I finally got around to reading the Richard Griffin article
that Junior assailed yesterday (see below, 18 Oct.). Here are a few more pieces of evidence Griffin gives that Billy Beane, and not Ken Macha, is at fault for the A's woes:How could anyone blame Macha for losing to the Tigers? After second baseman Mark Ellis was injured, Beane gave Macha the combo of D'Angelo Jimenez and Mark Kiger. Jimenez may have been the worst starting second baseman in a playoff game this decade, while Kiger was making his MLB debut.
I could be wrong, but wasn't Ellis injured during the playoffs?
Apparently, Beane was supposed to fly Robby Cano to Oakland, give him a fake moustache, and have him pretend to be Cobinson Rano: Oakland A's Second Baseman Who Is Totally On the Playoff Roster!
Ellis was also on the DL in early June, but I really believe that Griffin is blaming Beane for the A's not having an awesome backup 2nd baseman instantaneously in October. Now, that's not Macha's fault either. In fact, it's nobody's fault, really -- it's just bad luck. But as Junior's post below shows, there seem to be other things that are, in fact, Macha's fault. Like the fact that everyone on his team hated his guts.During the regular season, when the A's were in Toronto, catcher Jason Kendall was suspended, so Beane elevated one of his Moneyball legends, overhyped draft choice, roly-poly catcher Jeremy Brown. Macha laughed in the face of a question about how much playing time Brown would get. "None."
Listen to me carefully, Richard Griffin. I have several points to make.
1. The fact that a catcher got suspended means that the GM, in this case Billy Beane, would be doing a huge disservice to his team by not putting another catcher on the team ASAP. So. They had a catcher in the minors, who is on the 40-man roster, who has decent AAA stats (.764 OPS, 13HR in 77 games -- not great, but workable), so he promoted him. What is the problem here?
2. Ken Macha laughing and being snarky about how much playing time a new guy is going to get is a dickish thing to do, and is exactly the kind of thing that got him fired.
3. Jason Kendall was out for four games. Four. So the worst thing that could have happened was that Jeremy Brown would be there for four games. In May.
4. In the last two full seasons, Jason Kendall, who makes $11 million a year, has OPSes of .709 and .666. In the minute sample size of MLB-level experience this year, Jeremy Brown was 3-10 with 2 2Bs. Career, 4-12. That shit ain't bad. Maybe Macha should have played him more. Or maybe he shouldn't've. But he definitely
shouldn't have laughed at the question of how much the guy was going to play. What good does that do?Macha's fault? During the ALCS against the Tigers, Nick Swisher lived up to his name, with five strikeouts in 10 at-bats, while ...another of Beane's prized drafts, Joe Blanton, was relegated to long relief.
In 2005 Joe Blanton made about $327,000 and won 12 games with an ERA of 3.53, giving up 178 hits in 201.1 IP. His OPS-against was .693. In 2006 he regressed terribly, his WHIP soaring to 1.54 (possibly due to some bad luck -- his K/BB stayed roughly the same and he actually gave up fewer HR). But tell me how Billy Beane is at fault for this. Is he the pitching coach too?
And as for Nick Swisher...I guess his .254/.372/.493/.865, 35 HR and 97 BB go right the fuck out the window in the face of three not so good games against the league's best pitching staff. Curse you, Billy Beane!!!!!!
Labels: moneyball, richard griffin