Main Sections:
Main Site
Discussion Forum
    All Topics
    New Messages
    Search
    Last Day
    Last Week
    Tree View
    Edit Profile
    Create Login
    Guidelines
    Help
Game Chat
Fund Raiser:
Order Merchandise!

Suggested Reading:
(click cover for info)

cover

Schott wants fans to have faith

OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Schott wants fans to have faith
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownmojo on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 09:44 am:

In the Chronicle today:


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/12/27/SPGG4AHFLV1.DTL

More than a week after the A's dismantled their starting rotation, by trading Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder, we check in with the man in charge, the man who approved general manager Billy Beane's stunning deals.

"I love the game. I love the sport. I love the competition," owner Steve Schott said. "I love to see our guys excel. But I hate to see guys leave us, quality guys and quality pitchers, like Hudson and Mulder, because of a payroll and a budget.

"If people think I'm a sadistic son of a bitch like Donald Trump that runs around saying 'you're fired,' that's not my style at all. I like these guys, but the system is set up for them to move on and make bigger and better money elsewhere. Unfortunately, that's the way it is."

And also ...

"Our history has been pretty good. We've taken a lot of risks, and I believe what we're doing is the right thing," Schott said. "If you're not proactive, then you're reactive. If you're reactive, guess what -- you get left in the dust. I have full confidence in Billy that we'll be better off in the long run. Maybe not in the short run with next year, but who knows? We've got some real talent out there, and the guys we got in the trades will help us immediately.

"We're going to have to work extra hard, and we hope our fans will understand we're trying to keep a top-notch, playoff-caliber team out there."

So there you go. A 210-word dissertation on why the A's caused so much havoc in a three-day stretch by dealing two of the game's elite starters. In short, Schott said, it's for the better of the franchise, a sentiment that hasn't been received well from a fan base that annually mourns the losses of free agents but knew Hudson (one year) and Mulder (two years) still had time on their contracts.

By the way, it's no coincidence Barry Zito is the only holdover of the Big Three, given how he's the youngest and most durable. Hudson dealt with a side ailment for the third straight season, missing six weeks in 2004, and Mulder was on the disabled list in 2002 and 2003 and mysteriously nose-dived the final two months of last season, because of fatigue or something unknown.

A team with limited fiscal resources can't afford many injuries, and Zito has had the most starts in the majors over the past four years (139). "He's been healthy the whole time," said Schott, who wouldn't say it, but had to wonder how tradeable Mulder would be next winter if he doesn't rebound in 2005.

Despite initial fears of a possible fire sale -- especially with The Chronicle's Matier and Ross reporting the day after the Mulder trade that Schott and partner Ken Hofmann might be selling to Lewis Wolff, who has an option to buy the team -- the payroll won't be slashed. In fact, Schott said it'll be increased again from $59.5 million to a projected $61.5 million.

New catcher Jason Kendall will make $10 million, and Eric Chavez will make $8 million in the first year of his six-year, $66 million contract. Mark Kotsay and Zito are down for $7 million and $5 million, respectively. Arbitration-eligible players Octavio Dotel and Erubiel Durazo are ticketed for $4 million-plus.

"We're not penny-pinching," Schott said. "We're not trying to cut corners. We hope our fans will have faith in us and we can again draw 2.2 million-plus and have all our sponsors back. People say we'll make $12 million in revenue sharing, but why is that? Because we don't generate enough money to pay it out. I'd like to pay out $12 million, but that would mean our revenue would be maybe $35 million more than it is."

Schott did confirm that Wolff has a new option to purchase the team outright. Initially, as the team's vice president of venue development, Wolff could have bought a part of the A's only by striking a deal on a new ballpark within one year, preferably in the East Bay. The thinking is the new option, which Wolff requested, would allow Wolff more authoritative bargaining power in his pursuit of a new ballpark.

It was assumed Wolff would either be a third partner or buy Hofmann's share, though Hofmann has been reluctant to sell. Wolff, a big-time developer who once owned part of the Warriors and is an old fraternity brother of Commissioner Bud Selig, publicly has complimented Schott, the managing general partner, for how the A's are run.

