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The Great 1989 A's

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  • The Great 1989 A's

    They were one of the greatest, most dominant World Champions since World War II, yet they are almost never mentioned when outstanding teams are discussed. They were led by Canseco, McGwire, Henderson, and Parker.

    http://baseball.suite101.com/article..._great_1989_as
    Baseball articles you might not like but should read.

  • #2
    Originally posted by LouGehrig View Post
    They were one of the greatest, most dominant World Champions since World War II, yet they are almost never mentioned when outstanding teams are discussed. They were led by Canseco, McGwire, Henderson, and Parker.

    http://baseball.suite101.com/article..._great_1989_as
    Losing bookend World Series kind of takes the starch out of a legacy. They'll go down with the Orioles of the late 60's to early 70's in terms of regard.
    Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
    Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
    Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
    Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
    Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

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    • #3
      To paraphrase John Wooden "A lot of teams won one in a row".
      Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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      • #4
        A few reasons that might explain why there isn't much discussion about the '89 A's:

        - The A's of that period as a whole might be considered more of a disappointment than a success as they were twice upset in the World Series by teams that were perceived as significantly weaker, and thus only once out of three years beat the underdog as they were supposed to.

        - The steroids taint that McGwire and Canseco give to the team, and I think for at least some, the A's of the period mark the beginning of the steroids era.

        - That the 1989 team won 99 games, which is not historically significant, and less than the '88 (104 wins) and '90 (103 wins) teams that were upset in the World Series.

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        • #5
          Great point. The sequence is important. The Yankees lost in 1960, but had one of their greatest seasons in 1961 and managed to win in 1962. They were swept in 1963 and lost in seven in 1964.

          That was their SECOND streak of five consecutive pennants, but it is never mentioned because they lost 3 of the World Series.

          Following the 1961 championship with another in 1962 helped the 1961 team greatly, but because of the home run chase, that team would be rated highly even if they lost the 1962 Series, which would have meant losing 4 World Series in 5 years. Interesting. Would the 1961 team be as highly rated if they lost the 1962 Series?
          Baseball articles you might not like but should read.

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          • #6
            I think even if the Yankees didn't make the World Series in 1962, the 1961 Yankees can be distinguished as great on its own because the team did win an impressive 109 games and had the very memorable Maris/Mantle homerun race. Perhaps some of the luster would not be there without 1962, but I think that team would still easily stand above the '89 A's in terms of historical resonance. Also, while the '89 A's were loaded with big name talent, no one really had a remarkable year that season. Canseco missed almost 100 games, McGwire batted just. 231, and Henderson (Rickey) played half the year with the Yankees. Carney Lansford with his 131 OPS+ at 3B may have had the best season on the team. The A's of that year were really built on the strength of their pitching - they had three good starters in Stewart, Moore, and Welch, and a terrific bullpen led by Eckersley and a bunch of guys that no one remembers.

            The '61 Yankees on the other hand, where not only laden with big names, but had big seasons. Maris won the MVP and combined with Mantle to put up arguably the most memorable season by two teammates. Mantle. a true all time great, was the best player in the league that year. Whitey Ford won the Cy Young, Elston Howard had one of the great seasons by a catcher, and Yogi Berra, as memorable as they come, was still around and plugging away. In sum, there's just a lot more going for the '61 Yankees that would cause them to stand alone as a great team, IMO.
            Last edited by DoubleX; 04-22-2008, 08:59 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DoubleX View Post
              - That the 1989 team won 99 games, which is not historically significant, and less than the '88 (104 wins) and '90 (103 wins) teams that were upset in the World Series.
              Out of those 3 years, 1989 was the A's' least impressive.
              1988 and 1990 saw more wins, more HRs, more RBIs, and a greater distance between them and 2nd place teams.
              The Twins were 13 games back from the A's in 1988.

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              • #8
                The one thing that stands out to me about the '89 A's was how on fire Henderson was once he joined the team. He seemed unstoppable in the post season.
                Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
                Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
                Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
                Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
                Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                  Out of those 3 years, 1989 was the A's' least impressive.
                  1988 and 1990 saw more wins, more HRs, more RBIs, and a greater distance between them and 2nd place teams.
                  The Twins were 13 games back from the A's in 1988.
                  BUT.....that was the team that won it all, and that's what many remember more than anything. Now a real baseball historian may well regard one of the other two teams as the greater, but it's hard for the normal fan to do so because of the World Series losses.

                  Similar to the Baltimore Oriole, three-pennant run of 1969-71. The 1969 team won 109 games, swept the first ever ALCS, and then, lost to the Mets in the World Series. Never mind the Mets were indeed a very good team that won 100 games......only very good teams win 100. And the 1971 team won 101, swept the playoffs, featured four 20-game winners - but lost in 7 to the Pirates (after leading 2-0). The 1970 team won 108, swept the playoffs, but won the World Series over the first (and most statistically potent) of the Sparky Anderson versions of the Big Red Machine . Impressively too - four games to one. Thus, the '70 version is considered by many, the best of the three. Really, all three were pretty much the same team, with a couple of changes here and there, but not much.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LouGehrig View Post
                    They were one of the greatest, most dominant World Champions since World War II, yet they are almost never mentioned when outstanding teams are discussed. They were led by Canseco, McGwire, Henderson, and Parker.

                    http://baseball.suite101.com/article..._great_1989_as
                    They were great in a short postseason but as far as the regular season, they had an ERA+ of a whopping 103 (and the batting of their great sluggers was only a 105 OPS+)
                    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                    Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

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                    • #11
                      I'm not certain about the differences between a baseball historian and a normal fan, but I think both are in short supply, which is fine.

