As I sit here watching ‘Moneyball’, I was thinking about the past decade of Oakland Athletics’ baseball.
Since assuming the role of General Manager prior to the 1998 season, Beane has guided the Athletics to a 1,396-1,194 record (.539). This includes seven playoff appearances in 16 seasons – a fairly significant appearance percentage for a team that has to scrape the bottom of the barrel for a team each season.
Losing Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon and company after the 2001 season was what many considered to be a death blow for Beane’s regime. However, with a roster that is comparable to an island of misfit toys, Oakland won 103 games the next season.
This year was no different. Behind ace Bartolo Colon (now there’s a phrase that hasn’t been relevant for the better part of a decade), Oakland won the American League West for the second straight year, going 96-66 before falling for the second consecutive year in the ALDS to the Detroit Tigers.
Billy Beane is a man who understands the new-school approach to the game of baseball. What separates him from others who have embraced the new school style of thinking is the fact that he appreciates the older style of thinking, as well.
Beane is a genius, despite the controversy he has created in his career with his alternative approach to the game. He, and the Oakland A’s, are a model for small market teams across the country.
Take note, folks. This is how it’s done.