Where's your Best Selling Philosophy NOW, PUNK?!?!?!?

I admit, I've got a chip on my shoulder when it comes to the A's. Being a baseball fan in the early part of this millennium you couldn't stop hearing about the baseball genius of the Bay Area, and how he was taking a plucky bunch of unwanted players and turning them into a winning force! There were almost monthly magazine profiles, there was a best selling book, there was a cult following around the executives (?!) who built the team, and then there was that team itself, the only team that plays in gold and green, bringing long hair and surprising swagger to the role of scruffy underdog .

Only problem was, I (like most of the people who read this blog) was a fan of that other scruffy underdog filled with a plucky bunch of unwanted players who turned themselves into a winning force. Only we did it with out the magazine profiles, best sellers, cult followers and long hair. We did it with old fashioned, boring, fundamental baseball. Catch the ball, take the extra base when you can, scratch out any hit available to you and don't swing for the fences, pick up your teammates.

So it was with a pang of jealousy that I watched the A's get the credit while the Twins toiled in anonymity. I know that the "Moneyball" concept was more about making an intelligent investment in underutilized resources than any one man; but I felt like "mastermind" GM Billy Beane developed a bit of an ego around all this adulation, as though he personally had somehow made baseball a better game and deserved all the credit for crunching the stats, turning a beautifully complex game into an inevitable end of a mathematical equation.* (And never mind the fact that it was up to the players {several of whom have been linked to steroids} who were doing the actual work, and winning the actual games.)

Yet here we are, a decade later, and while the Twins are poised to make their 6th post season trip in 10 years the A's have slowly slipped into irrelevance, buried alive under lofty expectations and an inability to keep up with shifts in the market. But hey, Brad Pitt's going to play Billy Beane in a movie...so I guess that's as good as being competitive, right?

I know I shouldn't gloat, I should hope that more talented players bring a storied franchise back into relevance and offer some entertainment to those loyal few who keep turning up in Oakland (especially for the upcoming series with Chicago...the A's definitely deserve to win that series), but if from time to time my jealousy and stubbornness gets in the way, I hope you A's fans/players/executives forgive me...I'm clearly not as smart as Billy Beane, so what do I know?

Oh yeah, I know that we won yesterday.

The Rube

P.s. I'm also not as smart as my father, who, on labor day made the following prediction: "The sox have run out of magic and will go 2-9 over their next 11 games." I laughed, surely a team who had just finished winning 7 straight wouldn't do that poorly against the Tigers, the Royals and us?...Tigers record over their last 11 games: 2-9. Maybe Brad Pitt should play my dad in a movie? Or at least, Clooney...yeah...Clooney's got the right salt and pepper hair thing.

P.p.s.*If I'm wrong and Beane is a genuine sweetheart of a guy, I'm sorry. It just doesn't come across in the press.

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