                      I consider myself an atypical fan primarily because most typical fans and I do not agree quite often. Of course, I have been watching baseball much longer than most typical fans, which means nothing since I have been following politics longer than most and know very little about it. I have been watching females even longer, and know almost nothing about them.

                      The regular season is merely an ends to a means. For the team that wins the pennant, it is an ends to the chance to win the World Series.

                      Fans and historians can debate endlessly, but they must have a basic premise from which their arguments grow. My basic premise is simple. The team that wins the World Series is the better team. I will not follow that with supportive statements other than to say that the pressure in the World Series is the defining factor.

                      Yes, the 1960 Yankees destroyed the Pirates statistically in the Series, but the Pirates won the four close games. The 1987 and 1991 Twins were not as good as the Cardinals in 1987 or the Braves in 1991, but they were World Champions. And the 1988 Dodgers were not close to the A's when comparing regular seasons, but they were the World Champions.

                      You have the right to reject my premise, but the ultimate goal is to win the World Series, and recognizing all the variables involved in winning it -- see Tony Kubek's throat, Bill Virdon's ground ball, and Jim Coates being out hustled by Roberto Clemente when each was running to first base in the eighth inning of Game 7 --I must consider the team that wins the Series the better team.

                      Yes, that is simplistic, but it is true. That's why the team that wins the Series is called the World Champion.
                      Last edited by LouGehrig; 04-22-2008, 12:18 PM. Reason: grammar
                      Baseball articles you might not like but should read.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LouGehrig View Post
                        I'm not certain about the differences between a baseball historian and a normal fan, but I think both are in short supply, which is fine.

                        I consider myself an atypical fan primarily because most typical fans and I do not agree quite often. Of course, I have been watching baseball much longer than most typical fans, which means nothing since I have been following politics longer than most and know very little about it. I have been watching females even longer, and know almost nothing about them.

                        The regular season is merely an ends to a means. For the team that wins the pennant, it is an ends to the chance to win the World Series.

                        Fans and historians can debate endlessly, but they must have a basic premise from which their arguments grow. My basic premise is simple. The team that wins the World Series is the better team. I will not follow that with supportive statements other than to say that the pressure in the World Series is the defining factor.

                        Yes, the 1960 Yankees destroyed the Pirates statistically in the Series, but the Pirates won the four close games. The 1987 and 1991 Twins were not as good as the Cardinals in 1987 or the Braves in 1991, but they were World Champions. And the 1988 Dodgers were not close to the A's when comparing regular seasons, but they were the World Champions.

                        You have the right to reject my premise, but the ultimate goal is to win the World Series, and recognizing all the variables involved in winning it -- see Tony Kubek's throat, Bill Virdon's ground ball, and Jim Coates being out hustled by Roberto Clemente when each was running to first base in the eighth inning of Game 7 --I must consider the team that wins the Series the better team.

                        Yes, that is simplistic, but it is true. That's why the team that wins the Series is called the World Champion.
                        Some teams in Japan etc would dispute their claim. So what's the big deal, they won the World Series, like about a hundred and three other teams
                        Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                        Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

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                        • #13
                          I'm a Cardinal fan. The Cardinals won the World Series in 2006. The team had 83 wins and backed into the playoffs. They got hot for a couple of weeks. The Cardinals were not the best team in baseball in 2006. The simply got hot for a couple of weeks. Even the last place team in a league has hot streaks.

                          The 2004 Cardinals that lost to the Boston Red Sox in the World Series was a much better team than the 2006 version.

                          The 162-game season is a better indicator of a great team than a short series is. As stated, ANY team can get hot for a few games. 100+ wins takes the effort of the entire organization, from majors to minors.

                          Which is why I don't like the ALCS, NLCS or any playoffs. I like the 162-game marathon to decide the league champion.......then the World Series is a reward for the effort and winning it is for league pride.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DoubleX View Post

                            - The A's of that period as a whole might be considered more of a disappointment than a success as they were twice upset in the World Series by teams that were perceived as significantly weaker, and thus only once out of three years beat the underdog as they were supposed to.
                            Very true. Oakland won their WS championship in '89, but look at what happened in '88 and '90: Gibson's HR, the Nasty Boys, Hershiser, the Reds sweep. Those are lasting impressions of WS past where the underdog prevailed. Most of the time people like to root for the team not favored. The '89 A's steamrolled through the playoffs in a way that just wasn't as exciting as the other two years. Not to take anything away from the team; they were very good, but in comparison to their other two appearences it just doesn't seem as memorable.
                            My collection of autographs: TTM Autos

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                            • #15
                              One Giants fan needs to speak up here just for a moment. The 89 A's did benefit from the earthquake by allowing them to start Stewart and Moore and no one else, and the Giants couldn't handle them. Many people felt that the Giants could beat Welch, Davis and Young had they had the opportunity. I'm not saying the outcome would have been different, just that the circumstances were totally different than any other series.
                              “Well, I like to say I’m completely focused, right? I mean, the game’s on the line. It’s not like I’m thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer — it tastes friggin’ awesome!"--Brian Wilson

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