"I gave him an option to buy us both out if he wanted to," Schott said. "But I must say, he never wanted to buy us both out because he wanted me to run it for him. He wanted me to stay on."

Schott has owned the A's for nine years -- the past five have produced the second-most regular-season victories in the majors, behind the Yankees -- and never has ruled out selling the team at some point, though he said he has no immediate plans and added, "I've always liked what I've been doing."

On the other hand, he said, a sale wouldn't bring a lucrative return that people might imagine, particularly with the lack of a newer stadium. He maintains he bought the team for $72 million and inherited $23 million of deferred contracts, a $95 million investment, and that he and Hofmann contributed $20 million to front the capital and will continue to fund the interest on the loan and pay off deferred taxes.

"If the team would be worth $150 million to $155 million," Schott said, "you'd be lucky to make $3 million or $4 million each after adding up everything, and I'm serious."

For now, Schott seems more interested in discussing the three players acquired from the Cardinals in the Hudson deal and the three players the Braves surrendered for Mulder. If the newcomers have anything in common, it's their strikeout-to-walk ratios. The pitchers pile up the strikeouts, and the hitters pile up the walks.

Schott saw the players' reports and anticipates a more well-rounded team in 2005, with Dan Haren and possibly Dan Meyer joining the rotation, Juan Cruz and Kiko Calero being added to a depleted bullpen, Charles Thomas battling for one of the corner outfield jobs and catching prospect Daric Barton, 19, emerging as an offensive weapon down the road.

"We needed to bulk up our roster in a lot of areas," Schott said. "We have a bullpen we're really excited about. We know we have good scouts because every year we've gotten good players through the draft -- we have a phenomenal farm system -- and these scouts believe in the guys we traded for. It'll benefit us over the next few years, and we're going to be a better ballclub."

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By rickeytonydwayn on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 11:25 am:

What a load of crap.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 12:04 pm:

That sums it up nicely, rtd.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 03:39 pm:

Looks like Stevey doesn't like having his name dragged through the mud by the fans, eh? Gotta give him credit on Giambi, though. But Tejada and Hudson are really hard for the fans to take because part of their all-star pkg. was energy and leadership and with Huddy, it was heavy community involvement. And given how Schott each year, manages to diss Oakland and its fans ... he has it coming just on principle, anyway.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chrishorvath on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 04:05 pm:

"the past five years have produced the second-most regular-season victories in the majors, behind the Yankees"

I don't understand why people on this board love to complain so much.

I dislike the fact that Schott always threatens to move to San Jose, but that and the way he runs the ballclub are two different issues.

I have no complaints on how he runs this team. In fact, I have a lot of respect for how he does it.

If I were the owner I probably would've signed all those guys and gone into huge debt with the hope that it would all pay off eventually when the team won the World Series.

But it's a good thing I'm not the owner, because looking back, with Giambi falling apart, Mulder's collapse and Hudson's injuries, I'm not sure the A's ever would've won it all.

Regardless, we would be stuck with enormous contracts and an extremely restricted budget. If things didn't go perfectly as planned (which they never do) we'd be screwed for several years with no ability to maneuver. You only need to look at the Diamondbacks, the Orioles or the 49ers to see how bad that can be.

I know it hurts to see our favorite players leave, but sentimentality is not a good quality to have when running a baseball team.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By cal_90 on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 04:33 pm:

Mr Knott and Mr Schott agreed to fight a duel. Knott was shot and Schott was not. So it was better to be Schott than Knott. However if Schott was shot and Knott was not then it would have been better to be Knott than Schott.

Sorry, that's been going through my head all day.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By soxxinny on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 05:00 pm:

cal 90 enjoying too much of the holiday nog...

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bigthree17 on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 05:18 pm:

I'm with DJ on this. Letting Tejada and Huddy go in particular were extremely bitter pills to swallow.

