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  1. You know, the Moneyball philosophy was NOT strictly finding player who took a lot of walks, but rather finding market inefficiencies. At that time, time market undervalued walks, so that’s what Beane went after. It pains me to see people in a baseball forum continue to get this wrong….

    Comment by Brandon — June 30, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

  2. To be fair, he did say OBP isn’t really a market inefficiency anymore.

    Comment by Ballens — June 30, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

  3. Yes, that’s exactly the point I’m making.

    Comment by Jack Moore — June 30, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

  4. A’s also have no shortage of 2b types with sizemore, rosales, cardenas, sogard.

    Comment by camelot — June 30, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

  5. Anyone ever notice how all of those teams Billy Beane assembles by exploiting market inefficiencies can’t hit their way out of a paper bag.

    Question: How do you lose with pitching like the A’s have?

    Answer: With hitting like the A’s have.

    Those teams really are painful to watch.

    Comment by Jason — June 30, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

  6. yeah, it’s been tough to watch these impotent A’s lineups last few years. even hitters who were good elsewhere lose there effectiveness! Willingham and DeJesus, in particular, have really disappointed this year

    Comment by brendan — June 30, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

  7. Legend of Billy Beane = How much easier it is to get to playoffs in a 4-team division.

    Comment by Blue — June 30, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

  8. It helps if one of the teams is the M’s.

    Comment by bookbook — June 30, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

  9. As an A’s fan, and despite his recent ineffectiveness, I am sad to see Ellis gone. One of my favorite moments at an A’s game was his walk-off grandslam off the left field foul pole. I wish him the best in Colorado and hope Weeks can keep up what he’s done thus far in his MLB career!

    Comment by TheGrandslamwich — June 30, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

  10. Did you miss this portion, which explicitly makes the point that “pains you” to see someone miss?

    “Jemile Weeks only embodies the Moneyball philosophy with his high walk rates, a quality that hardly qualifies as a market inefficiency anymore. Players like Weeks who put the ball in play, run well and play an up-the-middle position are hot commodities everywhere.”

    Comment by AK — June 30, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

  11. Well, pain can sometimes interfere with reading comprehension.

    Comment by joser — June 30, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

  12. The teams of the early 2000’s couldn’t hit?

    Comment by KingCollosus — June 30, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

  13. Question: how do you build a good offense in an extreme pitching park with a $40 million payroll and a market in which good offensive players are far from undervalued?

    Answer: …

    Comment by williams .482 — June 30, 2011 @ 9:31 pm

  14. Re: Title

    I don’t think at this point you can say that because they dealt Ellis they are committing to Weeks. Ellis did have a 0 WAR at the moment, they really didn’t need an excuse to deal him.

    Comment by Colin — June 30, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

  15. All the factors that the Beane haters will always overlook.

    Comment by Bryz — June 30, 2011 @ 10:29 pm

  16. It really makes me mad to see the “A” give Ellis the boot. It was said buy one of the announcers that “how do you replace a gold glove 2nd baseman with a rookie” This I really agree with. I watch as many games as CSNCAILF. televises Channel 698 on Diretv. I just might change from routing for the A’s

    Comment by Yumabob — June 30, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

  17. It will interesting to se how Ellis responds in Colorado. If he can hit well enough to stay on the field their pitching should improve.

    Comment by Edwincnelson — June 30, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

  18. what?……

    Comment by Streams of Whiskey — June 30, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

  19. His current contract, however, was no insignificant part of the Athletics’ recent failures. This year, he has provided nothing in a weak AL West, and although he was productive in 2010, he was also weak in the initial year, 2009. Overall, with the Rockies taking on $1 million of his deal in the trade, the A’s ended up paying Ellis $15.5 million for 4.6 WAR. A respectable $3.4 million per win total for most franchises, but for the A’s, extending Mark Ellis was supposed to be a significant money-saving move, not a marginal victory for the pocketbook.


    So the A’s getting $4.5M in surplus value over three years of a free agent contract (plus whatever unlikely returns they get from Billings and the PTBNL), is a significant cause of their recent failures?

