Athletics fans still largely approve of the job Billy Beane is doing as general manager of the Oakland A's. An unscientific poll of 1,071 visitors to Athletics Nation from April 1 to April 3, 2015 gave him an 86 percent approval rating, up from 73 percent at the start of February:
Approve: What's behind the resurgence?
The last two months have been relatively quiet on the transaction front, with the team adding Barry Zito on a minor league deal, reliever Chad Smith off waivers from the Detroit Tigers, and outfielder Alex Hassan from the Baltimore Orioles. The spring training team won a Cactus League championship, with new additions performing well for the most part.
AN's commenters turned to the success of the new players in spring training, that Beane appears to have successfully put the A's in a better position to compete in the long term, and that the team's performance historically under Beane would make it difficult to ever contemplate disapproving of Beane's performance.
New players seem to be doing well
AN member "Raised Eyebrows" noted that the success in the Cactus League of the new players is "pretty nice for morale." He says, with light editing for readability, "Davis is raking. Butler hitting for power. Canha hitting for more power. Phegley hitting for power. Graveman is an unstoppable groundball machine, etc...That may all be a mirage, but I'm feeling optimistic at this point. Let's see what's up a month from now."
Trust Beane's long term vision
Others generally trust Beane's process, even if they are unsure about the next season. "travdog6" writes:
I personally am a big believer in judging a GM's efforts based on the effort itself, rather than the result. I still believe in the overall value provided to the organization, and I think '16/'17 went from dumpster fire to about .500, with tons of time to improve upon that.
"Bearly Legal" wrote, "The fact that the team as previously constructed had a rapidly expiring clock, and Billy managed to push that clock way back without sacrificing competitiveness now is extraordinary."
"tresselfan" puts the In Beane We Trust idea the best, "Me not understanding the moves at the time is no kind of barometer of the moves. HE IS WAY SMARTER THAN US. Any time I find a trade confusing I know that I need to some more research. Ask fans of another team if they would like to grade GMs with us."
Beane is still a historically great general manager
General approval of Beane's historic success continue. "sc00by" said:
Not a single GM in a similar position fiscally has done more than Beane has done. He has one of the top 5 winngest record of ALL teams since taking over as GM. I don't agree with all his moves, and he certainly makes mistakes, but his overall record speaks volumes, and it's a very positive record.
"Shed" writes, "What he's done for 17 years is phenomenal. When he leaves or retires I'm going to be sadder about that than any other player we've lost over twenty years."
Disapprove: Where does Beane still fall short?
Seven percent disapprove of Billy Beane's performance, down from 17 percent at the start of February.
"WhiteElephantNJ" disapproves because he believes Billy Beane traded the past playoff core too soon: "I'm saying disapprove because I don't really believe that group was peaked out. And if indeed they were, we could have traded them off mid-season to build a future anyhow."
"zuma" disapproves because "Beane could have done better with the Donaldson trade (did he even make it known that JD was up for auction?)" and "The Moss trade was inexplicable."
Injury concerns are at the forefront for "lbowyer," "I'm a tentative disapprove, just because I'm concerned about how we'll start the season without real contingency plans for oft-injured players like Crisp and Reddick."
Unsure: The jury is still out
Six percent of voters chose Unsure, with commenters balancing short-term disapproval against long-term approval, or express doubts about the depth while expressing excitement about the front-line starters.
"OnlybuyBeaneJearseys" says "it would take 10 sub. 500 seasons in the next 12 for me to not approve of the job Beane has done. But I don't think he [is] doing a good job this year. Doing a good job deosn't involve having Sam Fuld in the starting lineup, and Sogard having 500 PAs, both of which look certain....That said things all might change in a month."
While I'm generally happy with what Beane's done to this point, I voted ‘Unsure', as I'm not so sure about some of the pieces that he HASN'T replaced, of all things. The latest round of injuries to Coco and Reddick, and the lack of full time or solid platoon replacements for what have been assumed to be two of the few FULL TIME players we feature (meaning, when they're not injured, they don't platoon) have me wondering if maybe a deeper set of outfield related trades (at the pro or amateur level) could be made. I'm excited about the versatility of guys like Zobrist and even Vogt (and, to a lesser degree, Ladendorf), but I'm not as sold on trying to move guys from other positions to the outfield just to expand versatility. I wouldn't mind having some more confident, full time outfielders in the organization, rather than corner IFers and catchers being sent out there to "see what they can do".
Thank you to everyone who commented on our poll!
|Roll Call Info|
|Commenter list||AlAbAmA_As_Fan, Andrew914, AsFanInIowa, BaseballShogun, Bearly Legal, BillyBeanius, Billyballfan, Cespy's Eyebrows, Chase Foster, Cheezombie, Colossal Dog, Duncan Morrow, ExPatOaklandFan, Graybeard, Ihellaloveoak, McKara, MehranTheGreat, Menechino_Incarnate, NoSleepTillOAK, Nubmonger, OnlybuyBeaneJerseys, Orodawg, Raised Eyebrows, Ray of Lite, RobDiablo44, Shed, Tell'imWash, TheZomBee, Trainman, TrevorCap, Tutu-late, WhiteElephantNJ, YouSunkMyBlankenship, ballpickinmac, bootjosh, elBONESAW, guessatomo, hit-and-run, iku247, justANotherAsFan, lbowyer, merlin.paz., paris7, sc00by, stm72, toddsodds, tookadeflection, tradersam, travdog6, tresselfan, zuma|
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