Nice article on Beane
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| By eyleenn on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 10:20 am:|
Beane remains true ace for A's
By Skip Bayless
Mercury News Staff Columnist
He keeps making them all look foolish, from big spender George Steinbrenner to little spender Bud Selig.
If baseball's owners ever manage to negotiate a revenue-sharing salary cap, A's General Manager Billy Beane would have to be declared illegal. No matter the odds, Beane keeps beating baseball at its strike-torn game.
New York Yankees owner Steinbrenner bought Beane's MVP, first baseman Jason Giambi. Yet Billy's kids, with a payroll around $40 million, 29th lowest of 30 major league teams, have won as many games as the Yankees, who have broken baseball's bank and nearly its back with a payroll approaching $140 million.
Big-market Boston bought the A's Johnny Damon, an All-Star center fielder. Yet Beane's team pulled away from the Red-Faced Sox in the wild-card race, and now the A's lead deep-pocketed Seattle and Anaheim in the A.L. West. Dollars can't always beat sense.
Hail the A's, the easiest team to root for in money-is-the-root sports. The A's, winners of 13 in a row, are the most appealing team this side of Williamsport. Even some Giants fans must find themselves silently pulling for the team whose green and gold are mostly on its uniforms.
As a talent judge and team builder, Beane is turning into baseball's version of Bill Walsh. Beane continually drafts and trades smarter than anyone in his sport. Yet Beane doesn't have former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo's spare-no-expense budget. Beane operates under the cap imposed by owner Steve Schott, whose team must play in a no-frills football stadium across the bay from Pacific Bell Park, the Giants' gleaming ATM machine.
So what of the outcry that the A's would inspire nothing but zzz's if they didn't outbid Steinbrenner for Giambi, the born-to-be-wild leader of their frat house of a clubhouse? As was written here, who needed Jason when you have the Golden Fleece? One thing Giambi can't do is pitch, and the A's had locked up three young starters (Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder) on their way to being better than anyone else's three best.
Beane said: ``The hardest thing to acquire is pitching. So many teams wind up with fifth- or sixth-level guys on their way down. As great a player as Jason was, our team always has been founded on pitching. But that was recognized in reverse order.''
Meaning too many fans distracted by Giambi's pitch-pounding, street-pounding image missed the point. Pitching prevails. Always has. Always will.
Beane said: ``Our team had a quiet sense of pride that it was more than one or two players. But instead of shouting it from tops of trees in April, they just went out and did it. It doesn't mean anything if you just say it.''
The Yankees taught the A's in the playoffs that it was time to grow up and start paying attention to detail. Giambi has been forced to do that as a Yankee. The A's have occasionally missed his bat with runners in scoring position. But they do not miss the heavy-metal tone he set.
Beane said: ``All that frat house stuff was cute and cuddly for a couple of weeks. But now we have great balance. We have young players who are turning into real professionals who just happen to get along.''
And most amazing of all, the Steinbrenners won't be able to buy the A's into oblivion after the season. Every A's pitcher all the way through the bullpen is signed at least through 2003. That includes two trade-deadline additions, starter Ted Lilly and reliever Ricardo Rincon.
The poor get richer.
Though Lilly has been limited to two starts by a sore shoulder, Beane said the team is being ``ultra-conservative'' with his rehab. Beane said: ``I was on the field before a game at Texas, and Rafael Palmeiro, a future Hall of Famer, told me, `This guy is no fun to hit off of.' Lilly had the best ERA on the Yankees' staff when we got him. There's a lot of deception in his motion. We think he could be special. He's a left-hander in a left-handed-hitter's league.''
How about a rotation of Zito, Hudson, Mulder, Lilly and Cory Lidle? How about Miguel Tejada, Eric Chavez, Jermaine Dye and Ray Durham making next year's All-Star team? How about a 21st century oxymoron: a small-market dynasty?
Lidle, said Beane, has provided ``a critical link in the rotation. When Cory found himself again, we had four guys capable of shutting someone out. So players are constantly looking at the paper, thinking, `Hey, we could win this one today.' Cory has as many weapons as Mulder. Splitter, overhand curveball, four-seamer, power sinker at 91 or 92 miles an hour. When Cory's on, his stuff's filthy.''
Beane acquired Lidle from Tampa Bay when he wasn't a hot property. But Beane managed to land Rincon when he was the most coveted left-handed reliever on the market. Beane and Cleveland G.M. Mark Shapiro are close friends. Advantage, Beane.
Beane said: ``Rincon was critical for us. He's a lefty who can get out the best lefties in the league. But of course, I'm nowhere without Koch.''
Beane traded third baseman Eric Hinske, who looks like the rookie of the year, to Toronto for rubber-armed Billy Koch, who has been as effective as any closer. Advantage, Beane.
