What’s worse than a bully?
A bully who’s tough and loud and out-front when he’s on top, but starts whining and complaining when his victims rebel and retaliate?
The bully—beaten, impotent and powerless—cries and complains that the system has been tilted to render him inert.
What happened to the character “Billy Beane” from the book (and upcoming movie) Moneyball? Why is he suddenly lamenting the days of years ago when he was considered a “genius”? Shouldn’t a true genius be able to adapt to changing times and maintain that veneer of brilliance regardless of obstacles in his path?
A psychiatrist could have a field day with Beane as he endures the embarrassment of a terrible team in advance of a movie from a book that made him into a character that didn’t and couldn’t exist.
More than any legitimate sequence of events apart from having taken advantage of an opportunity, Beane is left with this. This being the Sports Illustrated story by Tom Verducci (he of the Verducci Rules in which he dictated to big league organizations how they should use their pitchers—thanks) finding more excuses as to why Beane has become a case study in pompous arrogance and self-importance getting its just reward and comeuppance for perceived infallibility based on a crafted narrative.
Did Beane really believe the press clippings? Did absolute power corrupt absolutely? Or did the same things that caused him to fail as a player—despite all the hype surrounding his prodigious talent—cause his downfall as an executive?
He couldn’t deal with failure as a player; he apparently can’t deal with failure as an executive.
And he has failed.
You can pick apart the bottle-capping, self-image preserving snippets from the Verducci article:
“Is it a more challenging environment? Absolutely,” Beane said. “Ten years ago teams didn’t value young players, other than as chips or assets to get the players they needed.”
This year Beane found too many phone calls that came his way that sounded like this: “I have interest in one of your players and this is what I’m going to give you for him.”
“That’s not deal-making,” Beane said.
“We had seven years. Tampa Bay — and they are very, very smart — has made it to the playoffs two out of the past three years, and may not make it this year, and then what? To have any kind of window will take building a team organically, having to have something like 80 percent of your roster [homegrown]. That is extremely hard.
I can go through these statements and tear them apart easily. If you look at the foundation of the Yankees and Braves teams from the 1990s, the majority was homegrown and buttressed by smart trades and free agent signings.
The deal-making process may have changed, but Beane’s complaints appear to stem from things not going his way rather than the way they’re done now.
And the Rays are contending and stockpiling draft picks. With their intelligence and ability to make the most out of what they have, they’ll remain competitive even without a new ballpark with the corresponding revenue.
Beane kept the A’s contenders briefly, but could not maintain because he was exposed for what he is and isn’t. Oh, and the A’s need a new ballpark. That’ll fix all the issues of Beane’s gaffes in drafting, trading and free agent signings. That’s it.
Are you still buying this?
Here’s the objective truth: he is an opportunist whose time is coming to an end.
He’s not a genius no matter who tries to continue promulgating that lie because it serves as a foundation for what they believe and want you to believe.
During the spellbound afterglow of the revolution reaching its apex, it was conveniently forgotten that those who join in on any kind of a movement at the last second will leap from the hurtling train when it goes off the rails; all that’s left are the sycophants and true believers whose self-interests dovetail with the protagonist and the mythmaker.
Beane’s running low on allies; after the movie and this disastrous season (the witches tell me to expect 75-87), he’ll be increasingly isolated.
The false king is sobbing and indulging in self-pity.
I have no pity and I’m sure a great many people in baseball who either lost their jobs or were steamrolled by the Moneyball bandwagon feel the same as I do.
He asked for it and he got it.
The good and the bad.
Don’t cry about it now.