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Yahoo! Sports: MLB - Jeremy Giambi traded to Philadelphia for John Mabry (May 22, 2002)

You have got to be kidding me. John Mabry!! I wonder if Giambi shot off his mouth something like when he was with the Royals because this makes no sense. Giambi may be one-dimensional, but Mabry is practically zero-dimensional. He isn't any good at defense either.
--posted by Sean Forman at 3:52 PM EDT


Discussion

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Posted 3:55 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#1) - Steve Treder
  OK, I take it back. The A's are panicking. This is ridiculous.

Posted 3:56 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#2) - Ken Arneson
  ???

Posted 3:56 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#3) - Rapscallion Jones
  I can't wait to see the Baseball Prospectus/Rob Neyer spin on this.

Posted 3:57 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#4) - Bull Pain
  It's not April 1st is it? I'd rather have Brett Laxton than John Mabry.

Posted 3:58 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#5) - Steve Cameron
  AWESOME DEAL!!!!!!!!!

Did I mention I'm a Phillies phan?

Travis Lee, meet the bench!

Posted 3:58 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#6) - Jay Jaffe (homepage)
  Man, that just seriously screwed my fantasy team.

Seriously, this looks like the biggest white-flag trade I've seen since the White Sox White Flag trades of '97. John Mabry couldn't carry Ron Coomer's jock, let alone a Giambi's.

So much for Billy Beane, Genius. Hell, at least pretend you're thinking of the future of the team and get yourself a AA pitching prospect. Absolutely baffling...

Posted 4:00 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#7) - Stevie Ray
  So it turns out JP really was the brains behind the organization. I do not get this at all. The other moves the A's made yesterday were questionable (at least the sending down of Pena was), but this makes me think I've just gone to Bizarro World. I bet Mabry gets released within a week, too, because they have no use for him. Not that any team should.

Posted 4:00 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#8) - Dan Werr (e-mail)
  Unbelievable... is there a single way that Mabry is better than Giambi? Is there a single stat...? I guess Mabry is 6/16 stealing and Jeremy is 0/2.

"We're not looking to do anything drastic."

Does this not qualify as drastic? Mabry has never had an OBP above Giambi's career OBP. Did Jeremy kill a member of Billy Beane's family? And even if he did, is this the best he could get? Does anyone know the payrolls involved here?

As a Mariner fan, I think it is now proper to devote my attention to the Angels.

Posted 4:01 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#9) - Brian C
  I honestly thought this was a joke at first. Rapscallion, you'll be disappointed - even BP can't sugarcoat this.

John Mabry?

Posted 4:01 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#10) - Angus McMurphy
  "Jeremy was off to a good start but we were concerned he was too one-dimensional," A's general manager Billy Beane said.

Yeah. All he could do was hit.

Posted 4:01 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#11) - Andy James
  I don't even get a hint of what Beane is up to here. He said in the press release that Giambi was "one-dimensonal," which, in his case, usually means "slow afoot." But Mabry has 6 stolen bases in 8 seasons, and I can't imagine he's a creative enough baserunner to make up for that.

I'd think that Beane was trading en route to a masterpiece trade, but why the hell would John Mabry ever figure into any deal? Why not just trade Giambi directly?

What the hell is going on here?

Posted 4:02 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#12) - DTS
  Is that an article from The Onion?

Posted 4:02 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#13) - RossyW
  I can't remember a trade looking so obviously bad in my life.

Posted 4:04 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#14) - Brian C
  13 posts (at least) in 7 minutes - has any topic ever gotten such a response so quickly?

Posted 4:05 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#15) - friendly's
  Unbelievable.

Beane just demonstrated that he's not the braintrust of the A's.

Posted 4:05 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#16) - Voros McCracken (e-mail)
  This is not to defend Deane, but even somebody like Syd Thrift wouldn't do something like this.

The younger Gimabi had to do something, and had to do something BIG. I still can't fathom how Mabry was the best the A's could get. You'd think they could at least get Cliffe Politte or Eric Valent or something.

