Mulder to the Cards for some (EDIT: high level)
mid-level prospects? No wonder the A’s can’t draw – their ownership has established a vicious cycle in which they jettison their most marketable talent (Giambi, Tejada, Hudson, Mulder) due to supposed "budget constraints". This no doubt turns off fans, even as the team stays competitive – it’s hard to grow attached to an "organization" that has no stability whatsoever. That the fans don’t show up in droves is understandable – their apathy can no longer be attributed to the quality of the ballpark, or the city, or the cost of a ticket. The A’s just refuse to establish any kind of stable core, and even in this day of mercenary ballplayers most teams try to do this, and for good reason. Their bi-annual purge of talent is a cycle that will never end, and my guess is that this cycle is not about keeping the A’s afloat, financially speaking, but about lining the pockets of their owners as maximally as possible.
As for Billy Beane, his supposed brilliance is no longer fascinating to me – it’s looking more like a shoddy cover for greedy owners, and the emperor’s clothing is starting to look tattered. Either that or he’s sending damaged goods to the Cardinals, and where’s the honor in that? In many ways, I am beginning to find the A’s a much more deplorable organization than even the hated Yankees.
Moneyball is dead. Long live moneyball.
EDIT: I should clarify – on re-reading this post I want to articulate a bit about what I "deplore" about the Yankees vs. the A’s. I deplore the Yankees as one deplores a rival, particularly one that, in the past, puts one through pain and nausea. I don’t hold it against the Yankees that they spend all this money, though I do find it quite laughable as well as a reasonable indication of their relative incompetence as talent-pickers. The A’s, on the other hand, have a right to spend as little as they want, and Billy Beane’s talent at keeping a competitive team together despite the restrictions placed on his payroll is clearly impressive. But the restrictions are not pitiable, as they are sometimes portrayed, and I am beginning to question whether Beane is even getting maximum value for his cast-offs. – trading Hudson and Mulder before January even hits? Clearly this time Beane was ordered to get as much money off the books as soon as possible, leveragability of talent be damned. This is the part I find most antagonistic about the moves.