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do you believe him? i dont.


FiddySicks

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I just got done reading "Moneyball," and while the basic premise of Beane's theories seem solid (that higher OBP's and avoiding outs, by whatever means, is the key), at the MLB level it seems like there's got to be more to it.

I used his OBP philosophy with my men's softball team back in the '90's, before anyone had ever heard of Billy Beane. I drove my guys nuts telling them to take pitches, work counts, take the walk if they didn't see a pitch they liked. They hated me (the first game the opposition walked 23 of our hitters - drove everyone, including the umpire, nuts), but they also won 3 league titles and went 329 days at one stretch without losing a game. So at some level, it does actually work.

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Here's the thing though. Beane didn't say anything about Hudson and Mulder being untochable this offseason. After those trades, however, he said all Zito trade rumors were false, and it looks like Zito will be the A's opening day starter. I believe him on Byrnes. Look, let's face it, no one's untouchable. If you're Billy Beane, and say the Yankees offered you Derek Jeter for Eric Brynes and they'll pay most of Jeter's salary, you would do it. Obviously, that would never happen. The point is, it would need to be a great deal for the A's, and if all the Mets are offering is Mike Cameron, I wouldn't call that deal "great"... I don't even have a clue who it was rumored the D-Backs were offering. For now, I'll believe that Brynes will play for the A's in 2005.

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I don't even have a clue who it was rumored the D-Backs were offering.

I understand that the Diamondbacks were offering Jose Valverde, but that the pitcher failed a physical exam administered by Arizona (not Oakland) and that the deal was called off for that reason.

***

As for Beane and his Moneyball theories, the point that is often overlooked is that he is seeking to exploit market inefficiencies. He has championed OBP not just because preventing outs is a sound strategy, but also because the market doesn't sufficiently value guys who consistently get on base.

Operating in a small market on a limited budget, Beane is looking for value. He wants guys who will help him win, but who will help him do it on the cheap. Homerun hitters are sexy -- and for that reason, other teams are likely to pay premium prices for their services. Walks ain't sexy, so a player who's primary skill is drawing walks (see Youklis, K.) are available at much more reasonable prices.

When Beane lets a guy go -- Giambi, Damon, Hudson, Mulder -- it's not necessarily because he can no longer perform. It's because he commands a higher salary than Oakland can justify paying. (Or perhaps, in Mulder's case, because there are injury concerns that make an investment in the player especially risky.)

Beane thinks he can outsmart the market by finding value in low-paid players w/ unsexy skills. For several years running, it's worked. Whether it will continue to work remains to be seen. Beane's got a bunch of young pitchers poised to take over for the departed 2/3 of the Big Three. I'm willing to w/hold judgment for the moment.

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Here's the thing though. Beane didn't say anything about Hudson and Mulder being untochable this offseason. After those trades, however, he said all Zito trade rumors were false, and it looks like Zito will be the A's opening day starter. I believe him on Byrnes. Look, let's face it, no one's untouchable. If you're Billy Beane, and say the Yankees offered you Derek Jeter for Eric Brynes and they'll pay most of Jeter's salary, you would do it. Obviously, that would never happen. The point is, it would need to be a great deal for the A's, and if all the Mets are offering is Mike Cameron, I wouldn't call that deal "great"... I don't even have a clue who it was rumored the D-Backs were offering. For now, I'll believe that Brynes will play for the A's in 2005.

the A's got kiko calero, dan haren, and some other guys ive never heard of for hudson and mulder. how is that a great deal?

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No, no,, no, you missed what I said - Beane never called Hudson or Mulder untochable. Also, I talked about this with STL Fanatic for a while, and he raised a lot of good points. The A's middle relief was one of the things that hurt them down the stretch, and Kiko Calero and Juan Cruz(in addition to signing Yabu), and both are solid middle relievers. They added Dan Haren and Dan Meyer, the first a pitcher who should have a breakout year and the second a promising prospect. They got yet another young prospect in catcher Daric Barton, and a fourth outfileder in Charlie Thomas that should icnrease the competition level for a staring job. Are the A's winning the World Series this year? No, but they won't be that bad, and could have a playoff-worthyrotation NEXT year with Zito, Rich Harden, Joe Blanton, Haren and Meyer.

Anyways, I'm saying it would take a great trade for Beane to trade a guy he's called untochable, as he has done with both Zito and Brynes, but did not do with Mulder or Hudson - in fact, given the A's payroll, it shoulda bee obvious they had to move Hudson and Mulder eventually when they locked up Zito long term a few years back.

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I still wouldn't be surprised if Zito and Chavez were gone after 2005. Kendall better watch himself. He's scheduled to be traded after 2006. If any of these guys become free agents they won't be re-signed.

However with all that said, if they finish first this year I won't be surprised. They stopped surprising me a while ago. Same with the Twins. A team of virtual nobodys winning the division year in and year out. It just isn't surprising anymore.

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I still wouldn't be surprised if Zito and Chavez were gone after 2005. Kendall better watch himself. He's scheduled to be traded after 2006. If any of these guys become free agents they won't be re-signed.

However with all that said, if they finish first this year I won't be surprised. They stopped surprising me a while ago. Same with the Twins. A team of virtual nobodys winning the division year in and year out. It just isn't surprising anymore.

yeah, theyre sort of like the anti LA clippers

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I still wouldn't be surprised if Zito and Chavez were gone after 2005. Kendall better watch himself. He's scheduled to be traded after 2006. If any of these guys become free agents they won't be re-signed.

However with all that said, if they finish first this year I won't be surprised. They stopped surprising me a while ago. Same with the Twins. A team of virtual nobodys winning the division year in and year out. It just isn't surprising anymore.

There's no one saying that they'll be there after 2005, I'm just saying they'll be there FOR 2005. As for where the A's place, it's going to be very strange. With having Zito(their new ace), Harden(a guy whos's said to have more talent than anye one of the Big Three), Blanton(the new ace-in-training, the title Harden has last year), Meyer(who will pitch his first full season as a starter) and Haren(who might be set for abreakout year) - the A's still have arguable the best rotation in the AL West. Look at the Angels: Bartolo Colon, Kelvim Escobar, John Lackey, Paul Byrd and Jarrod Washburn. I'd take the A's rotation over that, though not by much. Rangers: Kenny Rogers, R.A. Dickey, Ryan Drese, Ricardo Rodriguez, Chris Young? You have to be kidding me. The Mariners? Joel Piniero, Jamie Moyer, Ron Villone, Gil Meche, Ryan Franklin? Um, no. The A's lose Hudson and Mulder, and basically STILL have the best rotation in the West. It's going to be very interesting, cause the A's have better pitching, but the other three teams really have better offenses. I think any team of the four can win, altough I put Texas's chances pretty distant, cause at least the Angels and Mariners have TWO pitchers they can count on instead of win. It'll be the toughest division this year, IMHO.

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