There absolutely MUST be something more to this because otherwise Beane has completely lost his mind.

This isn't statheads being narrow minded or short sighted. This is clearly on its face complete and utter insanity.

Posted 4:06 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#17) - Animosity
  So they trade one dimensional Giambi (can only hit) for one dimensional Mabry (can only sit)?

Posted 4:07 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#18) - Rich Rifkin
  What's strangest of all is that Lord Beane is trading away a 27 year old player, Giambi, who just last year had by far his best big league campaign for a 31 year old, Mabry, who at his very best a few years ago was significantly worse than Mini G was before he figured things out in 2001. And Mabry has been in decline for a couple of years.

On top of that, the A's likely will have to stick with Esteban German as their leadoff hitter, now that Jeremy is a Philly and Menechino is a River Cat.

I would have thought that if Beane wanted to move Giambi, he might have traded him for someone who was a capable defensive centerfielder. I'm no expert on Mabry's multi-position defensive skills, but I'm pretty sure Mabry's not a big upgrade in the field over Jeremy.

This season just keeps getting worse...

Posted 4:07 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#19) - Faulkner
  I know...I feel sick...it feels like an evil conspiracy is all of a sudden afoot.

Posted 4:07 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#20) - eric
  Regardless of why they decided to dump Giambi, i just can't believe they couldn't have gotten ANYTHING better for him. I can think of a bunch of teams that could afford to give a real prospect or a better UT Infielder to have giambi as a 4th OF/DH/1B.

Posted 4:07 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#21) - Matt Rauseo (e-mail) (homepage)
  I have the feeling in the pit of my stomach that i had when i was told that Santa does not come to visit on christmas eve. And I am no Yankees fan.

Posted 4:07 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#22) - Steve Treder
  Maybe Jeremy did whatever terrible off-the-field thing it was Bobby Estalella did last year ...

Posted 4:07 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#23) - Billy Beane's Brain
  Sometimes I fall down

Posted 4:08 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#24) - Christopher
  This sounds like it has nothing to do with baseball at all. Didn't Giambi get busted for pot around Christmas time?

Posted 4:08 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#25) - David Gee
  Brian - It would have received more responses if it had been about Jeremy Giambi being gay.

Anyway, this is like Einstein espousing a geocentric universe or something. Why is it that even the best baseball executives occasionally make a deal like this, suggesting that they have no idea what they're doing? John Mabry?

Posted 4:09 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#26) - JIM
  Jeremy would sure have helped the Braves 1st base problems.

Posted 4:11 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#27) - Lance Linden (homepage)
  Does this officially clinch playoff berths for Boston, Seattle, and New York? Not to overstate the importance of Giambi, but the A's had a long way to go when the day started. This doesn't help.

It DOES help the Phillies, and by more than a little.

Posted 4:11 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#28) - Homer Simpson
  Mabry's a five-tool player. He can suck, suck for power, suck on the basepaths, play sucky defense, and throw suckily. He's the suckiest suck that ever sucked a sucking suck.

Posted 4:12 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#29) - Sharkbyte
  Upon further reflection, a couple of possible explanations...

(1) The Willie Mays hanging-curveball theory - making a bad deal now in hopes that other GMs then won't be reluctant to make deals with him in the future. (But then why would you make such a deal involving someone as important to the team as Giambi?)

(2) Beane's planning a comeback as a player, and wants to make sure there aren't more than two OFs on the team better than himself. If that's the goal, this deal was a good start.

Posted 4:12 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#30) - Joe Medwick
  This does seem to be out of step with Beane's previous deals. Is it possible Beane is dumping a player he isn't too happy with off the field as much as on the field?

You probably wouldn't even be able to swing this trade on MLB video games.

Ducky.

Posted 4:12 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#31) - Steve Treder
  "Jeremy would sure have helped the Braves 1st base problems."

