January 4, 2008


Beane betting his legacy on nine prospects (Rick Hurd, 1/04/008, Contra Costa Times)

It is what Beane does from this moment forward that will define him as much as anything he's done to this point.

"Billy Beane is a genius," Swisher said, spouting the much-used term that may soon be up for re-evaluation. "He knows what he's doing. I don't know. He's got a game plan, and he's going to stick to that."

Precisely. And Beane deserves credit for trusting in his plan and instituting it, because it could've been so easy to keep on living "hand to mouth," as he described it, and praying for some leniency from the health gods. It would've kept the fans happier, and certainly, the ticket-takers busier.

Instead, he has done what effective leaders do; namely, make hard, unpopular decisions because it's part of the job. It may not win his team or his bosses or even himself any popularity contests, but it does supply some talent to the cupboard.

"Until we are in a different situation and can keep some of the guys we've developed, that's how it's going to be for us," he said. "It's something we hope to change very soon. ... Listen, it's no fun doing it from an emotional standpoint, and it would be nice to create something that has a chance to be around for a long time."

Step one has been in adding nine players, including three of baseball's top-rated pitching prospects (Fautino De Los Santos and Gio Gonzalez in the White Sox deal; Brett Anderson from Arizona) and two promising outfielders (Ryan Sweeney in the Swisher trade; Carlos Gonzalez in the Haren deal).

Only the future will determine whether these were the nine right players, and for the sake of this team's future, they better be. Beane does not get a free pass on this one, not after creating the prospect of a desolate summer and anger among the few remaining faithful.

The trade yesterday came across at almost the same time as John Sickels's rankings of the White Sox prospects, with Gonalez, De Los Santos and Sweeney coming in at #1, #2, & #5. It's a pretty weak system, but that seems like a decent haul.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 4, 2008 11:14 AM

Billy Beane keeps get labelled the best GM in baseball but I don't recall the A's winning any championships lately.

Posted by: AWW at January 4, 2008 1:54 PM