Before the 2012 season, baseball experts argued over whether the Oakland A's would be the worst team in the American League or the worst in all of baseball. The A's, after all, had the lowest payroll in the majors and a team full of castoffs and misfits. But the experts were wrong, of course. The A's put together one of the most remarkable seasons in franchise history, winning the American League West division over the highly ranked — and highly paid — Texas Rangers. Although much of the press coverage focused on the team's numerous come-from-behind victories, the real secret to Oakland's success was its pitching staff, which turned out to be one of the league's best despite the fact that it included eleven rookies. So how did these inexperienced pitchers pull it off? As we noted in our cover story last year, "Moneyball 2.0: The Pitching Whisperer," Oakland's pitchers credited Curt Young, their soft-spoken pitching coach whose unique way of communicating with them propelled the A's to their magical season. And he's doing it again in 2013.
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