Yoenis Cespedes To Play Center Field; Coco Crisp To Play Left

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Athletics’ manager Bob Melvin announced his intention of playing Cuban defector and inexplicable Athletics’ free agent signing Yoenis Cespedes in center field and Coco Crisp in left.

In a baseball discussion, I defy you to justify this decision.

Crisp was signed because he’s a top-notch defensive center fielder. We don’t know if Cespedes can play center in the big leagues and it’s absurd to think he can be even 75% of what Crisp is defensively.

But this is what they’re doing.

Why?

Because they have nothing else to bank their 2012 season on apart from the development and hope that Cespedes can draw interest and fans to a team that promises to be an absolute eyesore on the field.

They didn’t draw well when they were winning 100 games a year at the apex of Billy Beane’s mythical “genius” in the heady days of Moneyball before the rest of baseball caught on to what he was doing and began paying big money for players who got on base and hit the ball out of the park, doing little else.

So where’s the “genius”?

It’s gone.

Genius is not fleeting and judged on the results in and of themselves.

Genius is innovation. Genius is creativity. Genius is having a plan, following through on it and finding a way to make it work.

Is Beane doing any of that with this current Athletics’ configuration? With a series of desperate trades to deal away young, cost-controlled arms for packages of prospects in the “someday” hope that they’ll develop and be playing in a brand new ballpark in San Jose and the A’s will have the cash influx to compete with the big boys of baseball? That at some point during the contract extension that Beane signed to keep him with the A’s through 2019 that they’ll once again be good and his brilliance will again be validated by the subjectivity of the won/lost column?

He’s banking on Bud Selig and MLB finding a way to get the new A’s ballpark approved with the Giants letting the A’s infringe on their territorial rights; they want to sell the idea of the young players they acquired being part of the A’s renaissance in…I don’t know when! Is it 2015? 2016? 2017?

They re-signed Crisp even though he’s not going to do them much good on the field. They’d lose 95 games with him; they’ll lose 95 games without him. He’s still an Athletics’ player because of his speed and defense in center field. Now he’s not going to play center field. He’s going to play left.

No one knows what Cespedes is going to be and he’s the epitome of the type of player that Moneyball specifically said Beane wanted his scouts to avoid: he looks good with no verifiable results.

Maybe they can use his shredded physique in the tradition of Bo Jackson to sell jeans.

There’s no blueprint and Beane isn’t “smarter than the average bear”.

Don’t claim that this is a baseball move.

Don’t say it’s necessary.

Don’t imply some vague, unseen notion of a plan that’s known only to the evil genius Billy Beane.

And do not reference Moneyball as if the book and movie “prove” Beane’s aptitude in running a major league baseball team as if one thing feeds into the other without reality backing up the assertion.

He’s a baseball GM whose reputation became something that no one could live up to based on creative non-fiction and the sale of a story that doesn’t exist. He’s flinging things at the wall in a similar fashion to the reviled “non-analytical” GMs who were the bane of the existence of those who were promulgating the concept of a so-called revolution that would turn every baseball front office into something resembling a Star Trek convention and take over the world rendering the old-schoolers obsolete.

He’s in a war of attrition and running a dying franchise with nowhere to go and nothing to do to turn things around, so he’s reduced to gimmicks.

And he’s losing.

Badly.

Cespedes to center field is more evidence of idiocy and/or desperation.

Don’t dare say it’s anything else.

//

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8 thoughts on “Yoenis Cespedes To Play Center Field; Coco Crisp To Play Left

  1. “Athletics’ manager Bob Melvin announced his intention of playing Cuban defector and inexplicable Athletics’ free agent signing Yoenis Cespedes in center field and Coco Crisp in left.

    In a baseball discussion, I defy you to justify this decision.”

    Bob Melvin is the A’s manager who has seen YoeCes practice, train, play games as well as watched his teammates train, practice and play games. He made the decision to play him in CF.

    You have NOT seen him train, practice or play games.

    So who do you think knows better? A man who is employed to coach professional baseball players or an angry blogger with a major Billy Beane chip on his shoulder?

    Until we see your name on the A’s coaching staff, I think I can dare to say you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    1. You’re constantly looking for ways to discredit me for reasons that are your own and trying to craft ways to goad me into fights. I have no intention of taking your poorly disguised and telegraphed bait.
      I’ve told you before that if you don’t like what I say, don’t read it.
      Or read it.
      I don’t care either way.

      1. Yeah there’s a real conspiracy out there: I’m out to discredit you and Billy Beane is a “evil genius”…or perhaps your invitation to “defy you in a baseball discussion” was a poor veil for you to take another bitter swipe at Beane, whose very existance, for some reason, seems to be just enoegh for you to accuse Bob Melvin of being unprofessional.

        Apparently there will be no baseball discussion, which is a pity really because I really would have liked to hear you evaluate how you would fill out the lineup card and how the A’s are making a mistake in how they go about fielding a team and players that YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN PLAYING THE GAME.

        Yeah its Beane..its Melvin… and its me….we’re all trying to discredit you…Why would we?

        You’re doing such a great job of it yourself.