    Comment by Sam — June 30, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

  20. Safe to say this Bruce Billings character is most likely going to end up being a stud pitcher. Considering Beane always makes out better in these deals.

    Comment by fakdaddy — July 1, 2011 @ 12:16 am

  21. Actually, the A’s started the year with their 8 highest paid hitters owed $40 million. Those guys have produced a total of 3 WAR thus far. And that 3 WAR has come from Crisp/Suzuki/Jackson, while Ellis, Willingham, DeJesus, Matsui, and Kouz have combined to be replacement level.

    This is fairly typical of the A’s over the past 5 years. They put out enough pre-arb talent on the field that they should be able to compete, even with their modest payroll, but they end up barely getting anything out of the mid-tier guys (and Chavez) they splurge on.

    Comment by Sam — July 1, 2011 @ 12:24 am

  22. Except in this case it seems the problems with reading comprehension led to the pain, so unless pain also leads to temporal anomalies I think we need a new theory.

    Comment by quincy0191 — July 1, 2011 @ 12:54 am

  23. I’m sad that a CSN announcer made such a gaffe on air. Also sad that you agreed with that.

    Comment by Raider Josh — July 1, 2011 @ 1:05 am

  24. Unlikely. The deal was mostly about finding a place that Ellis could play everyday. I wouldn’t be surprised if the PTBNL is a diamond-in-the-rough-type prospect though.

    Comment by Dustin — July 1, 2011 @ 1:09 am

  25. Methinks Brandon didn’t read the article.

    Comment by Jon — July 1, 2011 @ 3:00 am

  26. It is hard to read from way up on a high horse. The pain probably came from falling off of it.

    Comment by Dan — July 1, 2011 @ 4:15 am

  27. Good riddance.

    To you, not Ellis.

    Comment by Dan — July 1, 2011 @ 4:18 am

  28. Hey, we’re not selling jeans here!

    Comment by shthar — July 1, 2011 @ 4:50 am

  29. Would you rather have the royals?

    Comment by shthar — July 1, 2011 @ 4:51 am

  30. How do you post on a forum without knowing the English language??

    Comment by tenags — July 1, 2011 @ 9:10 am

  31. Not very well. Its why they could be beat despite their superior pitching.

    Comment by Jason — July 1, 2011 @ 10:09 am

  32. Their payroll is actually about $60M. There are nine teams with lower payrolls. At least 8 of them (and probably all of them) hit better than the A’s. ….so it can be done.

    Comment by Jason — July 1, 2011 @ 10:16 am

  33. Considering his fairly impressive minor league career, why is Weeks’s ZiPS (R) so crappy? I’m trying to figure out if he’s worth keeping as my fantasy 2B – that position has been a black hole for me most of the year (I drafted Beckham), but I picked Weeks up two weeks ago and he’s been a real help. I just don’t know whether I should stick with him or maybe go with Chris Getz. Thoughts?

    Comment by Menthol — July 1, 2011 @ 11:10 am

  34. @Jason

    2000 3rd in wRC+
    2001 4th in wRC+
    2002 5th in wRC+

    Comment by Danmay — July 1, 2011 @ 11:31 am

  35. If the A’s start getting lost on the way to the ballpark, we will know who to blame

    Comment by Mr. wOBAto — July 1, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

  36. fakdaddy = Charles Thomas

    Comment by Luke M — July 1, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

  37. It seems like we’re assuming Weeks is legit on a very small sample…

    Comment by Eminor3rd — July 1, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

  38. Not insignificant != significant

    Comment by Matt — July 1, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

  39. I don’t think Billy would have made a deal like this without a solid backup option if Weeks doesn’t work out (Cardenas). But I’m still wondering what the long term plan is for Adrian because I do not see him as a major league OF or 3B. Probably try to trade him for a washed up Youk.

    Comment by tmacdaddy — July 1, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

  40. Uh, yeah it does.

    1) Something is either significant or not significant.
    2) Insignificant means not significant.
    3) If it’s not insignificant, it is consequently significant.

    Comment by Sam — July 1, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

  41. @Williams

    The answer to that question is steroids.