There's a gazillion teams Jeremy would have helped. I bet Beane's got a whole bunch of messages in his voicemail box right now from other GMs, saying, "Billy ... you should have given me a CHANCE!"

Posted 4:13 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#32) - Travis Lee
  Does anyone out there know where I can find one of those cheap plastic seat cushions? I have a feeling I'll need one.

Posted 4:13 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#33) - Darren
  I'm with Christopher. Maybe it's a drug thing.

Or maybe Colorado wants Mabry for Cust?

Could it be that this is one of those trades that at first you just hear the principles then later hear there were other "lesser" players involved, like Marlon Byrd and Brett Myers?

I'm dumbfounded.

Posted 4:14 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#34) - David Gee
  The Cubs could use Giambi. He's worth one of their lesser pitching prospects, I'd say.

How much do the A's save in salary? 500K?

Posted 4:14 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#35) - Bryon
  When I read about this deal a few minutes ago at espn.com, I literally exclaimed, "they did what!?" loudly enough that a co-worker walked down the hall and poked her head in my office door. I don't get it, I just don't get it. This isn't even the ChiSox 'white flag' trades, where at least they got prospects in return, this is worse.

Posted 4:14 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#36) - Dan Werr (e-mail)
  I bet Beane's got a whole bunch of messages in his voicemail box right now from other GMs, saying, "Billy ... you should have given me a CHANCE!"

I bet his phone's still ringing off the hook... If I'm Pat Gillick, I'm calling him right now offering Paul Abbott for Barry Zito.

Posted 4:14 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#37) - Lance Linden (homepage)
  Count me in with those who think there's something off-field going on here. Maybe (probably?) Ricciardi really was the wizard behind the curtain, but no way, absolutely no way Billy Beane believes that John Mabry is worth Jason Giambi. Not even a PTBNL from what the article said.

Here's another question: Does Ed Wade realize *how* good a deal this is?

Posted 4:15 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#38) - John Brattain (e-mail)
  Geez. I guess Giambi must've come out of the closet and told Beane he's has a thing for double-switching.

Sorry--couldn't resist.

Best Regards

John

Posted 4:15 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#39) - DTS
  I hurt for A's fans everywhere.

Posted 4:16 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#40) - Rich C
  I didn't even realize Mabry was still in the majors.

I don't really like the term, but I think Billy Beane has officially jumped the shark.

Posted 4:16 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#41) - Jay Jaffe (homepage)
  There's not a team in the majors that Little G wouldn't have been a big addition to, even if it was only as a 4th outfielder/part-time DH or 1B.

Atlanta: Duh.
Mets: Double duh. Timo Perez?
Phillies: Appparently.
Montreal: better than Lee Stevens
Florida: So they can trade Cliff Floyd.

I could go on up and down each division, but you get the point...

Posted 4:16 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#42) - Casey
  This is not your everyday, run of the mill bad deal. This is insanity. This move is indefensible in every imaginable way. This will lead to many questions, especially coming from an executive as shrewd as Billy Beane. I am very curious about the real reason for this deal, because I know it has nothing to do with improving the A's chances of contending this year or next.

Posted 4:17 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#43) - Palin
  dumbfounded

Posted 4:17 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#44) - Mike
  My reaction was like Kyle Brozlofski's mother's: "Wha-wha-wha-what??!?!?"

Maybe Beane got word from the owners that all this winning isn't helping the labor negotiations?

Posted 4:17 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#45) - Darren
  What was Giambi making?

Posted 4:18 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#46) - Repoz
  John Sterling (Yankee Radio)said "the trade is good for the Giambi brothers....Philly is only 90 miles away....this way they can visit each other"

It's always about the Yankees when it comes to the Yankees...uggghh

Posted 4:19 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#47) - Billy Beane
  We've lost our lease! No offer will be refused!

EVERYTHING MUST GO!!!

