Initiially I planned to post this only as a fanshot, but I figured the site's been quiet enough lately that perhaps a random stab at discussion might be post-worthy these days.
So I finally saw Moneyball tonight. Old news I guess. Perhaps this entire discussion has already taken place, but the movie left me craving a more realistic view of what really went on behind the scenes in the 2002 shake-up, and the Pena trade in particular. I get it that the movie wanted to build Hatty's character and the Beane/Howe tension, but the depicition of the Pena trade can't be realistic. According to baseball-reference.com, Pena was riding pine (or hurt?) when he was traded. He wasn't taking playing time from anyone, and he could have been sent down anyway (was he?). So why was he traded? Did the A's really see him as a bust, or want Lilly that badly (we gave up Bonderman too in that trade), or need the cash that badly (sodas?), or what?
At the same time, I can totally imagine Beane trading a player to stop Howe from playing him. Do any of you think that really happened? And if so, which of the many 2002 trades might it have been? I absolutely believe that Jeremy "No-Slide" Giambi got traded for table dancing to Funkadelic after a loss, but maybe one or some of those moves (Beane's, not Jeremy's) were about an internal power struggle. Any thoughts?