Have you read Moneyball? My God, Billy Beane is nuts. If the book paints an accurate picture of him, then he's off the deep end. But man, he's good. He's the only one who does 'it'. He's the only one out there who has a combination of guts/smarts/ability/willingness to act/a mandate from management to actually react quickly to the reality of his team. That reality being that the current team he has is not going to win. Not now. Not for a while.And what would ANY other GM in the league do, you ask? Try to win now regardless of said teams talent. Big market or small market, they would try in their own way. They would make a stopgap trade or sign whoever happens to be in the free agent crop that particular offseason, and claim that no matter who the player is, he is 'the answer'...And then that player would stink. For a while. Unfortunately, just because a guy is the best guy out there and you pay him a ton of money, that doesn't make him good. I swear, most of these GM's must be saying to their assistants, right before they make a deal these days, "Well hell, if we pay him this much he HAS to be good, right?!" It could be Gil Meche, or Barry Zito, or Carlos Silva, or Kyle Lohse...You get the picture. A decent to good starter paid like an ace isn't going to live up to it. It's not his fault he sucks, he's a #3 or 4 or 5 starter, not an Ace by any means. But all the chedda' from wherever chedda' comes from can't change the player from what slot they should actually be pitching from.
Case in point, the New York Mets (of which I am a fan) of 2002, 2003, and 2004. After 2001, on the highway of life, we had a flat tire. Instead of rebuilding the whole car (which we should have done) we decided to call AAA. Unfortunately, when the tow truck arrived it was driven by Roger Cedeno, Mo Vaughn, Jeromy Burnitz, Jeff D'Amico, Shawn Estes, and a TRUCKLOAD (pun intended) of over-the-hill, past-their-prime, has-beens, and never-will-be's.
Now, don't get me wrong, B-Square (my new pet name for Mr. Beane) isn't bulletproof. His moves aren't all home runs (pun intended). He traded Tim Hudson, and has nothing to show for it yet (Juan Cruz = Nothing, Charles Thomas = Nothing, Dan Meyer = Nothing yet) and that was back in 2004. However, two days after the Hudson trade, Beane moved Mark Mulder - who has never been the same - for Dan Haren (who he just turned into 5 players), Kiko Calero (a very good middle reliver who is still on the team), and Daric Barton (who is about to be their starting 1B, and mashed during his audition at the end of last year).
What's the point of all this Billy Beane inspired peace and love you ask? I don't know, after he pulled that Swisher deal a week or two ago, something just struck a nerve inside me. It's fun watching the man work, thats all. This is a blog, I don't need a real reason.