MLB Stories 9.2.2011

McCourt is either Goldfinger or Dr. Evil.

MLB is “skeptical” of the latest act in this long-running soap opera known as the Los Angeles Dodgers.

If Dodgers owner Frank McCourt hatched a scheme for Bill Burke to offer him $1.2 billion for the Dodgers and it’s all an elaborate ruse to convince MLB and the bankruptcy judge to let him keep control of the club, he’s either a brilliantly megalomaniacal James Bond villain-type character or a clumsy and inept Austin Powers villain-type character.

Even with the divorce, bankruptcy, continued wrestling matches with MLB over control of the club and other embarrassments, McCourt did manage to get his hands on the Dodgers in the first place with a highly leveraged deal and, like it or not, the team’s been mostly successful on the field under his ownership.

Don’t discount genius, madness, goofiness, desperation or all of the above.

The Cubs have yet to ask permission to speak to Billy Beane.

It’d be pretty funny if the Cubs ignored the made-for-public-consumption stories and looked at Beane’s track record on the field and said, “why would we want him?”

It’s going from one extreme to the other to have been referred to as a genius (while everyone else is an apparent idiot) to not being interviewed for a job that one would assume is a perfect landing spot for Beane, but what if the Cubs decide they’d prefer a GM with a little less baggage?

I’m not talking about the Moneyball albatross, I’m talking about how Beane has callously treated his managers; shifted blame to everyone other than himself; has had teams in both 2009 and 2011 that were expected to win and didn’t; and has used his fictional reputation as a shield to let him do whatever he wanted regardless of repeated failures.

If Moneyball didn’t exist, would Beane be such a hot commodity? Or would he be relegated to the netherworld of journeyman GMs with Bill Bavasi, Omar Minaya, Ed Wade and the man he’d be replacing, Jim Hendry?

He’s a smart guy with strengths and weaknesses as a baseball executive and might—might—be a good pick for the Cubs to take over.

The Cubs could just hire Brad Pitt as GM and Michael Lewis as his minister of propaganda. Many of the faux baseball experts who read Moneyball and think it’s 100% accurate wouldn’t know the difference.

Yankees fans need to calm down about Montero.

Jesus Montero‘s arrival has been kiddingly referred to as the second coming of Jesus.

Christ, I mean.

Have they not learned their lesson that it’s counterproductive and/or outright destructive to lavish this type of attention on a prospect? That placing expectations on a young player who’s walking into a clubhouse with future Hall of Famers like Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter can be a little intimidating? That if he’s treated as a superstar before he puts on the uniform, it could hinder his ability to relax and play the game?

Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy arrived with similar idol worship. None lived up to the hype in pinstripes.

Wouldn’t it be better to have a young player arrive without this lunacy as Robinson Cano did? When Cano got to the big leagues, no one knew who he was and those who didn’t know who he was took this to mean that he’d play a few games in the big leagues and be sent back down, never to be heard from again.

Mike Francesa and Chris Russo—those noted experts—did that exact thing.

That was in 2005.

Look at Cano now.

Calm down with the Jesus worship for his and your own good.

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