Does Money Ball Work?

For years now, Oakland Athletics’ general manager Billy Beane has been hailed the king of GMs, but is he worthy of this title? The Athletics have a resolute philosophy of developing talent in their farm system and not wasting money on over-priced free agents. Beane brought this system to the A’s and it seemed to work, but as A’s fans look back over the last decade, how much success has this philosophy really brought them? Since Beane took over in 1997, Oakland has won a total of one playoff series. If the goal was to reach and win a World Series, then Beane has certainly come up short. That’s not to say Beane’s strategy did not pay dividends. From 2000-2004, the Athletics won at least 91 games every season and made the playoffs four out of those five years. They lost in the first round every one of those years, but nonetheless, they made the playoffs. They developed strong starting pitching from their farm system and they used every inning out of those young arms. Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito are three of the most notable pitchers to come through the A’s system and subsequently be traded away as their free agency approached. Beane knew he could not compete with teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, who have nearly unlimited funds. Thus he did the smart thing and traded his pitchers away right before they hit the open market. He wasn’t going to be able to sign them, but by trading them, at least he got something in return. Continue reading “Does Money Ball Work?”

Daily Sports Roundup 1/3/08

A big day in sports today so here we go:

Dolphins Bringing Back Williams: Based on a letter from the Dolphins, Ricky Williams’s agent said that Bill Parcells and Miami are going to renew Williams’s contract for the 2008 season. Williams has served multiple suspensions for failed drug tests and when he was finally allowed to play this year, he tore a pectoral muscle after only six carries. His rehab is supposedly going well though. It must be for the Dolphins to bring him back for another year. Ricky Williams is always a risk, because there is no way of knowing what he will do next. Yet, the Dolphins were 1-15 this season so even if Williams falls apart, they can’t get much worse

Roy Williams Replacing Taylor in Pro Bowl: The late Sean Taylor was elected to the Pro Bowl as a starter to honor his memory. Dallas Cowboys’ safety Roy Williams gets the honor of replacing Taylor in the Pro Bowl. It was a great move by the NFL to let Taylor be elected a starter and I’m sure they will remember him during the Pro Bowl. “I appreciate being the first alternate to go. We are going to do something special for Sean and his family. … It’s an honor to be going in his place” said Williams, who was the 12th Cowboy selected to the Pro Bowl, a league record. Though the Pro Bowl is never that entertaining of an event, it will be interesting to see how the NFL, Roy Williams, and the rest of each team handle Taylors’ absence.

Athletics Send Swisher to White Sox: The Oakland Athletics sent outfielder Nick Swisher to the Chicago White Sox for three minor leaguers. The A’s were hoping to compete next year in the AL West, but have completely changed routes. They sent ace pitcher Dan Haren to the Arizona Diamondbacks less than a month ago and now have dealt away their best hitter. They received 9 prospects for both of those players and have begun rebuilding again. If Oakland ever decides to put some money into their team, watch out. Billy Beane has already shown he is excellent at drafting prospects and building a farm system. Think of what he could do with some money. Continue reading “Daily Sports Roundup 1/3/08”

2007 MLB Mid-Season Report

With the Home Run Derby tonight and All Star Game tomorrow night, MLB has reached the middle of its season and it is time to look back at the first half of 2007.

First, the mid-season awards:

AL MVP: This was one of the toughest awards, because there a three candidates all having terrific years, but in the end, Magglio Ordonez deserves the award. The final three candidates for the award were Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees, Vladimir Guerrero of the Los Angeles Angels, and Magglio Ordonez of the Detroit Tigers. Continue reading “2007 MLB Mid-Season Report”