The Weekend Buzz while you were pausing to reflect on 9/11:
1. Chasing elephants: Arte Moreno has sprung for all sorts of free agents during his time as Angels owner, but the way the A's are keeping his Angels running in place, the best investment this winter may be for a fleet of treadmills to replace the ones Mike Scioscia's club currently is wearing out.
|Haren has 13 wins with a 3.95 ERA this year. (Getty Images)|
Oh, and the A's have grounded into more double plays than anybody in the majors, too.
Yeah, you win with pitching (the A's rank third in the AL with a 4.09 ERA) and defense (tied for second with a .986 fielding percentage), but a lineup this lacking sure would seem to leave the door open for somebody to come busting through.
Yet Oakland's 37-17 record since the All-Star break is the best in the majors.
What, exactly, is the secret here? We're all ears.
"Every time you look up at the board, it seems like they're putting up enough runs to win," says Angels phenom Jered Weaver, who raised his record to 11-2 and lowered his ERA to 2.30 during Sunday's 4-3 win over Toronto.
"It's a credit to those guys, and the style of baseball they play," Angels reliever Brendan Donnelly says. "They play hard every day, every inning. They don't give away any at-bats, anything."
"The division's not very good," says a veteran AL scout. "There are four teams in the Central better than any team in the West."
There's a lot of truth in that last theory. But being that Detroit, Minnesota, Chicago and Cleveland aren't all going to get into the playoffs, and Oakland is, it doesn't much matter.
Sure, the Angels still could figure out a way to sneak past the A's, because seven of their final 10 games are against Ken Macha's club.
But being that they trail Oakland by 5½ games with only 19 remaining, the Angels are going to have to prove a whole lot of things that they've been unable to prove over their first 143 games.