I don't want to say anything nasty about ESPN's Rob Neyer, but he is an intellectually dishonest prick.
Neyer's preseason preview of the Oakland A's fixated on the Angels getting older.
But THE FACTS are just so much different than Rob's self-stroking. Let's run the Britney-DiCaprio test (which separates out players older than Leonardo DiCaprio and younger than Britney Spears on a team to clearly indicate whether key contributors are among the aged or young)
Well lookey, here, the A's have more key contributors older than DiCaprio and fewer key Major Leaguers younger than Briteny.
The A's are getting oooooooaaaaaaallllldddddd and relying on the creaking bones of the senior set to carry the weight, while there is nary a child in sight for the future...
Current A's players older than Leonardo DiCaprio
in chronological order
Current A's players who are younger than Britney Spears:
in chronological order
(Non-Roster Spring Invitee Post-BS A's not on the 40-Man roster:
(Jeff Muessig, Kurt Suzuki, Daric Barton and Clifton Pennington)
What does this tell us?
1. Old Pitching
The Angels have a key starting pitcher (Colon)and two middle relievers (Carrasco, Donnelly) over the Leo Line, while the A's have one reliever (Witasick) and one starter (Loaiza).
2. Young Pitching
The only two A's below the Britney Bar are two relievers (Street and Gaudin), while the Angels have a Starting Pitcher (Santana), their Closer (Frankie) and a great pitching prospect (Arredondo) on the 40-Man Roster. Add Weaver and Adenhart to the mix and the Halos win the Arm Wars.
Advantage: Los Angeles of Anaheim
3. Old Scrubs
Adam Melhuse and Edgardo Alfonzo cancel each other out.
4. Old Offense
Match up Garret and Frank Thomas - both have gimpy feet. Jay Payton is a little bit better than Erstad, but not much and plus he is older, and as Rob Neyer expertly points out, being old means he is gonna bring his team harm!
Below the Britney Bar you will find Kotchman, Mathis, Kendrick, Morales, Aybar and Wood is not even on the 40-man roster. Y'all don't need a Moneyball re-read to see how that smothers Barton and Suzuki.
Orlando Cabrera versus Jason Kendall. Right.
In conclusion, after this obviously rigorous scientific study has been completed, The Athletics will fall apart because of being old and Rob Neyer will make a bunch of excuses with a blanket over his knees and a double dose of Geritol as the kids in Anaheim dance toward the postseason.