Has Schott been all bad? Of course not. And he, along with BB, have certainly utilized their resources...efficiently (to be nice). But I'm not buying the "we'd only make $3-4M if we sold the team" garbage. Furthermore, while I would never ask a business owner to just hemorrhage money year after year, owning a baseball team is not a money-making venture for these billionaires; it's just a hobby. So take what you get and invest it back in the club, rather than digging in the sofa cushions trying to save every dime. In the long run the franchise will be healthier and better for it anyway.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By steve on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 08:17 pm:

Good thing Steve Schott wasn't in front of a Grand Jury when he gave that testimony - he could be facing jail time.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownmojo on Monday, December 27, 2004 - 09:22 pm:

I agree with Chris.

I spent the off season of 2002 lamenting the loss of Giambi. It turns out that losing Giambi was the best thing that happened to us. Even at his "home town discount" of $15 million, his salary would have crippled us.

Maybe BIlly saw something in Huddy or Mulder that made him realize that it was better to trade now rather than later.

I think if nothing else, maybe we should reserve judgement. Over the past few years, Beane and Schott have delivered what I think is important, competitive baseball.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By greenandgold on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 12:18 am:

Actually, the writer has this part backwards:
"For now, Schott seems more interested in discussing the three players acquired from the Cardinals in the Hudson deal and the three players the Braves surrendered for Mulder."

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By thedude on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 01:45 am:

Did the writer mess up?

If you think about it, by mixing the two up, it makes the reader wonder what trade he was really talking about. The following lines do nothing to seperate the players either.

Are the teams mixed up or the names of the players? It kinda forces you to make an arguement for either trade being the one of most intrest.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By dansward on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 07:07 am:

What Billy saw in Hudson was 1 year left on a contract and pitchers with half his talent getting outrageous contracts. I would have loved for Hudson to spend his whole career in Oakland, but it wasn't going to happen.

The Mulder deal is a risk, though I love what I'm hearing about Barton as an offensive prospect.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kevink on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 09:45 am:

This board was also up in arms when Beane traded Carlos Pena (including me), but that trade helped get us to the playoffs that year, and what has Pena done since?

I hate to see my favorite players leave, but look at what Anaheim is doing: spending money to stay competitive. This won't last. They will run into problems while the A's are atop the AL West with an even better team than before.

In Beane We Trust.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By 5thtimethecharm on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 12:41 pm:

I guess Schott has figured out that he can carry two players with double-digit million dollar contracts, but three players at that level would be too risky. What I don't understand is why the heck pitchers can't get that kind of money. I think a good starting pitcher is far more valuable than a good position player.

Schott was willing to pay $14 mil/yr for Dye, $11 mil/yr for Chavez, and $10 mil/yr for Kendall. With both Chavez and Kendall on the payroll, I think next year will be the first year the team has had two $10+ million players on the payroll. I assume that Beane hasn't bought insurance against injury because it's prohibitively expensive.

But instead of spending that money on Kendall, why didn't he spend it on Hudson (adding in another $5 million)? Hudson has the third best winning percentage in history. Imagine what his winning percentage would have been had he had an offense that could score more than 3 runs a game or a bullpen that could hold a 2-run lead. He would've had the all-time winning percentage. When you've got a HOF pitcher on your staff, you've got to find a way to keep him.

I suppose Schott and Beane are convinced that Hudson and Mulder will have careers shortened by injury. I really hope they have a strong conviction about that. I thought that that machine for the obliques would prevent Hudson's injury from recurring.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By 5thtimethecharm on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 12:51 pm:

The Angels were a mid-market team before '03. They won the WS and then hiked their payroll above $100 million, and it's paid off with attendance somewhere north of 3 million in '04 (somebody look up the figure for me) and a commensurate increase in revenue to support their elevated payroll. Steve Schott, take note: you can transform a team from being the bastard stepchild in a major metro market into joining the ranks of the big-money teams. Yes, spending $10 million-plus on a heart-and-soul player like Miggy or Huddy can pay off big time.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By rocket on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 12:54 pm:

Great starting pitchers are a rare commodity, but
pitcher's have always shown a great propensity to
get injured, and to have their careers end abruptly. Thus they are much greater risks to sign to long term deals.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 03:04 pm:

I don't know that I would say a good starting pitcher is more valuable than a good everyday player. One goes everyday; the other, every five. It would depend upon each individual's contribution and those players surrounding the everyday player at the given positions.

