Christian Petersen/Getty Images
In 2002, the Oakland Athletics—led by Billy Beane and company—sought out inexpensive "diamonds in the rough."
You can translate that into cheap veterans left for dead if you'd like.
Scott Hatterberg was a 32-year-old converted catcher with a busted arm. David Justice emptied everything he had left and retired after the season. John Mabry, Randy Velarde and Frank Menechino were all on their way out the door too.
Throw in names like Jim Mecir, Ricardo Rincon, Ray Durham, Jeremy Giambi and the late Cory Lidle and the 2002 A's took on many players who the rest of the league had little to no interest in.
Today's A's aren't quite as effective, but it's fun to watch these kids.
Jemile Weeks is having a down year, but his potential is there and when he flashes it it's awesome.
Guys like Derek Norris (23 years old), Chris Carter (25), Josh Reddick (25), Yoenis Cespedes (26), Brandon Hicks (26), Jarrod Parker (23), Tommy Milone (25), Ryan Cook (25) and A.J. Griffin (24) are all contributing quite nicely.
It's a lot more exciting when young men outproduce expectations. It builds enthusiasm for the future.
When over-the-hill veterans shock the world, it makes you wonder if it's a flash in the pan.