Posted 4:20 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#48) - Steve Cameron
  Yes, but we Phils fans have reason to hope! Anybody have any idea roughly how many wins this might be worth?

The only problem I have is that I've got no co-workers who are baseball fans, and I'm not going to tell my fantasy league Giambi just came over to the NL.

I haven't been this giddy in a while - since Gord Ash was fired - and I might be giddier than I was then. I'm not as giddy as I was in '93, though.

Posted 4:20 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#49) - Steve Cameron
  Yes, but we Phils fans have reason to hope! Anybody have any idea roughly how many wins this might be worth?

The only problem I have is that I've got no co-workers who are baseball fans, and I'm not going to tell my fantasy league Giambi just came over to the NL.

I haven't been this giddy in a while - since Gord Ash was fired - and I might be giddier than I was then. I'm not as giddy as I was in '93, though.

Posted 4:20 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#50) - J.P Ricciardi
  Billy Beane is a genius! I wonder if I could get the Angels to give me Garret Anderson for Carlos Delgado?

Posted 4:21 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#51) - Joe Medwick
  Hey Beane -

I've got a couple of thumb-tacks here. I'll trade 'em to you for your luxury box!

Posted 4:21 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#52) - Walt Davis
  John Mabry joins Larry Sutton on the A's major league roster. I'm pretty sure that's one of the signs of the apocalypse.

Good thing I didn't pony up the dough for that lifetime membership in the Billy Beane fan club.

I'm still waiting to find out that it's Jennifer Giambi for John Mabry.

Well, playing time for multi-dimensional Adam Piatt. Too bad the A's don't play in that DH league where you can hide a uni-dimensional hitter.

Giambi must have (1) inherited Dennis Eckersley's locker and (2) slugged Art Howe and (3) been caught in bed with both Beane's daughters for this one to make any sense.

I keep looking for a bright side like "at least it wasn't Lenny Harris or Ed Sprague" but both those guys may be better than Mabry.

Crisis of faith baby.

Posted 4:21 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#53) - Ryan Wilkins (e-mail) (homepage)
  Jesus Christ. I get back from my third final of the week, and I come home to this? (sigh).

--RTW

Posted 4:22 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#54) - Matthew Elmslie
  Mike Wilner on the FAN radio in Toronto just described this as 'the dumbest trade in the last twenty years'. I like Wilner.

Posted 4:22 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#55) - Steve Cameron
  No, JP. Don't start being Gord Ash........

Posted 4:22 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#56) - Shredder
  ...And an Angel fan rejoices.

Posted 4:22 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#57) - Billy Beane
  That's right folks! Make an offer! If you can push, pull, or drag him to Oakland, we'll make the deal!

Just dial 1-888-2LOSE-100 and ask for Bill!

Posted 4:23 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#58) - Eugene Freedman (e-mail)
  Unless the Royals want Mabry for Beltran I'm lost here.

Posted 4:23 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#59) - Billy Beane
  Are there take backs?

Posted 4:24 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#60) - Ed Wade
  Sorry Billy, I called no takebacks, infinity.

Posted 4:24 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#61) - Rich C
  I think this thread is going to break the fastest to 100 posts record!

Posted 4:25 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#62) - Voros McCracken (e-mail)
  J.P.,

Garrett Anderson for Delgado is actually more defenisble than this one is on the surface.

I'm wondering if Gimabi is going to Jail or something.

John Mabry?

_The_ John Mabry?

If John Mabry is better player than AA 1B Graham Koonce I'd be highly surprised.

This has to be simply a case of "I must get rid of this guy RIGHT NOW" and if he releases him he has to pay his salary. Giving him away isn't allowed, and I would guess that Mabry would be the single most useless player in the entire Phillies organization, hence the trade.

Phillies are now on the hook for whatever Gimabi makes, and then can figure out for themselves what the problem is and whether they can do anything to deal with it.

Posted 4:26 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#63) - Faulkner
  I still can't believe it's true...at least not the way it's been presented - there has to be a PTBNL, there has to be...it could still be a joke, right? Somebody give me something.

