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2006 Oakland Athletics

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[edit] 2006 Oakland Athletics / Franchise: Oakland Athletics / BR Team Page

Record: 93-69, Finished 1st in AL Western Division (2006 AL)

Managed by Ken Macha

Ballpark: McAfee Coliseum

[edit] History, Comments, Contributions

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NL Division Series (3-0) Mets (NLE) over Dodgers (WC)

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AL Division Series (3-0) Athletics (ALW) over Twins (ALC)

The 2006 Oakland Athletics clinched the division championship on September 26, 2006, but it was a long, hard road for them.

According to mlb.com:

The A's used the disabled list 15 times, losing a total of 556 games to injured players through Tuesday. . .Ace righty Rich Harden, who picked up the win Tuesday, was out for most of the season. Starting shortstop Bobby Crosby, outfielder Milton Bradley and lefty reliever Joe Kennedy also spent big chunks of time on the DL. And righty setup man Justin Duchscherer, righty starter Esteban Loaiza, designated hitter Frank Thomas, second baseman Mark Ellis and closer Huston Street were on the shelf at times, too.

The Athletics spent much of the season with the worst batting average in the American League. Their slugging percentage was second worst. Meanwhile, their pitching, while above average, was only fourth in the league, and ace closer Huston Street blew eleven saves. All in all, it was amazing that the team won the division.

The team won 93 games, but the Pythagorean expectation was for only 85 wins. One might have thought that manager Ken Macha would get some credit for overcoming problems such as these to win the division, but he was fired after the season ended.

Other problems that the A's had to overcome:

Star Frank Thomas was injured during spring training and so had to use major league games in the month of April as his "spring training". He hit only .190 that month before he got his batting eye back. Nevertheless, he was the top slugger on the team, the only one with a slugging percentage over .500.

Star Eric Chavez never did get going. His batting average was .241 for the year and his slugging percentage was under the league average.

Nick Swisher started fast, but then went into a huge slump. He hit .204 in June and .189 in July to finish the year at .254.

Milton Bradley usually batted in the third spot, which is the spot in the batting order generally reserved for the best all-around hitter in the lineup. Bradley, however, had a batting average and slugging percentage that were barely over the league medians.

No one on the team had a .300 average (except for rookie catcher Jeremy Brown, who went 3 for 10 in 5 games), and only one player - Thomas - slugged over .500.

Three of the five starting pitchers (Joe Blanton, Esteban Loaiza and Kirk Saarloos) had ERAs over 4.75, while the best ERA for a starter was Barry Zito at 3.83.


[edit] Awards and Honors

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