And, hey, I'm not necessarily sticking up for Schott. But where the double digit contracts are concerned. Remember we gave up two years of $16mil and two malcontents at a net cost (Kendall) for $20mil. So the net result of $4mil added salary for that period for a guy 10 times (if not more) better than those two was not a bad exchange. Kendall's third year could be the killer even with $5mil kicked in by the Pirates, but I really doubt Kendall will be in Oakland for that third year. And as much as I love Hudson, they were staring at a $13-$15mil per, contract for Huddy (given the current crazy mkt.) and for a pitcher, that is a huge gamble. Especially when there already has been some injury history. Only the Yankees, Bosox, Angels can afford that kind of deal.

As for Mulder (more injury history, already). Well, if Barton becomes 1/2 the player we keep hearing he will be; and throw in Haren and Calero, we may very well find that Beane totally fleeced the Cards. In fact, some GMs have already made that very statement.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By 5thtimethecharm on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 03:17 pm:

Well, I'm ambivalent about the Hudson and Mulder trades and it looks like you are, too, deajay. Maybe it all came down to a really smart medical guy examining Hudson's history with oblique injuries and Mulder's breakdown this past season, and telling Billy that Hudson and Mulder are likely to suck and/or retire within the next two years.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 03:46 pm:

Yeh, 5thtime, I think most of us are ambivalent, especially since we essentially got prospects. But as Beane said (or was it Schott, or both?) it is better to be proactive as opposed to reactive. In this case, the jury is still out, obviously. However, we did not make postseason with them last year. And my question is, where would the $ have come from to solidify the bullpen, which, in part these trades have done? Really, even with Mulder and Hudson still here in '05, I don't think we would have been as good as last year. I think a number of players on this team ... Kotsay, Hattey, maybe Durazo, had career years last year; even Miller was way over his head for 3/4 of the season. And I believe our offense is already better this year, assuming Byrnes, Swisher (especially), Thomas can hold up their end, and no major injuries. And Ginter could end up being another of those special "no name" pickups Beane has a habit of finding.

And something else ... as minor as it may be ... since Macha will be mgr again this year, the addition of Rene Lacheman as bench coach, I consider a real positive. At least he has some life in him and he just might do for Macha what Zimmer did for Torre ... well, almost. :)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By pachyderm on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 07:13 pm:

If people think I'm a sadistic son of a bitch like Donald Trump that runs around saying 'you're fired,'

Actually pal, you are like Trump. Your business decisions are the prove of this notion.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By okplayer on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 08:31 pm:

dj, i think for swisher 20 hrs and 80 rbis are the magic #s. that would match the production (if not exceed the production) that we've gotten each of the last three years from the RF spot (JD).

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By okplayer on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 08:32 pm:

.250 Avg woud suffice. Implicit is that swish would have a good OBP given his good eye at the plate.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By yc2578 on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 09:06 pm:

If you're queasy about low batting averages then Swisher is going to drive you unnecessarily nuts next year. I expect him to end up in the .230 to .240 range like Crosby last year. In fact I expect his numbers to be near identical to Crosby's rookie year just with a better OBP.

Swisher is kind of a poor man's Adam Dunn (low average, high OBP) just he doesn't have Dunn's power, although few do. Dunn is the left handed Mark McGwire.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By okplayer on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 11:23 pm:

quesy about ba? that's you amigo. every time someone mentions BA or clutch you go on a moneyball ramble. sigh.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By dansward on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 06:38 am:

If Swisher matches Crosby's power numbers from last season, he'll definitely end up with a considerably higher OBP, so it will be a highly successful season. On the other hand, with Thomas and Kielty in the mix, I don't think Swisher will get nearly the ABs that Crosby got.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By okplayer on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 09:41 am:

yc, I had to give you S@$# b/c you always dump on people when they mention BA. Point is, Swish needs to match JD's avg. production the last 3 years.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By rayfossefan on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 02:40 pm:

Why can't we all just get along?

