One of the great things about A's fans (at least A's fans on this site) is the fact that we see things differently than most other fans do. Most fans enjoy watching the Phillies and their zillions of HRs. Most other fans like to watch the Angels because they "play the game right" by attempting steals and running from first to third on a single. In other words, most fans like the Joe Morgan type of baseball.
Not A's fans. We like some of the finer things. We like OPS... we like defensive metrics. We like mixing and matching has-beens and, in the case of Emil Brown, never-wases.
I don't mind it. Why? Because that's the way the A's have to do it... and because... well... it works. Since Beane took over as GM, the A's are known as winners.
A stats-based approach to winning baseball games is what separates good small-market teams from bad ones. Which brings me to Bobby Crosby.
He's not a good hitter. His OPS is .714. And that's ABOVE his career OPS! Why is Bobby Crosby still the everyday shortstop for the A's? There are several conventional reasons and one unconventional reason. Sure, his salary is reasonable. He plays pretty decent defense. Signing a FA SS who can make a difference costs lost of money. He has talent. Those are the conventional reasons to run him out to short everyday.
I have a theory that is unconventional. It might not be the reason why we suffer through Crosby's terrible ABs and trips to the DL but it could have something to do with it.
Does Beane see himself in Crosby? Crosby, like Beane, is a physical specimen. He has the baseball body. His talent is unquestionable. He's exactly the type of baseball player that is supposed to be an MVP. Just like Beane. But, for both of them, the talent never translated into success... at least not the kind of success that was supposed to be realized coming up through the minors.
Perhaps, Beane wonders what it would have been like to see himself. To see what the fans thought of him when he underachieved because he know-doubt hears those same arguments about Crosby.
Maybe Beane wants to give Crosby all of the chances that Beane never got. Maybe this is the one decision Beane has made as GM that doesn't have to do with numbers or creating the best team but has to do with giving Beane Jr. the shot that Billy never got. The shot to continually start even after mostly everyone has agreed that the talent will never be realized.
We all know that Beane still raves about Crosby, even though objectivity tells us he's not that good. Does Beane want Crosby to succeed so Beane can sleep at night knowing that Beane could've succeeded if given more chances?