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Do We Give Billy Beane to much credit?

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Postby FatGuyWithAMullet » Sun Mar 13, 2005 3:40 pm

I don't want to read this entire thread, so I'll just comment. Now anyone who has read any of my "debates" with LBJackal could most likely conclude that I'm not a huge Billy Beane fan, but I will say that what he has done on that budget is most impressive. I don't like the blind hero worship he receives by some, or how they feel he can do no wrong with any of his transactions. And for every detractor in the media there is another Skip Bayless who will pucker up at every opportunity. Anyway, Billy Beane is a brilliant mind who is vastly overrated by some and by the same token underrated by others, and there really isn't much more to say.
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Postby fantasyfiend » Sun Mar 13, 2005 3:42 pm

The A's are ranked 2nd overrall for the most wins over the last 5 seasons (2nd to only the yankees)

They've played in the most competitive division in the league during that span.

They've pumped out a team full of superstars during that span that even the yankees probably couldn't afford.

During that span they've been ranked in the bottom 10 in payroll every year.

What more could you ask for from a GM?

Im sorry, as good as zito, mulder, and hudson are...you still have 22 other roster spots and very limited resources in comparison to the rest of the league (and even the division) to just write off beane's success as luck--with 3 young Ace pitchers--is incredibly unfair. He's the one who ultimately drafted them and made the decision to get them in the rotation.

I like how people use the twins for comparison.

Can you imagine what the A's record would be if half their schedule was filled with teams like:

Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, and Chicago(A) ??
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Postby AcidRock23 » Sun Mar 13, 2005 3:47 pm

to the 'job description' I think that you'd also have to include some type of 'profitability' in the mix, as the budgetary constraints imposed by whoever controls the purse strings are also a big part of what every GM has to do. It's one thing for Epstein to sell unloading Nomar on the Boston Globe but it's probably another to con John Henry into 40 mil for Varitek.
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Postby ramble2 » Sun Mar 13, 2005 3:53 pm

AcidRock23 wrote:to the 'job description' I think that you'd also have to include some type of 'profitability' in the mix, as the budgetary constraints imposed by whoever controls the purse strings are also a big part of what every GM has to do. It's one thing for Epstein to sell unloading Nomar on the Boston Globe but it's probably another to con John Henry into 40 mil for Varitek.


That's a good point. A good GM should be able to turn a profit. That's part of being able to remain competitive year after year.

This thread has inspired me to change my sig. Please note the grain of salt ...
"The game has a cleanness. If you do a good job, the numbers say so. You don't have to ask anyone or play politics. You don't have to wait for the reviews." - Sandy Koufax
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Postby Lofunzo » Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:00 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:
Lofunzo wrote:
You may think so but the name of the game is winning. There are a lot of people that swear by his beliefs yet it has never won a championship. I reiterate that I refuse to bunch the Sox with them. I don't see how people can swear by him when he can't get out of the 1st round. You'd think that with that staff, they would have done it at least once. I'm not saying that he's bad. I'm just saying that between the books and the people swearing by him, I think that's a bit much when his success isn't that great when you look at the overall results rather than the relative results.


Depends on what you mean by "the overall results". I see a team that has many fewer resources being the second winningest team in baseball as being much more of an important factor in "the overall results" than a couple of series in October. You don't. There's too much randomness involved in a short series to give that so much weight, in my opinion.


I am giving him credit for doing what he can do to remain competitive with limited resources. I am just adding that it only goes so far. People make him out to be a God when his methods show you how to remain competitive but not win championships.
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Postby AcidRock23 » Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:01 pm

Then it occurred to me that the conversation between Theo and John Henry MAY have gone like 'STFU w/ the Pecota stuff Theo, you're going back in there and you're going to give Scott Boras what he wants for Tek. I bought his damn jersey last year' :-D :-D :-D
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Postby Phatferd » Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:32 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:My problem is that you put words in my mouth that were completely the opposite of what I wrote. Sorry, but I have a major problem with people who misrepresent another person's argument either through a failure to read carefully or through a deliberate attempt to twist another person's words.

I don't understand what you mean by "I don't buy into the park effect theory." That's sort of like saying, "I don't believe in that round earth theory" You really don't believe that teams score more in Coors field than in Petco or Dodger stadium? I suppose if you really want you can not believe credible facts, but don't expect anyone to respect you for that opinion.

And yes, if Beltran was in Coors field, he would have hit much better. All of his stats would have been raised by about 10%. Now most park factors are not nearly this big, but there's enough of a difference that you must make adjustments. A player's stats are significantly impacted by the parks he plays in and you have to adjust a player or team performance to be able to make comparisons.

It's not a theory. It's a fact.



Pot meet the kettle. first of all, I never put words in your mouth so you might want to rethink that. It was you who misread my argument.

Second, you just put words in my mouth that were never said. I was talking about BELTRE, never said Beltran, so you might want to look at yourself in the mirror. If you can't stand people who put words in your mouth, you might want to do the same.

I don't buy into park effect theory. I know people hit better in certain stadiums, I don't discredit that, but I don't think you should judge every single person on an equal park effect curve. For example, you can't take a guy like Beltre who hit 48 HR (not exactly sure off the top of my head) and say he would have hit so many more or less at this particular stadium. Say you go to a place like Wrigley, the wind has more to do with HRs there than anything else, which is a totally random occurance.
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Postby Phatferd » Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:40 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:Actually, I can think of a LOT of GMs that clearly don't know what they are doing. Syd Thrift's tenure with the Orioles clearly showed simply horribl planning. Bowden is clueless. Pittsburgh (Bonifay and now Littlefield) don't have any idea what they are doing. Those are just a few off of the top of my head.

There are clearly lots of smart guys and clearly several different ways to put a winning team together. But, to argue that Beane has not been about as successful as you could want your GM to be implementing a well designed and carefully executed strategy, is simply to ignore the facts.


I agree to an extent, I will give the Pirates credit for ripping the Padres off!

I would take Oliver Perez and Jason bay for Giles. They have some solid players, they just need to do a better job drafting ML caliber pitchers.
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Postby Strasil42 » Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:40 pm

GSes wrote:
Strasil42 wrote:
gses wrote

3. Coming off a bad year, he is very likely to bounce back
.

wow thats some great logic.



i can name a lot of pitchers who have a bad season and bounce back the next one.



wow even better logic. :-t :-t

i can name a lot of pitchers who had a bad season and had another bad season right after it.

Horrible horrible point.
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Postby RynMan » Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:38 pm

ramble2 wrote:As a rough first approximation, I'd define GM success as the following:

1. Putting his team in a position to make the playoffs.
2. Effectively evaluating and acquiring his team's needs.
3. Maintaing competitiveness year to year.
4. Giving fans a reason to have hope.

Obviously Moneyball isn't the only way to accomplish this. Neither is simply throwing a lot of money around. I give Beane a ton of credit for what he's done. How many teams in the majors have GMs who can say they've consistently accomplished all four of those criteria?

Some people want to add a 5th criterion:

5. Winning in the playoffs.

Fair enough, although I think a GM has a minimal role here. Any team that makes the playoffs has a shot at winning the whole thing. We've seen this ever since the wild card was added. For evaluating a GM, I'd say a better 5th criterion would be:

5a. Giving his team the tools to win a playoff series.

Has Beane done this? I'd argue yes, even though they haven't won a series -- yet. They've come awful close. Did they lose because they were missing parts that Beane should have provided? Obviously that's not a very easy question to answer ...


Exactly. Isn't it enough to have made the playoff's soo many times recently? Alot of teams haven't even done that.
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