Happy New Year, everybody.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By okplayer on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 04:48 pm:

rff, i agree but since it's the end of the year I have to get my final "BA" and "Clutch" digs in at the Sabermetricians.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chrishorvath on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 05:14 pm:

attempts to question the wisdom of Moneyball are only going to make yourself look foolish

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 07:13 pm:

The "wisdom" in Moneyball shows a way for low budget teams to adapt and compete within the negative impact the present economics has on baseball.

I have many issues with the Moneyball baseball style even though I understand why it came about and why Beane applies it to his teams...so I don't like it but I have to accept it is effective for the long term season.

Does that make me foolish?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By rickeytonydwayn on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 07:23 pm:

Nope.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactodavey on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 11:09 pm:

nice article in espn web about george steinbrenner and when he gets R. Johnson and beltrane how the Yanks will prob win 114 games and blowout teams most games on thier way to playoffs and prob WS.

i truly hate this mob like way this sport is run, it is so sick to think a guy like stienbrenner who has his YES network can have a payroll of 230 million and pay 90 milll in lux tax while midwest teams hope to be around 50 mill, i just do not understand how these owners can justify putting this system in place for the fans when only 3 teams can afford the players and 1 gets whom they want?

it all comes down to this , if the Yankees are willing to pay 90 mill in lux tax the owners will keep thier mouths shut and hope the fans keep comming in , the $$$ greases the wheel of silence for the Yankees.

Moneyballl is here for teams that want to tease the fans into thinking they can win a division and compete then get wiped out in post season to the teams with big payrolls stacked with allstars on the bench.

Look at the cardinals who won 105 games in the NL a league on the decline then look like a AAA team against a team that stacked up on free agents, this is what Moneyball is for fooling the fans to think thier team with a low payroll can really win it all , but only the top 3 teams with 120+ mill payrolls will win it all but moneyball allows the Oankland A's to get tinto the playoffs and give it a good apperance while they get tax money.

corrruption in the truest form.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By rickeytonydwayn on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 12:50 am:

This makes me appreciate what the Marlins did a season ago. They did what the A's never could do. They slayed the dragon on a moneyball budget and not a moneyball philosophy. It may have been incredibly serendipitous, but it was beautiful nonetheless.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chrishorvath on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 02:18 am:

The A's employ the Sabremetrics philosophy in the service of a low-budget ballclub. That does not imply, however, that the same philosphy could not be used for a team with a larger budget.

Theo Epstein of the Red Sox is a Sabremetrics guy and a Billy Beane fan (remember, they wanted Beane first.) The Red Sox have a big payroll and, obviously, much current success.

The A's are second only to the Yankees in wins over the last five years, even though they are one of the poorest teams in the league.

In my humble opinion, this is due to Beane's absolute genius. I understand that people disagree and that's fine; we have no way of proving it one way or the other right now. The believers will point to his regular-season success as proof and say that he overachieved, the skeptics will point to the post-season failures and say he was over-rated.

By saying that people who question Moneyball will appear foolish I didn't mean that they are stupid if they disagree with Sabremetrics, only that Beane's Moneyball decisions will ultimately make them appear foolish because he has a brilliant track record.

Personally, I think Beane has revolutionized Baseball like few others. He will one day rank up there with Branch Rickey and Babe Ruth as people who truly changed the game. Needless to say, I am incredibly grateful to be a fan of the team that he's running.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 09:31 am:

Chris,

Your enthusiasm is understandable especially coming from a fan who states he loves to watch "rebuilding" rookie teams.

Some fans are not so enthusiastic over seeing their homegrown talent flourish for other teams.

Some fans grow tired seeing a player being labeled "too good" to play for the A's.

I don't believe Beane has revolutionized baseball, but he has found a way to compete in baseball using less skills and less dimensions of the game.