      2. You’re living in a dream if you think you’re a blip on my radar screen to worry about engaging in a debate with you.
        To be brutally honest, you don’t know what you’re talking about.
        Following the deals in which the Athletics traded their closer and two cost-controlled starting pitchers for packages of prospects, they were beginning a stated rebuild. Then they decided to start acquiring mediocre players like Seth Smith (who’s not going to play now that they have Crisp in left and Cespedes in center); desperation, “why not?” signings like Manny Ramirez; and by signing Bartolo Colon to be “competitive”. Crisp was signed to be their center fielder. They told him that. He shunned a similar offer from a legitimate contender with the Rays because the Rays couldn’t guarantee him his preferred position in center field and the A’s did. Now it was taken away for a player who is not in any way as good a defensive player as Crisp. No one knows what Cespedes is other than a player who looks good and is talented. He’s a drawing card and might not even be ready to play in the big leagues right now.
        Beane’s whole strategy with his managers is telling said manager what to do. Melvin might not be the figurehead that Bob Geren was, but he’s still going to take orders. Beane does not have a strategy. He’s tossing things as the wall in a haphazard fashion without any blueprint because this is what he’s reduced to doing.
        Putting yourself in a category with Beane and Melvin in terms of a debate with my philosophies is a clear indication of your overinflated view of your own knowledge when, in reality, you know absolutely nothing.
        Stop commenting here because you’re wasting my time. Follow through on your hollow threat and don’t read me anymore.

      3. Well I’ll ignore all your personal barbs for the time being and keep this a baseball discussion as you defied me to in the first place for now. Who cares what Coco Crisp thinks he signed for. If Coco goes to the Rays, is he gonna beat out Upton in CF? No he isn’t. Jennings has LF. He’s not that great a CFer because he never played 150 games in his career, no GGs ‘cuz he can’t qualify. He’s a china doll, and he’s getting old. That’s why he’s been handed around the league. So screw Coco Crisp and think about who is gonna be the CF of your future. OR simply look at the players you have and realize that a Cuban player playing well over the level he ever has probably doesn’t need a positional switch. OR look at who you have to fill the OF and realize that the LF when he turns up lame is probably easier to replace than the CF. Even Reddick probably could play the position (as he did in the minors)and both he and YeoCesp have better arms and about the same range.

        You say “No one knows what Cespedes is other than a player who looks good and is talented.” Well I think the A’s coaching staff have a better idea than you do, better than I do, better than anyone really. But you can’t accept that …why?

        Now we turn to the personal stuff. You say:

        1)” Putting yourself in a category with Beane and Melvin in terms of a debate with my philosophies is a clear indication of your overinflated view of your own knowledge when, in reality, you know absolutely nothing.”

        I didn’t put myself in their terms, you by claiming you knew better than they did without ever seeing Yeonis play. You accused the A’s coach of being unprofessional.

        2) “To be brutally honest, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

        I think I’ve proven I have by presenting facts where you constantly present a single faceted diatribe where you miss alot. You’re not a coach, scout, player, in fact I doubt you’ve ever seen the Oakland A’s play ever. You never back any argument other than recanting history from your bent angle.

        3)” Stop commenting here because you’re wasting my time. Follow through on your hollow threat and don’t read me anymore.”

        I don’t ever recall saying I wouldn’t read you anymore. In fact, I read EVERYTHING and comment where I feel. Speed reader…95% comprehension rate. Your blog is 3rd 4th tier (and slipping hard) and I only started looking in regularly once I found you to be such a self important jerk who misses so much about the game.

        4) ”You’re living in a dream if you think you’re a blip on my radar screen to worry about engaging in a debate with you.”

        That isn’t radar. It’s a Mets cap with an orange propeller on the top. You’re a total narcissist who writes a sandbox blog and cut and paste stat books with an opinion bent by his twisted bitter dislike of baseball personalities. YOUR OPINION IS NOT THE TRUTH. You miss WAY too much.

        All I’ve ever done is to challenge you to be a better baseball writer. All you’ve ever done is prove what I’ve said above to be true. Feel free to criticise my spelling or get off the couch in Staten Island and learn something about the game.

      4. 150 games is the qualification for the Gold Glove? And the Gold Glove is the deciding factor on how good a player is defensively?
        Jeez, you don’t know anything at all.
        And you did say you weren’t going to read me anymore, but that’s neither here nor there.
        Now more than ever, you really do need to buy my book and read it. Maybe then you’ll learn something. Maybe.

  2. To answer your questions: No and no. But that really isn’t the point is it?

    You are totally incapable of conducting yourself as an adult in a baseball discussion. Always resorting to looking down from the perch you created in your own mind with your ‘I can’t respond so I’ll just dismiss you’ attitude. Grow up. You can’t refute a thing I posted on the A’s so you run away in cowardice and spite.

    And once again on your book: I am not interested in your cut and paste collection. I can get the same from half a dozen web sites without being treated to your single faceted opinions, missed facts and personal attacks on baseball personalities. You have no credibility because you have no insight into the game.

    If you want to market your book more effectively …STOP posting excerpts. They only prove what a total waste of time and money your books are.

    1. You talk about me being arrogant, but you feel qualified to: A) question my knowledge when I’ve answered every answerable and decipherable question you’ve provided; B) preach to me about marketing when you can’t even spell and don’t make any sense in your comments; and C) ridicule my work as something that could be easily thrown together by anyone as a means to make me angry.
      You don’t know anything, so if such criticisms were coming from someone with credibility, I might listen; you’re just attacking for the sake of it. Why should I have anything to do with you based on that?
      Your arguments—such as the ridiculous one regarding Crisp—are so bottom line wrong that it’s quite clear you don’t know what you’re talking about in any context.
      Your story has become tiresome. I don’t need advice from you and for the tenth time, you clearly don’t like the things I write and think you can get the same information elsewhere, so go to those places and stop reading me.
      Stop commenting here because they will no longer be published.

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