Tracy Ringolsby can’t stand “Moneyball”—the concept, the book, or the man who wrote it, Michael Lewis. As such, he’s ready to rip Beane every chance he gets. Ringolsby is also a Hall of Fame baseball writer and one of the game’s most respected voices over the past 30 years. It was interesting, then, to read his take on the Matt Holliday trade with St. Louis.
A bit of background: Shortly after the release of “Moneyball,” Ringolsby (then with the Rocky Mountain News) launched a searing attack on Lewis’ credibility. Aside from pointing out some (of many) factual errors in the book, Ringolsby cited some player-development evidence that Lewis chose to ignore. Getting wind of this, Jim Rome invited Lewis to appear on his ESPN television show. Looking like a complete lightweight (which he surely isn’t), Lewis greeted Ringolsby’s published attack with silly, forced laughter and called Ringolsby a “midget” in the business. That was a big mistake, and with his dreadfully elitist’s response, Lewis looked as if a stiff breeze would blow him right off camera—a difficult thing to witness, certainly, for any fan of his top-shelf writing.
Switch now to Monday, when Ringolsby addressed the Holliday trade in his FoxSports.com column. The issue we’re all trying to evaluate is the matter of (a) acquiring Holliday for Huston Street, Carlos Gonzalez and Greg Smith; and (b) unloading Holliday for Brett Wallace, Shane Peterson and Clayton Mortensen. Some, including FoxSports’ own Ken Rosenthal, have called this exchange the latest measure of Beane’s genius.
...Ringolsby went on to note Street’s value to the Rockies (“he has regained his late-inning magic) and adds that Wallace “is not in the same area code as Gonzalez in any category beyond power.” The truth is that nobody really has a clue how this will all turn out in the end. We certainly know, however, how Mr. Ringolsby feels about it.