I agree with the fact that Beane has a good track record in discovering players who can contribute for a year or two in his Moneyball teams. But to me that is not revolutionizing or making the game better...

to me is is an ugly and boring baseball.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By yc2578 on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 10:34 am:

Winning is neither ugly nor boring.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By okplayer on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 10:54 am:

Actually Chris, to not question moneyball would in essence contradict the principles espoused in the book, i.e., questioning baseball principles. My whole take on Beane and the moneyball stuff is that from a trading, farm system, scouting, financial standpoint, what has been done has been remarkable. It's his on-field philosophy that I'm not sold on. I do believe in situational baseball (not necesarily small ball) and that's something BB teams have been inept at.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 10:55 am:

sactodavey, your post certainly has merit. Right now, I'm just hoping that Beltran chooses any one of the remaining teams in competition for his services, over the Yankees. Randy Johnson's age starting to show up bigtime in '05 wouldn't hurt either. :(

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By yc2578 on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 10:59 am:

And this is sorta on topic but what really bugs me about people who point out the failure of the A's in the postseason (and then blame it on Beane) is they don't even bother to take into account the opposition. Since when were the A's the runaway favorite in every series? The only series that the A's were the prohibitive favorite and definently had the better team on paper was the Twins series. But for the two Yankees series and the Red Sox series the A's were either considered equals or underdogs depending on who you asked.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By okplayer on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 11:01 am:

Also, I have a hunch that BB recognizes that the make-up of his teams of the past left something to be desired (notice how our whole formula is so different...we have a bunch of gritty, line-drive, contact hitters and a sick bulle).

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownmojo on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 11:25 am:

I understand that fans are tired of players "being too good to play for the A's."

But what is the alternative? As I said earlier, imagine if we signed Giambi. Financially, the team would be stuck without any flexibility (Giambi wanted a no trade clause) burdened by this huge contract. The A's would be destined to live in the cellar.

Over the past six years, the A's have made the playoffs 4 times and been competitive all six years. Just about every game counted over the past six years. How many teams can say that?

I believe it is stated in Moneyball that the only correlation to attendace is winning. A losing team, even with star players, will cause attendance to drop.

I guess my point is that I can't complain. I hate losing players but if that's what it takes to remain competitive, so be it.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bigthree17 on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 11:25 am:

I agree Moneyball is not the ideal formula for success, especially in the postseason where you face superior pitching. However, it has been proven to be the most effective method to utilize limited resources in order to give us the best chance to even get to the postseason. Lil, you say BB hasn't revolutionized the game, but in the same sentence admit he has found a way to compete using less skills and dimensions. That IS revolutionizing the game. With our resources, if we played it the old-school way, we'd be on the business end of 80 or 85 win seasons, as opposed to 90-100 the last few years.

That said, I also believe in situational baseball, e.g. Hatteberg hitting the ball to the right side with nobody out and a man on 2B, and it's clear we need improvement in that area. However, I don't believe Moneyball and situational baseball are mutually exclusive. I think they can be integrated and I believe that is what we're trying to do. Furthermore, Moneyball is not about walks and bombs, it's about taking advantage of underutilized assets and exploiting market inefficiencies. One day the "old school" method might be what is underutilized, and we'll field a team that plays the game that way. That's why you have guys like Kotsay and Ellis who are excellent defensively as well, as their defensive skills are undervalued.

Remember, this is still a brand-new philosophy that is a work in progress. BB is bucking 100+ years of convention to try and develop a more efficient and effective way to play the game. As okplayer points out, I think he's realized there were certain elements that were lacking that can't be statistically quantified, including heart and desire. Now we have some grittier guys on the team. Say what you want, but when BB realizes a mistake, he works hard to correct it.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By okplayer on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 11:28 am:

Big 3 well said. My beef with BB teams, plain and simple are the brain farts at the worst possible times. It's been far too much a recurring theme over the years to dismiss as chance. Another thing about BB, he doesn't come off as being terribly humble (understatement of the year). As such, people will be quick to criticize...just human nature.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 12:17 pm:

Remember, this is still a brand-new philosophy that is a work in progress. BB is bucking 100+ years of convention to try and develop a more efficient and effective way to play the game.

