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Billy Beane: the A’s are “burdened by our venue”

Mar 8, 2013, 8:54 AM EDT

Billy Beane

“Burdened by our venue” sounds like the name of a late period Morrissey album, yes? Anyway, here’s the A’s GM talking to about the A’s payroll:

“At the end of the day, having more money to invest is good. I mean, our situation is somewhat burdened by our venue. We still share a stadium with the Raiders. We’re trying to secure a new venue some way, some how. But until that point comes, we have to operate very much like a business, where we spend what we have, and no more.”

I think the saddest thing ever would be seeing Billy Beane go his whole career never having had a real payroll to work with. Not that we should actually shed a tear for him.  He could have gone to Boston and probably a bunch of other places if he wanted to. But it would be nice to see what he could do with real money to spend. It could be a disaster — maybe he was put on this Earth to make smart bargain moves and would be Jim Hendry, Part Deux, if he had a payroll — but it would be interesting to see.

Oh well. I guess we just have to wait a few more years while the committee working on the A’s situation finishes what is apparently a ten thousand page report.


  1. stoutfiles - Mar 8, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    But then he wouldn’t have gotten that movie made about him, where it’s revealed that Jonah Hill is the true mastermind.

  2. proudlycanadian - Mar 8, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    10,000 pages? It is my understanding that the report is no longer than 8,888 pages.

  3. takavl - Mar 8, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Wow. Hosting the Oscars aged Seth MacFarlane, huh?

  4. professormaddog31 - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    “Burdened by our venue” sounds like the name of a late period Morrissey album, yes?

    *sings* Every day is like Opening Day,
    When you capitalize on a cheap trade…

  5. thelucasjj - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    “…we will have to operate like a business…”

    I guess i missed the memo where operating a baseball team wasn’t considered a business.

  6. manchestermiracle - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Yes, he could have gone to Boston, but that train wreck makes him look pretty smart to have turned them down.

    • Jeremy T - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      It was pre-Epstein that he had the offer from the Red Sox, long enough ago that he may have been able to avoid the train wreck that they’ve since become. Or, he might have done a worse job than Theo and the curse would have continued to this day.

      • jdl1325 - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:49 AM

        I think he was referring to the mess that Henry and Lucchino have made, despite Epstein’s (or in the hypothetical, Beane’s) best efforts.

  7. randygnyc - Mar 8, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    I think the pity should be shared equally amongst all fans who’s franchises can’t, or worse, wont spend. Ownership in places like Pittsburgh and of course the criminal in Miami, should be tarred and feathered.

  8. APBA Guy - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    It’s not like Wolff/Fisher have no money. It’s the uncertainty, “Hotel California” in fact: “You can never leave”.

    And it isn’t a 10,000 page report. It’s a 10,000 year report.

    • dw3dw - Mar 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM

      Agreed–players like Beltre, Berkman, and Scutaro all turned down more money (reportedly) to play elsewhere in recent years. Frustrating.

  9. hisgirlgotburrelled - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    I am not a guy that’s a “source with direct knowledge of (person)’s thinking,” but I don’t think he would want a big payroll. The more money you have to spend the more you throw shit against the wall and see what sticks because you can afford to make mistakes. That’s not what he does.

    • stex52 - Mar 8, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      I can declare myself an expert on the topic because I read Moneyball once. Beane has been quoted as saying “My shit doesn’t work in the playoffs.” I think we can expand on that thought some. What he really brought to Oakland (besides having a kick-butt pitching staff, as we must all remember) was market efficiency. The basic measurement tools were there, but he applied them well and demonstrated that they could be used to bring in the most competitive type of player that was obtainable on a limited budget. To use a really unreasonable overstatement, it was okay if they were fat or slow or not so good with the glove. As long as they knew how to take a pitch and to knock the crap out of the ball when they did hit it. In other words, a lot more emphasis on OBP and OPS+.

      Why didn’t it work as well in the playoffs? Well, first off we can’t say that absolutely. The playoffs are a small sample size and so can be a real crapshoot. Maybe he was just unlucky. But I think it is also likely that the big market teams could buy all that OBP and OPS+ while still affording the faster, better fielders. Your basic five-tools players.

      As to how Billy would do on a big budget, a couple of thoughts. Number one, I think he is a very shrewd negotiator. So that aspect of GMing would be fine. But these days his metrics tools are pretty universally accepted. My personal opinion is he could manage a big budget, but I’m not at all sure he would stand out. Like you say, it might make him lazy.

  10. joecool16280 - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Is Bud just stalling the decision until he retires so he gets to weasel out of it? Truly infuriating. San Jose needs to rise up (apparently they already are) and fight this whole territory thing. There’s just something odd about how a team 50 miles north can decide if they can get their own team…especially since it would help the entire game.

    So sick of this bullshit!

  11. cosanostra71 - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I don’t think he would operate a whole lot different. They would just have been able to keep some of their own players instead of having to trade key pieces just when the team is starting to reach its full potential.

    • hcf95688 - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      I think cosanostra mostly nailed it. With a new venue, the A’s could (for the first time in franchise history) afford to keep their own homegrown stars.

  12. randygnyc - Mar 8, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Cosanostra- keeping your all star players after they’ve developed is the ABSOLUTE game changer and with enough of them, and enough resources to retain them, is what allows teams to compete for championships.

    • cosanostra71 - Mar 8, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      Definitely. It seems like just when the homegrown stars in Oakland are starting to blossom and the team is looking like a legitimate contender, the homegrown stars are up for a raise and have to be traded or let go in favor of more affordable talent.

  13. bayarea510 - Mar 8, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Just curious as to why New York and Chicago teams have no designated territories for their teams but the Bay Area does? I am big fan of the Giants but I do think the A’s are getting ripped off. If you look at how the territories are spilt up the Giants have the entire North Bay, the Peninsula and every city south to Santa Cruz while the A’s only have the East Bay. Not sure how that is fair.

    • cur68 - Mar 8, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      It isn’t. I keep hoping that this “commission” finds in favour of the A’s, allows them to move, and the Giants really do sue. I bet they’ll lose spectacularly in court. Given that San Jose is making some noise about suing the Giants/MLB over this nonsense it may come to court work.

  14. Joe - Mar 8, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Nice to see the “good name for a band” trope freshened up with a “good name for an album” comment every so often.

  15. tonyz6060chevy - Mar 8, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Maybe he should move the A’s down here to San Bernardino and have a new Stadium built at Glen Helen regional Park or there abouts ,it’s only a stones throw away from the Little League World Series Ball Field

  16. coryfor3 - Mar 8, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    I sure hope they get that move to San Jose pulled off because he sure makes it hard to be an A’s fan around Oakland.

  17. jjpileggi - Mar 10, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Would it be great if Beane gets some money to spend, but does not? If he decides that what he does could only be tainted with money? Nah, never happen…….

    John Pileggi

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