Those wacky A’s

DMZ · July 14, 2005 at 10:14 am · Filed Under General baseball 

Here’s what our division rivals are up to:

RHP Chad Bradford to the Red Sox for OF Jay Payton.
OF Eric Byrnes and something (SS Quintanilla) to the Rockies for LHP Joe Kennedy and RHP Jay Witasik.

It’s a weird set of trades, and I don’t think they’re done yet. Jay Payton wasn’t happy sitting on the bench (though he still got into 55 games this season) in Boston, but Oakland is still stacked in the OF even after trading Byrnes.

Kennedy’s another weird Oakland gamble. Maybe they see something they think is fixable, and he is only 26.

I can’t quite see how this helps them yet unless there’s one or two more deals to come.


79 Responses to “Those wacky A’s”

  1. roger tang on July 14th, 2005 2:09 pm

    re 49

    I REALLY don’t think equating George Steinbrenner with the Ms ownership is a particularly valid thought. It really doesn’t make much sense.

    Personally, I’d think it’d be a breeze to work here over New York.

  2. eponymous coward on July 14th, 2005 2:13 pm

    I notice Tony Womack played for the St. Louis Cardinals last year. Does that make Walt Jocketty a dumbass for getting him?

    And Cashman didn’t “let Vazquez go”- the Yankees got the best left-handed pitcher ever in return, a guy who had a great year in 2004 for a miserable team.

    Go look at what the Yankees did in the 80’s if you think that Steinbrenner’s money is the end-all, be-all of why the Yankees win.

    Anyway, Cashman can come over any time, just like Beane.

  3. Shoeless Jose on July 14th, 2005 2:24 pm

    …so you can see precisely why Cashman would appeal to the M’s ownership. He’s shown he can toe the line (you know that Visa commercial where Steinbrenner signs the check? Cashman is in that commercial too: he’s the pen). And the M’s can say they’re shaking things up after a disappointing season, stealing “brains” from the evil, hated Yankees. It would get a lot of play in the fanbase and the local media, who would neither ask why Cashman was available in the first place nor notice that he doesn’t arrive in a package with his most winning asset (that same checkbook).

  4. Steve Thornton on July 14th, 2005 2:40 pm

    This is off-topic, but there’s no good thread for it now. BP has a chart of the total injury days lost by team, and guess who’s number one? Mariners. We’re middle-of-the-pack for salary dollars lost, because our wounded are more like Bobby Madritsch than Barry Bonds. But still. Not all of the Mariners’ problems are caused by stupidity.

  5. eponymous coward on July 14th, 2005 2:48 pm

    Of course, a good chunk of those days are Dan Wilson and Scott Spiezio, but the point’s well taken.

  6. DMZ on July 14th, 2005 2:54 pm

    This is off-topic, but there’s no good thread for it now.

    That’s not a good defense.

    What you should have done is said “Another thing about the A’s is they’re way healthier than the M’s… blah blah blah BP blah blah…”

  7. roger tang on July 14th, 2005 2:56 pm

    re 53


  8. Steve Thornton on July 14th, 2005 3:06 pm

    56 – I’m sorry, sir. It’ll never happen again, I swear it, lying out my ass.

    Another thing about the A’s is, their bloggers know how to keep it on target. Mariners bloggers are a scattershot bunch, scarcely able to concentrate on one thing for as long as it takes to, er, what was I typing about?

  9. David J Corcoran on July 14th, 2005 3:08 pm

    58: I think you were talking about freeways in Rhode Island.

  10. The Other Tom on July 14th, 2005 3:11 pm

    Honestly, though, it’s frustrating as a fan to see that the only position player on the current roster who was developed and retained by your team is William Fn Bloomquist.

    I’m intentionally not counting Doyle so as not to alert the injury gods.

  11. DMZ on July 14th, 2005 3:15 pm

    Jose Lopez doesn’t count?

  12. The Other Tom on July 14th, 2005 3:16 pm

    DMZ – you’re right of course. I was mostly thinking of the guys who’ve been with the club for most of the season.

  13. capthoohoo on July 14th, 2005 3:17 pm

    Another thing about the A’s, they have articles written about them in the local papers. I read your article in the local paper about Gillick today, and was wondering if you think Gillick had left the cupboard bare here in Seattle in pursuit of championships. You stopped short of saying that he HAD done this in the article, but you raised it as a possibility. A perusal of didn’t turn up what appeared to be a mass exodus of hot prospects for verterans during Gillicks years, but I’m curious what you and the others here think.

  14. dw on July 14th, 2005 3:23 pm

    Another thing about the A’s, they have articles written about them in the local papers.

    You know, I’m finally happy someone is addressing this problem with Mariners. I’m tired of having to subscribe to the Tulsa World just to get daily articles about the M’s, and I’m especially tired that the in-depth columns can only be found in the Aftenposten — and I had to learn Norwegian to read of those!

    Damnit, it’s about time the Seattle Times and P-I assigned writers to cover the M’s. Heck, I’d settle for the Everett Herald or News-Tribune just having some writer produce a column about the team at least once a week. Is that too much to ask for in a newspaper?

  15. The Other Tom on July 14th, 2005 3:37 pm

    Derek, I like your writing, but today’s “off the wall” piece sure could have used some editing: “Since thenx well,…” – M’s record in 1999 was 79 and 83, not 79 and 93 and “Gillick, in contenting today”. Was your editor asleep or something or do they have you do your own editing?

  16. DMZ on July 14th, 2005 3:39 pm

    The Gillick Era here didn’t have so much of a talent drain in the form of trades for players to help the team as they had consistent horrible drafts. Even as we acknowledge the importance of international scouting and recruiting, the draft is where teams get the bulk of their farm system and hopefully, their major league-ready talent. The M’s got none of that from the draft during the Gillick years.

