A group weblog for Oakland A's fans

Friday, January 07, 2005

Stats vs Scouts

Baseball America is running a very interesting feature today in which Alan Schwartz moderates a debate between stats guys and scouting guys. The debate is part of their free content, so you don't need to be a BA subscriber to access the transcript.

It's a pretty good read. On the stats side are Gary Huckabay of Baseball Prospectus, who also consults for the A's, and Voros McCracken, of DIPS fame, who works for the Red Sox. On the scouts side are Eddie Bane of (Los Angeles of) Anaheim and Gary Hughes of the Cubs. My take on reading it is that Bane is a very sharp guy and Hughes is a moron. (I already knew that Huckabay and McCracken know what they're talking about.) The piece is long, but worth checking out.

New owner for the A's?

Los Angeles developer Lewis Wolff is considering purchasing the A's according to this article from Yahoo! Sports. Wolff, who was hired by the A's in 2003 as vice president of venue development in order to help find the team a new stadium, will decide in the next 90 days whether to exercise his option to try to buy the team.

As many of you know, the current owners are Steve Schott and Ken Hoffman, who bought the team in 1995. Schott has served as the managing partner, and it's no secret that he's been one of the stingiest owners in all of baseball. Admittedly, this fact has brought about a unique environment for Billy Beane and the A's braintrust to try to creatively beat the economic system in place in MLB. But I personally think a little cash influx couldn't hurt--after all, the Red Sox are proof of what you can accomplish when you combine Moneyball with money.

This is far from being a done deal; and if it is, who knows whether Wolff will invest more in the team than Schott did. One cause for concern is Wolff's current position as guy-who-is-trying-to-move-the-A's; not that the team couldn't benefit from a new stadium (and I, as a South Bay resident, certainly wouldn't mind a move to Santa Clara or San Jose), but the constant propaganda from Steve Schott and Bud Selig that the A's "need" a new stadium in order to remain competitive are clearly far removed from reality. Personally, I find this kind of self-interested posturing to be morally repugnant, but I guess that's just business.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Slow news week

Happy birthday to Joon.

Nothing of note has happened in the A's world recently; it's the holiday season, typically a slow baseball news time, the on-again off-again Randy Johnson trade notwithstanding. The A's web site right now contains as lead articles two profiles of half-hearted candidates for the Hall of Fame who used to be A's, Dave Parker and Terry Steinbach, both of whom will need to pay just as much to get into the HoF as I do.

I'm excited about the 2005 team. I don't think anyone can say with certainty how they're going to do, which is part of the excitement (unless they start out 5-15 or something, which is certainly possible.) I'm looking forward to casting my lot with Meyer and Blanton, who figure to be around for a while. I'm looking forward to watching the development of Swisher, Crosby, and Harden. I'm looking forward to watching the new bullpen faces. I'm not really looking forward to Macha's managerial decisions, but other than that I'm certainly eagerly anticipating the new season. Billy's certainly given us a fun product if perhaps not a juggernaut (but perhaps so, we'll see.)

Happy 2005, A's fans.

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