November 10, 2002

"Beane's departure to be 'a foregone conclusion.'", may be be heading to BoSox. :
Just a few days after the Red Sox announced that Sabremetric pioneer Bill James would become part of the Red Sox front office, the A's have announced that GM extraordinaire Billy Beane is free to talk to other teams- and they fully expect him to leave. Boston is considered the most most likely club for Beane, and he's currently engaged in talks with Beantown.
Could this actually be happening? Is the often mis-managed franchise finally setting itself up to be the smartest-run franchise in baseball, and putting the pieces together for an Impossible Dream Season? Will a Beane GM-ship mean that payroll (tho' sadly not ticket prices) might actually decrease a little as money is spent more intelligently? What's next for John Henry- finagling a deal to put Barry Bonds out by the green monster and A-Rod at short?!? :)

posted by hincandenza to baseball at 02:28 PM - 16 comments

They will still be the Red Sox, and as we all know the Red Sox are cursed.

posted by jbou at 04:11 PM on November 10, 2002

Don't worry, the Red Sox will find some way to mess things up.

posted by Bag Man at 04:11 PM on November 10, 2002

I'll admit, this is a pretty exciting time to work a block and some from Fenway. :) But... I'd say that James and Beane would be the first to say 'we can't guarantee anything.' They'll increase the odds, certainly, but... it is still a game of inches and percentages. A lucky flip of the glove or some cold hitting in a short series can quickly ruin a 162 game season. And Boston seems to attract those lucky flips and unlucky bounces. Oh... and the other thing is that both men (particularly Beane) are about identifying and developing talent. That's not something that happens overnight. Boston has salary problems now that they aren't going to be able to solve immediately in the way that Beane solved problems in Oakland.

posted by tieguy at 04:53 PM on November 10, 2002

The AP is reporting that Beane's headed to Boston if the Red Sox can make a deal with Oakland on compensation. All I can say is I'm glad the Brewers are in the National League.

posted by shackbar at 06:42 PM on November 10, 2002

AP story on Beane.

posted by shackbar at 06:43 PM on November 10, 2002

Like I said, don't worry, the Red Sox will find some way to mess things up. Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane withdrew from consideration for the same job with the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night, ending a whirlwind weekend in which he was widely expected to leave

posted by Bag Man at 09:50 PM on November 10, 2002

Doesn't sound like the Sox screwed it up, except by not offering to move the team out of Fenway and into Beane's daughter's middle-school field. Hard to blame either side for doing that.

posted by tieguy at 11:23 PM on November 10, 2002

What the fuck?! That is a LAME ass excuse for backing out. Let's see: they were going to make you the best paid GM in baseball, you'd work on one of the most storied franchises in the game's history (along side Bill James) with a payroll you'd only dreamed of in Oakland, they told you you could even spend much of the year in California with your family (since, after all, a GM can do his job from most anywhere- how would he be any more away from his family with Boston as opposed to Oakland?!), and give you all the latitude in the world to do your job. So he turns it down, citing "loyalty". My guess is he had a fear of success: right now, the A's are still looking pretty good, and if they do poorly no one will blame Beane- it'll be the "unbalanced market" finally catching up with the A's. But if he goes to Boston, he'd have no excuse for not bringing at least a World series berth within 5 years- thinking of pressure like that was probably too much for Beane. Of course, his job's gonna be a lot harder anyway when, among others, his trio of Cy Young candidates and shorstop show their "loyalty" and follow Giambi's lead by leaving town for better money around the same time his plane back from Boston is touching down (heck, Art Howe's already left!).

posted by hincandenza at 02:33 AM on November 11, 2002

Dude, it's his fricking 13 year-old daughter he's being loyal to. Get a grip.

posted by tieguy at 07:53 AM on November 11, 2002

Good for him for being loyal to his daughter. Bad for him to allow things to get to the point where there was a story on before backing out. Not classy. It'll make his life more difficult in Oakland (where they'll always have questions about his committment to the team) and any other MLB team is going to be leery of negotiating with the guy in the future.

posted by Bryant at 09:27 AM on November 11, 2002

Sorry Hal the Red Sox will always be losers.

posted by jbou at 10:45 AM on November 11, 2002

jeez, jbou, it hardly makes them losers cuz they didn't hire Beane- after all, the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Angels all failed to hire Beane as well. Heck, 28 teams in the majors, representing all but a handful of championships won over the past 50 years, did not hire Beane. I'm with Bryant on this one- Beane should never have gone to Boston for an interview if he didn't want to leave Oakland. From what we hear, it was actually Beane himself who pushed for the A's to at least let him talk to the Sox, to give him that freedom to pursue a job like GM of Boston- why couldn't he have really thought that through before, and not after, Boston and its fans thought they had a deal? They give him that, he gets a huge opportunity that's extremely well-publicized- and THEN backs out?! Either he got scared when he realized it was really, really, going to happen- or it was all a big PR stunt to make Oakland players think the team was "committed" or some such nonsense. Pretty unlikely; I'll go with the "scared" theory. Dude, it's his fricking 13 year-old daughter he's being loyal to What, Beane never heard of this outfit called "U-Haul"?!? Boston was quite publicly giving him latitude to live near his family much of the time, and I believe one of the stories (the Gammons one, perhaps) noted that his daughter was cool with moving. A pox on Beane and his beloved A's...

posted by hincandenza at 11:28 AM on November 11, 2002

Hal, ignore poor jbou: he's cursed to work alongside Sox fans, so he vents about it in every New England-related thread he can find. I don't understand how Beane was fielding offers from a team he fought to talk to and then decided he didn't want to move. It sucks, but he's not the only fish in the ocean. Hopefully the Sox can copy his technique and success without him.

posted by yerfatma at 11:48 AM on November 11, 2002

Hal are you wishing the same pox the Red Sox have on those poor guys from Oakland? That's just plain mean. yerfatma, I love picking on New England sports fans they take their sports to heart up here, if the Sox lose a few games they are depressed for days, and when a team wins a championship they act like they're getting a ring, and a cut of the winners pay. What can I say I like an easy mark.

posted by jbou at 01:31 PM on November 11, 2002

Here's one Yankees fan and bay area supporter saying "whew".... Beane leading the Sox would have me really scared in 2 years, and I don't need that. Plus the bay area is already having managers and others fleeing. Good for Beane for being loyal and making a decision not based on money... first sports figure in quite some time that has done that.

posted by Bernreuther at 03:02 PM on November 11, 2002

Actually, jbou, it's really only the Sox that elicit such a reaction- now that the Pats have been successful, the Bruins historically competitive, the Celtics being the Yankees of the NBA and returning to being a decent team again, only the Sox still have the power to break our hearts. It's weird, but there's something cool about being so into your team that you live and die with every game, every roster move. I'm still quite hopeful: the fact that the Sox were pursuing Beane is less important than that many observers- including Neyer in an amusing column today noting that with a brain trust of Henry, Lucchino, James and then Beane, no sportswriter could rightly engage in their favorite sport of criticizing the front office for ill-conceived roster moves- recognized the Sox being at long last a team apparently on the cutting edge of baseball thinking. This past season was statistically a damn near 100-win season (some bad pythagorean juju) and with a little luck and the AL West not being 3/4 of a monster division (only the lowly Rangers prevent the AL West from becoming the All- Contender Division). They'll do fine, but Beane would have been the icing on the cake.

posted by hincandenza at 04:09 PM on November 11, 2002

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