Oakland A's GM Billy Beane, Post-Moneyball, Visits Athletics Nation – Part I

October 7th, 2011

Athletics Nation
By by Tyler Bleszinski
Oct. 5, 2011

It’s been quite a month for Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane. He was the subject of a movie that’s come in second at the box office two weeks in a row (twice to children’s movies). There has been persistent rumors that Beane is the main candidate to take over the vacant Chicago Cubs GM position – and Jenkins also wrote that Beane could even consider an Angels move (speculation on his part which Beane isn’t big on).

That being said, Beane’s baseball team had another rough season. Despite many people believing the A’s had the potential to at LEAST be a .500 ballclub, they wound up in basically the same place they’ve been the last few seasons, out of the playoffs.

Billy took some time out of his ridiculously busy schedule to talk with me for close to two hours. What you’ll see here and over the next two days is the transcription of that interview. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did conducting the interview.

Tyler Bleszinski:  I’ll get to Moneyball in a little bit, but obviously this is for the A’s audience. I want to chat about how the season has unfolded. It’s been a rough season, I think more so than most people probably predicted. So many experts predicted that the team would be one of the surprises of 2011, and it didn’t seem to materialize. In your view, what happened?

Billy Beane:  I think the challenging thing we have here is that everything has to go almost perfectly and this is a team that was, based on the previous year, relying on a foundation of 1) pitching and 2) defense. And I can remember really the exact date – the day after shoulder surgery. We had Dallas (Braden) go down the previous week and then (Brandon) McCarthy and Tyson (Ross) go down on back-to-back days, if you recall. It was against Minnesota. And then, I think it was a week and a half later, is when Brett (Anderson) went down for the entire year. So, you lose those four stars and you look back on where we were on that date, even after losing Dallas, I think we were a game out or tied for first. I think we had beaten the Angels. We had a big game against the Angels and I think that tied us for first. Even then when we weren’t hitting – but because of the way the team was structured, because of the defense and the pitching, we’re still there. And the hope was that the hitting would come around. But when the foundation on which the team is built upon, that crumbles, you know the best laid plans sort of go to waste.

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