    It’s amazing how much of the “Moneyball” success comes from having a great defensive shortstop turning into a power hitting MVP and Giambi raking with a high OBP.

    Imagine if the current A’s got 30+ HR from their present SS and 1B. That wouldn’t be “Moneyball” working it’s magic.

    This is the same field the “Bash Brothers” played on, right?

    Comment by CircleChange11 — July 1, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

  42. Yeah, because the A’s were the only team using steroids (which have obviously disappeared from the game due to the rigorous testing program).

    And steroids magically turn Penningtons and Bartons into Tejadas and Giambis.

    Comment by Sam — July 1, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  43. Yeah, I was saying the A’s were the only team that used steroids. Clearly that was my point.

    The Moneyball A’s were good because they had good young starters, didn’t overpay for bullpen, didn’t take on huge salaries, made good trades with players nearing the end of their contracts, and played in the AL West.

    The point I WAS making was that OAK’s difference in offense was that they got huge production from a light hitting great defensive shortstop turned MVP and an on base machine with great power, both under team control that left as FA or trades.

    They also got good value by letting go of two lefties that did not pitch as well after leaving the pitcher friendly park and/or were on the downswing.

    I’m not necessarily seeing where they outsmarted everyone, but it’s been a while since I’ve read Moneyball.

    Not overpaying with long megacontracts for stars was not something they had as an option, and that’s one thing that other clubs do/did that gets/got them into trouble.

    Before Moneyball and the salary explosion, the A’s were pretty good with 3 consecutive ROY’s and career reclamations by Duncan (Stewart, Eck, etc).

    The A’s are currently built on good value in return for trading stars with contracts that won’t be renewed by OAK. They’ve went with pitching and defense because power costs big money, which they don’t have. Not necessarily because they are outsmarting other teams. I liked the chances they took on Sheets and Holliday, but those moved didn’t prove as fruitful as other trades (such as Mulder for Haren, etc).

    Had the A’s had more money they might have been the ones to give Zito and Mulder long-term extensions. In cases like those it’s hard to tell the difference between being poor and being thrifty.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — July 2, 2011 @ 1:39 am

  44. because hitting in oakland blows

    Comment by jim — July 2, 2011 @ 2:04 am

  45. you’re not the REAL circlechange11, are you? he’s normally posting much smarter things than this.

    Comment by jim — July 2, 2011 @ 2:05 am

  46. That’s not fair…Spelling, grammar basic knowledge of the language or IQ above room temperature are not nor ever have been a prerequisite for posting on any forum on the internet.

    Comment by wahooo — July 2, 2011 @ 7:45 am

  47. case in point…I can’t even get my commas right.

    Comment by wahooo — July 2, 2011 @ 7:46 am

  48. No, it’s me. I must be missing something.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — July 2, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

  49. Oh sure, because anybody who doesn’t agree with you is dumb, right?

    Comment by Oasis — July 4, 2011 @ 2:13 am

  50. That is wrong on so many levels. A) The Redsox would never do that B) Yeah, that’s exactly what the A’s wanna do pick up more salary. They totally have the ability to take guys on the decline with big contracts.

    Comment by Moe — July 4, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

  51. So the moral of the story is that there was a market inefficiency with steroids and the A’s cornered it?

    Comment by bballer319 — July 7, 2011 @ 11:26 am

  52. I think this little section of comments may be right. Hudson, Mulder, and Zito were pretty awesome. I wonder if Beane had been the GM of the Brewers during the same period if he’d be as famous. The 4 team division does help a lot. If you luck out and 2 of the teams suck. Let’s say you take 2 teams out of the NL Central and leave the Pirates, Cubs, Astros, and Reds. That COULD be the quality of this years AL West.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — July 8, 2011 @ 1:39 am

  53. I would love the Royals offense and pen along with Oakland’s SP.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — July 8, 2011 @ 1:40 am

  54. A roillng stone is worth two in the bush, thanks to this article.

    Comment by Kevrell — July 9, 2011 @ 1:44 am

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    Comment by deal or no deal blog — September 27, 2011 @ 7:12 pm

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