So yeah, Grant Brisbee is a bit of an excellent writer who happens to write for Baseball Nation, in our humble little SB Nation network. He penned this piece today based on Monte Poole's piece and I think it's an incredibly insightful bit of writing that goes deeper than most of the "traditional" media does these days. And no, I don't pressure the guy who joined our network as the Giants guy to write favorable A's pieces...don't let him tell you any differently.
I've talked to many A's fans over social media and elsewhere (I'm on Twitter @papiblez in case you're wondering which you probably aren't) about the dismantling and while most seem to be in favor of the destruction of the A's roster, there are a good deal of them who are against ever throwing in the towel. I do believe that's why this rebuild has been postponed for far too long. I love Billy Beane. You all know that. I consider him a personal friend so there isn't any mistaking where I stand on things there. But I do think that Billy probably should've stopped putting band aids over the wounds a few seasons ago. At the same time, who could blame him for doing so? I mean the young rotation looked so great in 2010 that it looked like all he needed to do was to put together a patchwork offense to compete in the mediocre AL West.
But two things have changed since then. Pitching issues and a rapidly improving AL West. The Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden injuries, the Cahill earth-bound descent. The Rangers became a powerhouse in 2010 and 2011 and now the Angels don't appear as mediocre as they were with Pujols bat in the lineup (and Morales returning as well) and CJ Wilson in that rotation. A makeshift offense would not have helped the A's do anything in 2012 even IF Braden came back healthy, Cahill was Cahill circa 2010 and Brett Anderson came back to pitch like Brett Anderson midseason.
I know that this isn't easy for Billy Beane. He's probably the most competitive guy I know outside of myself (when I ride my bike I actually race birds flying alongside me and I will kill myself in order to beat them). Is there a chance that Lew Wolff gave Beane the directive to dismantle in order to force his fraternity brother's hand? Yeah of course there is. But I just don't see Beane doing that unless he truly believed that he was building towards something great down the road. It just isn't in Billy's nature even if commanded from above.
Accepting a poor team and no hope for three years is a hard thing and I get that A's fans are angry. I'm not looking forward to watching this team for three years...oh wait next year is 2012 so the pain won't actually last three years. It'll all be over soon enough kiddos.
Happy New Year AN!