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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Still playing moneyball: An exclusive interview with Billy Beane - Athletics Nation

A Q&A with Billy Beane.

Bleszinski: It’s interesting in thinking about how the A’s seasons have gone, especially when you were competing for playoff position regularly. You always seemed to have a lot of slow starts where everyone writes you off and then you come on as the season progresses. That was how this team was too. Is that just coincidence?

Beane: 2001 was just like that. We acquired Jermaine (Dye) at the deadline. I’ve always viewed the season in parts. When you start the season, you really are mostly just assessing what you have and who your competition is. One of the things we really did was micromanage the roster this season with changes. Susan Slusser had a great line and I might not get it exactly right but we had to do so many things on the fly that we were able to successfully put people in positions where they would succeed. Josh Donaldson is a converted catcher playing third base. (Cliff) Pennington comes in as a shortstop and finishes as the second baseman. (Sean) Doolittle starts out as a first baseman and now he’s one of our primary set up men. Brandon Moss had never played first base and he ends up as our first baseman.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 25, 2012 at 02:13 PM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, billy beane, moneyball

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Jacob Posted: October 25, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4283200)
Cool interview...He still should've never wrote that book!
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 25, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4283287)
(Sean) Doolittle starts out as a first baseman and now he’s one of our primary set up men.


Oh wow, I've gone this whole season without realizing its that Sean Doolittle.
   3. Shock Posted: October 26, 2012 at 02:20 AM (#4283968)
Man, this is awesome. Loads of good stuff in here.

Beane: Yes. Was it a risky signing? No question. But we also weren’t flying completely without a net. We had information going back to his amateur years. We also had other players who came over from Cuba that we could use as a barometer to try and measure what we’d think he’d do. It was a little bit of scouting, a little bit of science and a little bit of luck.

Bleszinski: Does it make you more likely to jump into the international pool again this winter?

Beane: It depends. It’s dependent on the player. We were runner up on (Aroldis) Chapman and we were runner up on Ramirez. The three players who have come over from Cuba, we were the runner up in two of the three and we ended up getting Cespedes. It is a market that we’ve been involved in, we just haven’t always successfully gotten the player.
   4. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: October 26, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4284010)
The bit about trying to get back from the hospital will be good in Moneyball II
   5. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: October 26, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4284074)
I never knew the A's were the runner-up on Ramirez. I also never knew that being runner-up in signing a player meant anything at all.
   6. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: October 26, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4284155)
Well in the context of a question about the team's international activity, it means they've been active in bidding for players they’re interested in.
   7. Danny Posted: October 26, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4284222)
Immediately, right out of the gate, he was throwing mid-90s. We were in a little bit of a dilemma because he had only thrown a couple of innings down there and we knew that other teams had seen a guy throwing mid-90s as a left-hander. We knew we had to keep him on the roster because if we didn’t someone was going to grab him. We kept him on the roster and he started in Stockton and then just simply kept moving up. It’s a great story but he deserves the credit for that switch, not us.

I thought the A's were idiotic for keeping Doolittle on the 40 man roster while DFAing Cardenas last offseason. Boy, was I wrong.
   8. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: October 26, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4284253)
I thought the A's were idiotic for keeping Doolittle on the 40 man roster while DFAing Cardenas last offseason. Boy, was I wrong.


I was annoyed about losing Cardenas, but I recall it being about various RHR they were grabbing off waivers.
   9. Charlie O Posted: October 26, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4284357)
I thought the A's were idiotic for keeping Doolittle on the 40 man roster while DFAing Cardenas last offseason. Boy, was I wrong.


You weren't the only one, Danny.
   10. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: October 26, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4284363)
Apparently they should have signed Scutaro as well.
   11. Danny Posted: October 26, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4284373)
I was annoyed about losing Cardenas, but I recall it being about various RHR they were grabbing off waivers.

It was to make room for Gomes.

5. BourbonSamurai lives on a deadend called Choker St Posted: February 06, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4055184)

I'd rather have Cardenas than Jonny Gomes.

6. Danny Posted: February 06, 2012 at 11:51 PM (#4055193)
I'd rather have Cardenas than Jonny Gomes.

Or Recker, Doolittle, Wagner, Norberto, Figueroa, Rosales, Kila...
   12. Poster Nutbag Posted: October 26, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4284380)
I never knew the A's were the runner-up on Ramirez. I also never knew that being runner-up in signing a player meant anything at all.


In almost every case I would agree, however these are the A's. The team that people still think are trying to lose and refuse to spend money on players, etc. It becomes a relevant point when the stupid, tired argument comes up over and over and over....
   13. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: October 26, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4284385)
Well shoot.

Also I was totally wrong about Gomes too. What the #### do i know.
   14. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: October 26, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4284390)
There is a lot of good stuff in this interview.
   15. Swedish Chef Posted: October 26, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4284439)
The team that people still think are trying to lose and refuse to spend money on players, etc. It becomes a relevant point when the stupid, tired argument comes up over and over and over....

Seems that argument has been mostly used by the other side in defending the trade of Gio and others, because they were going to start costing several million a year, too much for poor Oakland.

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