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Tag:Athletics
Posted on: September 18, 2008 2:42 am
Edited on: September 18, 2008 2:43 am
 

Brad's 2008 Oakland Athletics Awards

Borrowed from an Oakland Athletics Message Board Thread that I felt deserved a blog post...

Team Awards:

Front Office: B (Hard to see a lot of those guys go, a couple seemed like poor deals, but the dividends from Nick Swisher and Dan Haren are already apparent)
On Field Management (Geren & Co): C
Player Performance: B- (Some great surprises, some great disappointments)
CBS Sportsline A's fans: A+ (My first season on the boards, even though I was only active the first half... dang crazy new 60 hr/week job)

Individual Awards:
MVP: Jack Cust (Will probably set the K's record, but who else is more deserving?)
Cy Young: Justin Duchscherer
Fireman: Brad Ziegler (Runner Up: Joey Devine)
ROY: Ryan Sweeney
Unsung Hero: Kurt Suzuki
Best Surprise: Dana Eveland and Greg Smith (Ziegler was more unexpected, but nobody would have even thought playoffs in the first half if it weren't for these two.)
Biggest Disappointment: Daric Barton (Runner Up: Eric Chavez)
Next Year's Rookie to Watch: Aaron Cunningham
So Long and Thanks for All the Fish: Rich Harden (A Douglas Adams salute)
Don't come back Award: Emil Brown
Hope he gets it figured out award: Daric Barton
Position that needs to be filled: 3B... possibly with Jeff Baisley?
Best Athletics Player in Community: Mark Ellis (Community activism with diabetes)
Best Name for a Pitcher Ever: Josh Outman
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 5, 2008 12:08 am
 

Billy Beane - Genius?

I posted this in response on the message board, but felt it deserved a blog post of its own. Feel free to comment and discuss.

It's funny that not until the past two years (last year while injuries ran rampant and this year in a rebuilding year) did anyone ever question Billy Beane. You know why? Because he was winning. And on a budget not even close to his competition in the AL (Angels, Yankees, Red Sox).

While the skepticism is understandable, I think that Billy Beane's "genius status" among MLB general managers is rightly placed. He was named general manager of the Athletics in 1997, and in just a few short years he was able to turn around a team that was was averaging 73 wins a season (.454 pct) into a team that went 664-469 from 2000-2006, a .586 winning percentage (average of 95 wins a season). How many other general managers have done that? Not just that, but he did it with a payroll that was one of the lowest in the majors! The Athletics made the playoffs five times in those seven years, how many other teams made the playoffs that consistently?

Only the Yankees had a higher winning percentage from 2000-2006 and made more playoff appearances, and we all know how tough that was for them with their payroll constraints (sarcasm). The Braves and Cardinals had six playoff appearances in seven years, but fewer wins over that period (and Braves and Cardinals fans can probably speak to their budget comparison to the Athletics better than I can), though you have to admit that they were in the weaker league.

Some might argue that because Billy Beane has not won a World Series it means that he doesn't belong in the upper echelon of MLB GMs. But if you add up the Athletics win totals from 2000-2006 (ranking them 2nd, just a few wins behind the Yankees) it shows that he obviously knows how to give a team the tools they need to win a championship, but it's up to them to perform (and not be injured) during that time.

I would say the simple fact that Billy Beane has built an organization that competes with (and usually beats!) teams spending four and five times as much on payroll puts Billy Beane in pretty exclusive company. I suppose it all depends on how you define genius.
Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com