don’t think they can keep it up, I’m nevertheless impressed by their solid start. You really can’t harbor any animosity towards this team; they’re so well-run that you can’t do anything but respect what them. Sure, Rich Harden and Justin Duchscherer are already on the DL, but this team is looking good. Dana Eveland who was acquired in the Haren trade has been lights out. Andrew Brown, Santiago Casilla, and Keith Foulke have been money in the pen. The staff as a whole has an ERA right around 3.50. They’re not swinging the bat especially well, but guys like Mark Ellis, Bobby Crosby, and Emil Brown have provided well-timed hits. This team doesn’t have even one borderline star on the team yet they’re playing well. How the heck do they do it? And how does Billy freaking Beane field a competitive team every single season?