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If the Cubs want Billy Beane, Lew Wolff won’t stand in the way

Aug 26, 2011, 9:39 AM EST

Billy Beane

As Aaron noted, yesterday Susan Slusser wrote that A’s owner Lew Wolff would probably allow Billy Beane to interview with the Cubs if they come calling about their vacant GM guy, despite the fact that Beane is under contract through 2014.  Today John Shea reports, after an interview with Wolff, that there is no probably about it, saying “I would never inhibit anybody from bettering themselves because of a contract.”

As soon as he said that, Gio Gonzalez packed his bag, hopped a flight and signed a six-year deal with the Yankees.

Seriously, though, Wolff is being realistic here. He says that he promised Beane and others in the organization that they’d get a new ballpark and the expanded resources that come with it.  That hasn’t happened because Bud Selig apparently lacks the will to challenge the Giants’ claim to a chunk of the Bay Area that, though the Giants own it now, stood as Athletics’ territory for most of their history. A chunk the A’s gave to San Francisco in an effort to help them get out of their own untenable stadium problems.

  1. The Common Man - Aug 26, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    If you love something, set it free.

    • paperlions - Aug 26, 2011 at 10:14 AM

      …and watch it find someone else to love it.

  2. hcf95688 - Aug 26, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    The fact that the Giants have been able to hold up the A’s to San Jose move is beyond mind boggling. Not sure who comes off worse: Selig for his failure to act for “the good of the game” or Giants management, especially to those that know the whole Bay Are Territorial Rights backstory.

  3. reospeedwagon916 - Aug 26, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    And if Lew Wolff wants to sell the team, I won’t stand in the way.

    • APBA Guy - Aug 26, 2011 at 11:11 AM

      Amen, brother.

      • Old Gator - Aug 26, 2011 at 12:14 PM

        I think that’s a good idea. The Tampa Bay area has only one team and it could definitely use one on the mainland side, in a stadium that isn’t so ugly that it engenders nausea just to look at it, in a convenient location where people will actually go to the games.

  4. mattjg - Aug 26, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    Is Billy Beane really that coveted a GM at this point? I understand that he revolutionized (to some extent) the way teams operate, but since Moneyball came out, teams have caught up to and probably even surpassed the A’s in statistical analysis. Beane doesn’t have a background in math or economics the way Jon Daniels, Theo Epstein and a lot of the other new breed of GM’s do. Beane was successful before because few, if any, other teams were looking at baseball the way the A’s were. Now every team has at least one person, if not a group of people, looking at advanced stats and trying to exploit market inefficiencies. If the Cubs hire Beane, I see it as the Cubs continuing to go for flash over substance and probably not taking that big step forward.

    • Sportsdrenched - Aug 26, 2011 at 1:29 PM

      I thumbsed up your comment. But, the other GM’s you mentioned have resources. Something Beane has never had in Oakland. I would like see what Beane can do with a payroll over $100 Million. Does he still search for “value” when he doesn’t have to. Or Does his focus just change to efficient use of recources?

      • clydeserra - Aug 26, 2011 at 2:57 PM

        Anybody can think “hey, we should go after Carl Crawford.” That doesn;t take a genius. Beane is great at finding marginal guys and turning them into useful pieces. He continues to do that, this year he picked up some bullpen arms and flipped them into his everyday guy art 3rd. the player, Sizemore is not going to be better than 3 WAR for the season, but far more useful than what Beane started the season with.

        The Ziegler for Allen trade was a good one too, the Arizonas got 3 years of a situational righty for a blocked 1b that, again, not Pujols, but a clear upgrade from what was there.

        If he can use the resources to sign the big players and augment the team with marginal upgrades, the Cubs would do very well with Beane.

  5. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 26, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    My favorite part of the “Moneyball” trailer…when Brad Pitt tells the Jonah Hill right before the game “Text me with updates.” When asked where he was going, Pitt says “I don’t watch the games!!” Spoken like a true sabremetrician!!!!!!!!

    • paperlions - Aug 26, 2011 at 10:17 AM

      Chris, you are an idiot (I mean that in the most friendly jovial way possible :-) ). Sabermetricians probably watch more baseball than you do because they don’t care who is playing….they love baseball, not one team.

      And damn it, Beane isn’t a sabermetrician, per se. He has specialized in finding market inequities (undervalued assets). Is that distinction really so hard to understand?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 26, 2011 at 10:28 AM

        Billy Bean is the God of stats. He is beloved by all sabremetricians around the universe. He is the James Warren Jones of OBP and if he doesn’t watch the games, then by God(or Beane) stat geeks around the world aren’t going to watch those games either!!!!!

        But in all seriousness, sabremetricians probably watch more different teams than I do, but I watch every Phillies game, some Red Sox games, and every once in a while, I’ll throw on a Mutts game if I need a laugh. I think you underestimate just how beloved in the Sabremetric community Mr. Beane truly is.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 26, 2011 at 10:36 AM

        FYI, if you are into funny stuff, check out Buster Olney’s twitter feed this morning…he is debating with some people over the WAR stat.

      • mattjg - Aug 26, 2011 at 10:43 AM

        Heard this: Buster Olney makes up most of his stories and is more reliable than only Jon Heyman.

        If GM’s don’t look at WAR it’s only because they have a proprietary stat that tells them the same thing.

      • The Sports Minion - Aug 26, 2011 at 11:33 AM

        @ Chris, very important to have an “e” at the end of Billy’s surname, while reading Moneyball I was advised the GM in question was in fact an openly gay ball player (see Billy Bean), which made the read quite different for a couple chapters; just some food for thought or what have you, oh and the Cubs don’t deserve him

      • clydeserra - Aug 26, 2011 at 2:58 PM

        And also, if you read the book, you will find out that, at the time, watching the games made beane too nervous.

        But I get the mothers basement joke in there.

  6. joecool16280 - Aug 26, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Selig is spineless and is pretty much running a franchise into the ground by not stepping in. Believe me, after living in the Bay Area for 27 yrs it’s a perfect match and would help baseball in general. What a shame.

  7. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Aug 26, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    I like pie. Carry on.

    • mattjg - Aug 26, 2011 at 10:46 AM

      I’m sorry the Orioles cut him. I hope for your sake that he latches on with a new team.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Aug 26, 2011 at 10:52 AM

        Well played. Well played.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 26, 2011 at 11:06 AM

        But it’s pronounced Pee-YAY!!!!!! :D

  8. APBA Guy - Aug 26, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    The general sense of the comments reminds me that the A’s recent woes stand in stark contrast to the Rays, who have adopted the philosophy that you deal with the reality of your situation. The Rays stadium situation is even worse than the A’s, making them 30th in the all-important “stadium situation” stat, with the A’s 29th. However, rumors swirling around Tampa of a “secret plan” to get out of the iron clad lease through 2017 were reported by Craig a few days ago. Meanwhile, the A’s sit and wait in Casablanca, and wait, and wait….

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