FanPost

Brad Pitt is NOT the Answer


Not that he is available or interested, but his name does get floated here quite a bit. I confess I don't understand the cult of personality which has built up around him. Moneyball was an entertaining book (haven't yet seen the movie, but I have read raves), but Beane himself hasn't exactly been in the running for Executive of the Year in quite a few seasons.

The last year Oakland was a threat in the West was effectively 2006, when they went to the ALCS (and has their ass handed to them by the Yankees). Since then, though, the team hasn't had a winning record (they finished at .500 in 2010), and has been between 10 games and 14 games below .500 otherwise.

The thing about Beane which bothers me as much as anything is that he flips players like a guy on the streetcorner running a 3 Card Monte grift. There is a lot of activity, but the team still finishes in 3rd or 4th place when the season is done. He took in six players from Arizona for Dan Haren, but has none of them left three seasons later. One was Carlos Gonzalez, who was ultimately flipped for part of a season of Matt Holiday, who was then flipped for a kid who was then flipped for Michael Taylor, currently in AAA. When the dust had cleared, three years had gone by and he had one solid prospect in exchange for one of the premier pitchers in the game.

It is like the kid you knew in grade school who would periodically forget to take his Ritalin for his ADHD, or someone in a protracted manic phase. There is a lot of frenzied activity, but not much to show for all the effort.

He also goes high-risk/high-reward, sometimes striking paydirt (Frank Thomas as DH for about $1M and having a career year) but frequently flaming out (Mike Piazza as DH for $8.5M and being a shadow of his former self). What recently-departed Angels' GM does that remind you of? This is also the GM who traded Andre Ethier to the Dodgers for the carcinogen known as Milton Bradley.

What it interesting to me is that his teams on paper get projected highly by analysts in their pre-season estimates of who will finish at the top, but those same teams often flame out. Injuries can sap the life out of any club, but this suggests a missing depth to the team in the minors, with insufficient talent to bolster the roster when things get tough.

Likewise, there are other teams with financial constraints similar to Oakland's but those teams seem to do well. Jon Daniels built the current iteration of the Rangers largely during the financial problems of Tom Hicks' former ownership (his trade of Teixeira to the Braves yielded Feliz and Andrus, among others), and of course the Rays are back in the postseason, despite having budget restrictions, a relic of a stadium and sparse attendance, just like Oakland.

The point is moot since his deal with Oakland more than likely presumes a desire to stay, but even if he was free to sign with any club I don't see him as being the right fit for the Angels. I think his windsock moves would drive the fans crazy and ultimately move the team no closer to a championship.

This Fan-Post is authored by an independent fan. Tell us what you think and how you feel.

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