There is where I totally disagree. I admit Billy has adopted a philosophy which brings wins by outscoring the opposition and not by outplaying the opposition.

To me, the key word here is play. Winning can be achieved by scoring more runs without actually playing better baseball.

Of course, I realize some don't care how the game is played as long as they win.

Btw, I could care less if Billy is humble or not...and I don't have anything personal against the guy. I happen to like and admire Billy.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By rocket on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 01:01 pm:

This I do not agree with....

"That's why you have guys like Kotsay and Ellis who are excellent defensively as well, as their defensive skills are undervalued."

Beane deserves a lot of credit, but he has shown that he has put more value on a players offense, thus he was willing to go with Giambi in LF, Grieve as an OF, allowed Hatte to learn to play first base at the MLB level, etc.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By yc2578 on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 01:10 pm:

Actually to correct what BigThree said is that it's not a brand new philosophy. Earl Weaver used the same strategy and was wildly succesful with it.

"Of course, I realize some don't care how the game is played as long as they win."

So you'd rather be exciting and lose than win at all? Seriously winning IS NOT BORING! How anyone can think otherwise is mind boggling.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 01:27 pm:

Please let me know if I missed something in the last few years...it seems to me the term most used here was "choke" and then a close second "unlucky" and of course THE "crap shoot".

What some call "brain farts" and others call "non conventional", I call it teams that lack in fundamentals of the game and lack of situational play whenever they can't outscore the opposition, which is what happens in post-season when the pitching is not mediocre like in regular season.

I don't remember saying that winning was boring.

I said a team which just plays to outscore the opposition in order to win is ugly and boring to watch. And yes, there is such a thing as a boring win and an ugly win.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By okplayer on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 02:19 pm:

Detroit Pistons. Nebraska football. The list goes on and on.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 02:25 pm:

Getting back to the thread title. Fans will NEVER have faith in Schott or his moves. Why? Because he doesn't respect the fans enough, nor does he give two hoots about anything about the fans except their money. Getting as much of their money he can, while he can without having to give more than bare bones in return, while he publicly insults them and their community.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactodavey on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 02:31 pm:

on the wire espn reports "the trade is almost official" for R. Johnson looks like a done deal, while we waste our time talkin about baseballl as my earlier post reads the Yankees are making a joke out of baseball.

i just hope that Johnson has a much harder time in the AL where all the big hitters are now and gets rocked!!!!

can't waite for the Beltrane signing

the Yankee fans will be out in droves on how they deserve these players and how great thier org. is when they have no farm system just an uneven income for FA.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 02:35 pm:

Rocket, what you said about BB's approach to defense vs. offense, was true, in the past. But especially with the start of last season, he indeed is putting more emphasis on D than in the past. In fact, he has publicly stated this, pointing out this necessity as it relates particularly to a good rotation. Not more than a couple months ago there was an article (Gammons?) re his moving on from some of the "Moneyball" approaches and zeroing in on other aspects ... specifically, defense being one of them. In fact, he and Epstein were/are both considering this factor. And, further, he talked about how he and Epstein may arrive at some of their decisions differently with re to players, yet they almost always had them rated the same in the end.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bigthree17 on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 04:35 pm:

Correct, DJ. Rocket, again, back then in the Grieve/Giambi/etc. hey-day the inefficiency was OBP and SLG. Since then, they've refined their approach to also take into account defensive factors like Zone Rating. And it's another reason why Chavvy was the Chosen One.

And YC, yes Earl Weaver used the walk, walk, three-run bomb approach, but that was it. Moneyball goes far beyond that. Moneyball is not a particular formula, it's a philosophy, a way of approaching a market. That might mean waiting for the three-run jack, or it might mean a double-steal. It's whatever maximizes efficiency.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 08:25 pm:

big3, you have to be kidding...a double steal?
I haven't seen one of those since Miguel left town...they don't even take a lead...
take a look at the team's stats please
the A's average about 45 steals per year with around 60% success, almost last in the majors for each of the last three years.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By yc2578 on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 08:42 pm:

bigthree I was talking from an on the field approach not off the field.