It's not as bad as the Expos being contracted, but it's still absolutely sickening.

Posted 4:26 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#64) - Jim Rice
  You bet it is. Confounding. Sucks to be an A's fan right now. I mean, as everyone else has said, even if you need to dump him, can't you get more? This must have been utterly urgent. Anyone could use JG-- I know the Sox could, and they're relatively loaded.

Posted 4:26 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#65) - Steve Cameron
  While it's not the worst trade in the last 20 years, but it's up there. Most bad trades seem dumb after the fact, due to prospects getting better. This is clearly really dumb, right now. The most suprising thing is that Mabry's so young.

Posted 4:27 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#66) - Darren
  Couldn't they have gotten Valent, who seems destined to wither in AAA?

Posted 4:27 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#67) - Dan Werr (e-mail)
  Maybe Beane had Mabry's pitching skills in mind... not just one but two appearances. Sure his career ERA+ is 7, but you really don't look for that in a short stint reliever. Check out the 0:4 K:BB ratio.

Seriously, does anyone know the salaries involved here?

Posted 4:28 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#68) - Billy Beane
  Damn, that was good tequila. Wha-I did what?

Posted 4:28 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#69) - Billy Beane
  Well, Mr. Medwick, that depends on the color of your thumb tacks.

Posted 4:28 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#70) - Buddha
  Oh my God, criticism of the almighty Billy Beane?

Next thing you know someone might say Garrett Anderson is actually GOOD.

Of course, someone would quickly follow that up with "not as good as he or the Angels thinks he is..."

Posted 4:29 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#71) - Steve Cameron
  Voros,

I think Mabry has more use than Hollins, but that might be about it.

Steve

Posted 4:29 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#72) - Jim Rice
  As long as we're talking worst trades of the last twenty years, I'll nominate Ed Sprague for Dennis Tankersley as worse than this one. Not as baffling, but worse.

Posted 4:29 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#73) - Rapscallion Jones
  According to espn.com, Jeremy is making $1.065 million this year, while Mabry is making $500,000.

Posted 4:30 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#74) - Mrs. Beane
  Mmmmmm, Jeremy.

Posted 4:30 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#75) - Jeremy Giambi
  My dendrophilia just got the better of me and Mr. Beane caught me humping my gamer.

Posted 4:31 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#76) - Joe Medwick
  Beane -

The thumb tacks are green....and I'll throw in an ounce of sense since you seem to have sent all of that to the Phils too.

Posted 4:31 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#77) - Brian C
  Maybe Giambi lost his arm this morning an Beane hid it? Well, no it's John Mabry - he must have lost BOTH his arms.

Posted 4:32 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#78) - Steve Cameron
  Sorry to hear this makes folks ill. I think contraction would be a lot worse than this. Heck, I've had - oh, nevermind. Let's just say Phils fans who are inclined to so should be smoking right about now.

Posted 4:32 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#79) - eric
  Jim Rice, the sprague-tankersley deal wasn't so bad until the next year, when tankersley turned it up---now, you can criticize the sox for not anticipating tankersley's rise, but at the point of the trade he was mediocre, statistically speaking.

Posted 4:33 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#80) - Rick
  Am I the only reader here who believes that J. Giambi is overrated (by y'all)? Let's face it: he's a corner outfielder with minimal power and no speed. He gets on base pretty well, but mostly to first base, and then it takes a lot to get him home. He's brutal on defense, yet he refuses to work to improve himself, and his bad baserunning instincts (please slide next time--thank you) perhaps cost the A's a shot at the World Series--a precious commodity these days. He also has a snotty attitude, which, I happen to know, his fellow players find obnoxious.

He's been in a slump of late, thus beginning to bring his numbers down to where they belong (note how you guys refuse to notice the small sample size for his April stats). I wouldn't want him, not as a starter anyway, and apparently no other GM does either.