  17. dw on July 14th, 2005 3:51 pm

    You also have Toronto as 81-71 in 1991; they were 91-71 that year.

  18. David J Corcoran on July 14th, 2005 4:31 pm

    Unlike the A’s and Mariners, Bret Boone is hitting third tonight, presumeably as a way to show confidence in him, which is something I doubt Ken Macha would do.

  19. jc on July 14th, 2005 4:44 pm

    If we need a fresh young mind at gm lets try dan jennings are josh burns are even former mariners scout charlie kerfeld hell theres 3 good young minds and all 3 of them have there own way of thinking outside the box.

  20. Craigster on July 14th, 2005 4:46 pm

    I haven’t heard or seen who the PTBNL is from the Boone deal. Anyone out there know?

  21. roger tang on July 14th, 2005 4:56 pm

    PTBNL will be named…later.

    Pretty sure it’s contingent on Boone’s performance….

  22. my brother's keeper on July 14th, 2005 5:15 pm

    Could it be as good as their #1 2005 draft pick?

  23. jc on July 14th, 2005 5:26 pm

    Why are the athletics wacky?There shrud GM deals with his teams best interest not how the fans love a player past there value caugh caugh moyer,wilson cough cough!!!Nice guys allways finish behind and thats were the mariners have allways finished.

  24. my brother's keeper on July 14th, 2005 5:33 pm

    I think Boone may do better in MN for this odd reason. He has been under a lot of pressure the last season and a half as he has tried to figure out what has gone wrong. Last year, he thought getting his vision correct would help. This season, he has mentioned that his batting problems were due to poor technique.

    It must be hard for players who suddenly face their inevitable declines.

    Seeing him sobbing the other day, I think it may have taken the pressure off.

    He might relax with the knowledge that he doesn’t have to meet the Seattle expectations and knowing there is someone else who believes in him (Ryan).

    I hope he leads MN to the Wild Card and prevents Bos or NY from getting into the playoffs.

  25. David J Corcoran on July 14th, 2005 6:23 pm

    If someone out there can translate post 73 into standard English for me, I’d be much obliged.

  26. Pete Livengood on July 14th, 2005 6:27 pm

    Dave (#16, #21) wrote:

    The A’s took Omar Quintanilla 33rd overall in 2003. He went 3 spots ahead of Adam Jones. Now they are trading him for a guy who has been terrible at the major league level . . . and who makes several million dollars. Somehow, I don’t think Michael Lewis is going to be writing about this. . . . I’m just pointing out that the vaunted A’s draft philosophy that the sabermetric community jumped on with both feet has been a pretty big disappointment in Oakland.

    And dw (#24) responded:

    Why is this such a huge disappointment[?] It seems like the A’s are acquiring the same number of decent prospects that an average team picks up, and they appear to be getting the same number of stinkers.

    I’m with dw on this one, Dave. The main thrust of Moneyball was not that the A’s had discoverd some superior method of drafting prospects, but rather that the traditional scouting/tools method was such a crapshoot that there was little risk in trying something different. Even if they had failed utterly (and as I said, I agree with dw that they haven’t failed any more than most clubs who haven’t tried anything “new”), that willingness to buck tradition is admirable in a baseball culture that is exceedingly resistant to change. You could even argue that this trade is an example of how the philosophy works, despite its failings. By drafting players who are closer to MLB-readiness (in general), and being willing to dump them early enough that other FO’s haven’t quite figured out they aren’t going to be very good major leaguers (if even that), they are maximizing major-league return out of their draft.

    I’ve never understood the offense the scouting community as a whole seems to have taken at this main point (even if I do understand why they reacted to the smug way the A’s FO was portrayed as responding to traditional scouting methods).

    Lewis himself responded to somebody making a point similar to yours in a recent BP chat:

    Joel (Washington, DC): I HAVE read the book and congratulate you on being provocative and adding a term to the baseball lexicon. At the same time, parts of it look pretty silly with the benefit of hindsight, especially the part on the A’s 2002 draft. What is your own assessment now of your analysis?

    Michael Lewis: Oh, you’re so right, I am so silly, and you, with your hindsight, are the wise one! Seriously, did you grasp the main point of the draft chapters: that the odds of success in the draft done the old fashioned way were so poor that there was little risk in going about it a different way? That the A’s were not certain they had found a better way of doing it–that they only hoped that they had? That the whole thing they viewed as an experiment? And, anyway, how are you so sure their experiment was a failure? (It looks pretty good to me, especially given how quixotic their methods were.) Three of the players are big league regulars already, and it’s still very early. And you can’t really evaluate it out of context. The question is: were they any better than other teams in finding the talent IN THAT YEAR. I don’t know the answer–it isn’t yet knowable-but they certainly didn’t do badly.

  27. wabbles on July 14th, 2005 6:46 pm

    (Yet another arcane history lead-in here.) The Allied paratrooper drop at D-Day was so disorganized, the Nazis assumed there was some kind of evil genius planning behind it. I’m inclined to view these A’s deals the same way. If I’m an Oakland fan, I just gotta trust that Beane has just such an evil genius plan and knows what he is doing, based upon him having done this kind of thing before.

  28. Trenchtown on July 14th, 2005 8:13 pm

    It’s kind of off the subject but Mark Teahen was part of the 2002 draft by the A’s and he is in the majors with Kansas City as part of the Dotel trade

  29. The Ancient Mariner on July 15th, 2005 2:54 pm

    Re #75–no you wouldn’t, Corco.

    Re #72–theoretically, yes, but practically, no, as Terry Ryan isn’t stupid. (And with specific regard to the Twins’ #1 pick in ’05, no, because you can’t trade draftees until a year after they sign their contract.)