|2001 Oakland Athletics|
|American League Wild Card|
|Major League affiliations|
|Owner(s)||Stephen Schott & Kenneth Hofmann|
|General manager(s)||Billy Beane|
FSN Bay Area
(Ray Fosse, Greg Papa)
(Bill King, Ken Korach, Ray Fosse)
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The Oakland Athletics' 2001 season was the team's 34th in Oakland, California, and the 101st season in franchise history. The team finished second in the American League West with a record of 102-60.
The Athletics entered the 2001 season with high expectations. Much of the excitement stemmed from the team's trio of promising young starting pitchers (Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, and Tim Hudson); after a strong showing in 2000, many expected the Athletics' rotation to rank among the American League's best in 2001. The signing of additional starter Cory Lidle during the 2000-01 offseason helped solidify the rotation's back-end. On offense, the Athletics were loaded; sluggers Miguel Tejada, Eric Chavez, and reigning American League MVP Jason Giambi comprised the core of a powerful Oakland attack. The addition of Johnny Damon, acquired in a three-way trade for Ben Grieve, promised to add a new dimension to the Athletics' offense. A strong bullpen (led by Chad Bradford, Jim Mecir, and Jason Isringhausen) rounded out Oakland's roster.
These high expectations quickly evaporated. The Athletics stumbled out of the gate (winning just two of their first dozen games); while their play nominally improved over the first half of the season, they failed to build upon the momentum of their division-winning 2000 campaign. The rival Seattle Mariners, in stark contrast, raced to a historic 52-14 start. As expected, the offense performed well; Oakland was instead hamstrung by unexpectedly terrible starting pitching. At the season's midpoint, the A's boasted a sub-.500 record (39-42); they trailed the division-leading Mariners by some 21 games.
The Athletics responded with arguably the most dominant second half in modern MLB history. Over their final 81 regular season games, the A's went 63-18 (a record since the league switched to a 162-game schedule); this included 29 wins in their final 33 games. The Athletics' maligned rotation returned to form; over their final games, Zito, Mulder, Hudson, and Lidle went a combined 48-10. On July 25, the Athletics acquired slugger Jermaine Dye from the Kansas City Royals for prospects; this move further energized the already-surging squad. The Athletics ultimately weren't able to catch up with Seattle (which won an AL-record 116 games), but their remarkable run allowed them to clinch the AL's Wild Card. The Athletics' 102 wins were at the time the most by a Wild Card clincher in MLB history.
The Athletics faced the New York Yankees (the three-time defending World Series champions) in the ALDS. Oakland took the first two games, but unraveled after a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in Game 3, in which Jeremy Giambi was infamously thrown out at the plate after a relay throw was flipped by Derek Jeter to Jorge Posada; they would lose the series to the Yankees in five games. At the end of the season, Oakland would lose Giambi, Damon, and Isringhausen to free agency; this would set the stage for the events portrayed in Michael Lewis' bestselling book Moneyball (and the film of the same name).
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|2001 Oakland Athletics|
The A's lost 3-2 to the New York Yankees in the 2001 American League Division Series.
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
Note: G = Games; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts
Note: G = Games; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts
See also: Minor League Baseball
|AAA||Sacramento River Cats||Pacific Coast League||Bob Geren|
|AA||Midland RockHounds||Texas League||Tony DeFrancesco|
|A||Modesto A's||California League||Greg Sparks|
|A||Visalia Oaks||California League||Juan Navarrette|
|A-Short Season||Vancouver Canadians||Northwest League||Webster Garrison|
|Rookie||AZL Athletics||Arizona League||Ricky Nelson|
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: AZL Athletics