Good morning, everyone, Happy Friday! Anyone have a great costume for the parties this weekend? Any parties this weekend? I'll be at Knott's Scary Farm tonight and Disneyland tomorrow. What's everyone else up to? Anyone have any pictures of parties they may have been to last weekend? (Ahem.)
Welcome to the last day of the season, otherwise known as the first GAME SEVEN since 2002, in what has been a really, legitimately awesome World Series (unless you are a Rangers' fan). Eventually, we will start dissecting the upcoming 2012 A's season, working the rosters, and figuring out how we can turn a team full of worse-than-league-average hitters into some semblance of a real Major League team.
But today, we're going to talk about managers. Right after I make a comment about Frank McCourt. Like, worst person ever or what? I mean, that's horrible thing to say, even if you believe it's true, and absolutely horrific PR.
SF Gate published a blurb yesterday about Ron Washington, Moneyball, and Billy Beane. Washington is quoted that he's a big fan of Billy Beane and very grateful for his help, I thought this was interesting:
"You know," he [Washington] continued, "I was in Oakland when all of that happened, and to me it was a great movie about a general manager that was hamstrung as far as dollars go, and he had to find players and put them together under a formula that he thought would work."
The last line gave me pause: a formula he thought would work?. Beane's formula did work. The A's competed for years with the richest teams in the league all the way to the playoffs. They had no business winning the number of games they did (and while you can't discount the amazing pitching, the Moneyball philosophy worked for them, as well as it would work for the Red Sox years later). It's a pretty short-sighted opinion that the only measure of success is a seven game series, rather than the prior 162 games. But I digress.
Ron Washington has taken his team to two World Series' in two years. Do you wish Beane/the A's had hired him instead of Geren? Well, that's a no-brainer. Of course, what I mean is would Washington have made any difference in the A's circa 2007-2011?
But, of course, that's not what I really want to know. It's not fair to compare the 2011 A's to the 2011 Rangers, even at Geren's expense. No manager was going to change those teams' destinies this season. What I want to know, is: From what you have seen over the last two years, would Ron Washington have made a difference as the manager of a different, better, A's team? Say...the Oakland A's circa 2001-2006? Is there anything that Washington could have brought to the table that the previous A's managers didn't? Was he the lucky recipient of a fantastic Texas team the last two seasons, or should he be credited with putting it all together? How would you critique Washington's managing style (I'll post my thoughts later in the thread.)? Why didn't Billy hire him, and if he had it to do all over again, would he make the same decision? And if you want a bonus question; would you take La Russa back? How would you critique his playoff performance?
Game time 5:05 PM as we close out the season in St. Louis.