You want more? Beane said his starting rotation at Double-A Midland is the best he has had in the minor leagues. The gem is 20-year-old Rich Harden.
Beane said: ``I started every trade conversation with, `Rich Harden is not available.' I haven't had a guy this young show this kind of ability since I've been here. He's a lean, athletic kid, about 6-1 who throws 92 to 96.''
Great article. I love the way Beane has contradicted the conventional wisdom of baseball, and I use "wisdom" advisedly. The Oakland A's have been a living testimonial to the error of Bud Selig's thinking (remember prior to last year, Selig saying that 1999 was a fluke, and the A's couldn't compete with such a low payroll?). No wonder Selig would like to move or contract the A's. They're an embarrassment to him.
He said the Twins was an aberration and the A's an anomaly. He is very good in finding adjetives to cover up his idiocy.
| By jace on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 01:36 pm:|
He must have a great big thesaurus on his desk.
A great big thesaurus is a must for every writer (or would-be writer).
| By milo on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 02:20 pm:|
>He said the Twins was an aberration and the A's an anomaly. He is very good in finding adjetives to cover up his idiocy.
- sadly, neither of those words are "adjectives", which modify nouns like.."anomaly" and "aberration."
ya know, folks in glass houses...
>>ya know, folks in glass houses...
so milo, are you an English teacher or a Bud Selig apologist...
Maybe he's Bud Selig: "milo" could be initials for "Milwaukee Idiot Loose Online"...
(just funnin' with ya, milo).
now you're being sardonic greg, and I think that's an adjective?
I guess the A's are anomolous as a team to Bud Selig.
| By milo on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 02:59 pm:|
>>ya know, folks in glass houses...
>so milo, are you an English teacher
- i realize that the public ed. system in the US isn't what it used to be (or, in this case, is better than it used to be?)..but i would hope you don't have to be an english teacher to know the difference between nouns, verbs, adjectives...
they are kind of like, uh, the basics of the language that we, um, use every day.
| By eyleenn on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 03:06 pm:|
(1) you're nit-picking; and
(2) not everyone's first language is English.
Ok, let me rephrase my question.
Was your intent to correct the mistaken use of "adjective" for "noun" or just being a Bud Selig apologist?
that's ok Ey...milo seems to have an axe to grind
and probably been waiting for the opportunity.
excuse me...has been waiting for the opportunity
| By milo on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 03:21 pm:|
what gives the impression that i'm a bud selig apologist? that i have respect for the language we speack (sic)?
Noun? Adjective? I thought "Bud Selig" was an expletive.
>>what gives the impression that i'm a bud selig >>apologist? that i have respect for the language >>we speack (sic)?
just the way you decided to intervene in the course of the conversation...
btw, do you consider misspelled words a lack of respect for the language we speak?
i hope you're not going to accuse me of being unamerican also.
Speaking of which....I have noticed (I'm guilty too) that spelling, punctuation, and grammar have all gone to hell since the advent of email. My daughter said that her English teacher suggested that all the students form an Internet chat room so they could practice writing, and I "ROFL"....Generally, chat rooms, along with email, have caused the deterioration of the English language, but who's keeping track?
>>but who's keeping track?
| By eyleenn on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 10:31 pm:|
Absolutely, Greg. I read some of the stuff my son writes and wonder if he can actually spell out all the abbreviated words. I have a nightmare that in the future, real writing will be permanently replaced by "text messaging" lingo.
| By milo on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 10:38 pm:|
>Ok, let me rephrase my question.
>Was your intent to correct the mistaken use of "adjective" for "noun" or just being a Bud Selig apologist?
- ah, i see i was giving you too much credit...
i found it rather ironic (sorry, yer gonna have to look that one up yerself) that you were calling bayless an idiot, and in doing so made a rather idiotic comment yourself. ironic. funny.
| By jace on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 07:07 am:|
I don't think she was calling Bayless an idiot! (it's Selig) How did you do in the "reading comprehension" section of the SAT, milo?
| By gregorymark on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 09:34 am:|
Beane said: ``All that frat house stuff was cute and cuddly for a couple of weeks."
Interesting comment. Maybe this was a big reason they decided to cut Jason loose.
| By diamond_lil on Wednesday, August 28, 2002 - 09:36 am:|
Well, this will be the second thread I have to close and archive to 'read only' due to a poster's inability to maintain a civil exchange
without getting personal.
The third strike will result in the poster's user privilege.
This thread will remain open for another hour and then archived.
It is not an easy task to participate and moderate at the same time. I don't plan to stop participating here as a poster in order to become an outside observer and cop of this forum.
For obvious reasons, any targeted attacks to the moderator will be considered an even greater infraction of our conduct agreement.
As a participant and moderator, I have to police myself and apologize for any excesses I may have engaged in the past and hope to continue to be fair in the way I moderate this forum. However, I do ask and need your full cooperation in this matter.