A's team stolen base percentage last three years: 2004 - 68.1%, 2003 - 77.4%, 2002 - 69.6%

Interesting enough in 2003 the A's attempted fewer steals than 2002 and 2004 but stole more bases.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 09:50 pm:

ok then I took a rough average but since you want to embelish things, here are the exact numbers

2004- SB 47 - CS 22
2003- SB 48 - CS 14
2002- SB 46 - CS 20

those ranked 28,29 and 30th of the 30 major league teams.

The A's continued to play station to station baseball even when they lacked the power so they have a tone of walks and then leave a huge crowd on base.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By yc2578 on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 10:08 pm:

Your right...I wish the A's would steal 150 bases a year and waste 60-70 outs and win five or six fewer games. That'd be exciting!

And what embelishing? You pulled out a fake number out of your head and presented it as factual evidence. I presented you with the actual numbers. Sorry for pointing that out.

I apologize for being an asshole on this issue but I get sick and tired of this whining about the way the A's play. They play winning baseball. I am sooooooooooooo sorry if that isn't enough for some people.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By yc2578 on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 10:25 pm:

I'm putting out a challenge. I want one of you who can't stand the way the A's play on the field to go find specific examples of where the A's not stealing or not bunting cost them a playoff game.

If you need to find play by play accounts for each game go to retrosheet.org

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 10:39 pm:

It doesn't bother me a bit that you get sick and tired when others have a different opinion.

But we do agree in one thing though, you're indeed an a**hole.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kbailey3131 on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 10:42 pm:

I'd much rather see them going for better situational hitting. I could actually care less anymore whether or not they bunt and steal, I'm convinced they have few players in their system who know how to do either well enough to create a run. Heck, I'm not always sure this franchise runs the bases with much intelligence in the postseason either.

I look back on the much maligned game 3 no slide game. We had several of cracks at getting the runs in throughout that game, before and after the Posada HR Zito gave up. But if memory serves me right, we lead off the ninth inning with Dye doubling and that's where he ended up. Then the next day, we had the bases loaded with less than two outs and scored NO runs.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By yc2578 on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 10:50 pm:

Dye doubled with one out. Chavez struck out and Burger Boy Jr., fittingly I suppose, was the last out.

In Game 4, A's had bases loaded with two out in the first. Burger Boy Jr. was once again the last out.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kbailey3131 on Thursday, December 30, 2004 - 11:41 pm:

We had RISP before the 2nd out in game 4 no? And we should have been able to situationally drive Dye in from 2nd in game 3?

Allz i remember from sitting at the Coli those two games is that we should have been able to drive a run in several times over the course of those two games and didn't because nobody could put the ball into play somewhere where it would have made a difference.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By yc2578 on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 12:01 am:

It was 1st and 2nd with no out. Burger Boy and Dye both popped out, then Long walked to load the bases.

As for situationally driving in Dye I think Mariano Rivera had a little something to do with that not happening.

Edit: Oh and I was at Game 4 as well. I remember dreading even going to the game as I just had this feeling they'd come out completely flat with the way Game 3 was lost. They were basically the walking dead out there that day.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bigthree17 on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 01:21 am:

Lil, I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say, or perhaps I didn't phrase it well. When I said, "double-steal", I meant that Moneyball espouses capturing market inefficiencies. At this stage, that happens to be OPS, and now we're getting into defense. In the future, it may be stealing bases. That's what I meant, not that the stolen base is a prevalent force in our offensive scheme at present, which we all know it isn't (although we are pretty successful when we pick our moments). It's whatever asset is undervalued at that time.

I think I do remember Eric Karros and Damian Miller pulling one off against Toronto this year, though. But I guess the fact that I can actually remember one is really just an indication that it just doesn't happen that often. Like a Kielty bomb.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By okplayer on Tuesday, January 04, 2005 - 07:12 pm:

Oh god, this is so lame. Moneyball is great but it underestimates the human element. What else can explain our kick-ass regular seasons but predictably whack and unstable postseason showings? Crapshoot my keister.


Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.


 

Questions? Comments? Corrections? Please contact info@oaklandfans.com.