Thursday, November 13, 2008
Billy Beane Likes the Way You Look When You're Dreaming
Billy Beane watches you sleep. It calms him down after a long day of manipulation and dead-lifting. He can hear your thoughts. You like macaroni and cheese - so does he! He knows you have a subscription to a midget porn site. Pervert. He knows you once shit yourself while waiting on a subway platform. You disgust him. That time you hooked up with your cousin in the jacket closet at a wedding? Billy Beane marked it in his notebook. You cried watching "Grey's Anatomy"? It made Billy Beane ashamed to be a man.
Beane is the see-it-all, know-it-all General Manager Messiah - there's no more denying this. And he also knows that trading for Matt Holiday was a smart move, any way you look at it.
When I first heard that Beane dealt two of his blue chips prospects and Huston Street for the Colorado slugger, I thought he was fucking nuts. And that's my reaction to most of his moves. Haren for 57 minor-league pitchers? What the fuck? Nick Swisher for a struggling center-fielder? Huh? Mike Piazza at DH? Doesn't he know Piazza is a bottom and not a top?
But, when the dust settles, Beane is the almost always the guy laughing, holding a Maker's, eye-fcuking a blonde that's so hot you don't even have a shot at masturbating to her. If you're even doubting this man's ability to perform at a high level, go read Moneyball. Obviously I'm not the first person to tell you this, but if you haven't read the book, then you have serious fucking issues. Not that it paints Beane in some "Holier-than-though" light - some of the moves he made back in 2002 look questionable now - but it explains, in serious depth, a baseball GM's thought process, and the manipulative nature of borderline genius.
So, when Beane decided to move three highly-coveted pieces for a player who is up for free agency after the 2009 season and is repped by Satan Boras, it seems like a waste of good prospects. But then you look at the players he has on the roster and in the farm system. And then you listen to the rumor mill, and hear who Oakland is targeting. Rafael Furcal, Jason Giambi. After hearing this, and assuming Oakland signs some veterans to shore-up certain positions, would it be so shocking if they were competitive? I wouldn't be surprised if they made a run for the playoffs. They've done it before, there's no reason it can't happen again. And if it does, you can bet your sweet-fucking-ass pundits will be claiming to have believed in Beane's moves all along.
But, playing Devil's Advocate, let's say a competitive team doesn't happen - let's say they turn out like they did this past season, too green, not enough experience, not ready for the playoffs - what happens when the July trade deadline begins to loom? Oakland's sitting on one of the most sought after additions in baseball. Think an offensive Sabathia, who could return more to Oakland than Cleveland got from their ace lefty last July.
But what happens if Oakland competes all the way into September, but misses the playoffs? Was it stupid for the team to have held onto Holliday past the trade deadline, missing out on a bounty of prospects? Of course not, because Holliday nets the team two extra sandwich picks in the draft. Two picks that Beane turns into prospects. Two picks that turn into MLB ready players after a couple seasons in the minors. Beane wins again.
From all angles, it's a winning situation for Oakland. One can argue that dealing two young, high-ceiling players was stupid, because you don't know what you're going to get in the draft, if Holliday stays around until next October. But you could also argue that neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Greg Smith showed the potential to blossom into a superstar. And you could continue arguing your point until Beane telepathically hears you, and then sends Frank Thomas to come kill you. Maybe then, you'll finally learn a lesson.