Anyway, I think it's odd how you get into this mass hysteria over certain players. Sounds like the herd mentality to me.

Posted 4:33 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#81) - Curt Flood
  Bummer Jeremy. Getting traded to Philadelphia sucks.

Posted 4:33 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#82) - Sean Smith
  Well, Shredder, we don't have to worry about the A's anymore. The only problem with the Angels is that to make the playoffs, they have to beat Seattle, New York, or Boston. Even if they somehow keep playing .600 ball that might not happen.

I'd bet Ricciardi would actually consider a Garrett for Delgado swap, considering the size of Delgado's contract.

Posted 4:33 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#83) - David Gee
  Darren - Giambi was making just over a million, so there was not a huge salary advantage here. I guess a million goes a lot further in the A's organization, but I don't think this was merely a salary dump.

It has to be something else. He apparently was caught with half an ounce of dope. That's not an intent to distribute amount, but someone taking half an ounce of dope home from Vegas is probably more than just an occasional user. He HAS to be extremely damaged goods if the best Beane could do was Mabry. I would think that about any GM.

Posted 4:34 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#84) - Toby
  As a Red Sox fan I have this urge to burst out laughing.

Really, really strong urge.

Posted 4:34 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#85) - Rich Rifkin
  How much do the A's save in salary? 500K?

Jeremy Giambi is making $1,065,000; Mabry is stealing $500,000. So that little money drop doesn't come close to justifying this trade. For money to have made the difference, the A's would have had to shed around $5,000,000 or more (in my opinion).

The only salary that might have been worth dumping on the A's - if anyone would take it - is David Justice's $7,000,000. However, I believe the Mets are paying 50% of Justice's salary, this year, so Justice is still probably worth keeping on the Athletics.

Posted 4:34 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#86) - RossyW
  This is the type of deal that is so unbelievably stupid that I'd ignore the entire rest of the GMs record and declare him the worst GM in the history of baseball.

Posted 4:35 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#87) - Hank Spears
  Why not send him off to the Yanks to play in the sand w/ Jason?

Posted 4:35 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#88) - Ryan Jones (e-mail)
  So I've been up working on a paper for the last 30 hours, and I just happened to flip by Headline Sports. Even though this is getting close to 100 posts, I still think I'm hallucinating. Dear God, this is the worst deal I've ever seen. Even worse than anything (and everything) the amazing Gordo put together over his reign in Toronto.

Giambi must be going to prison. I can't think of any other explanation. And it must be for a long time. Say 5 years or so. Any less time in the federal pen, and it's still a bad deal.

Posted 4:36 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#89) - John Mayberry, Jr.
  Tell Mr. Beane he made a mistake. I don't play for Philadelphia. I'm still in high school in Kansas City. Though Peter Gammons says I might go pretty high in the draft.

Posted 4:36 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#90) - Dean Carrano (e-mail) (homepage)
  Rick: Did you miss the part where they only got back John Mabry?

Posted 4:37 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#91) - Brian C
  Rick - maybe but he's still a lot better than John Mabry.

Posted 4:37 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#92) - Palin
  Man, is Ed Wade gonna be pissed when he finds out about Giambi whatever it is that Beane already knows.

Posted 4:37 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#93) - Jay Jaffe (homepage)
  To paraphrase Casey Stengel, Mabry's 31 and in 10 years he has a chance to be 41.

If this trade were made in my ESPN fantasy league, it would be challenged and ultimately rejected on the grounds of being an unscrupulously one-sided deal.

Posted 4:38 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#94) - Steve Cameron
  Rick:

I don't think that Jeremy Giambi is the next coming of Mike Schmidt, or even Greg Luzinski, for that matter.

Right now, I'm happy becaue the Phils fleeced somebody. BIG. He's better than Lee, and this gives them a lot of flexibility if Burrell suddenly needs to play some third or first.

Burrell versus Giambi in the OF, who do you guys who've seen a lot of Giambi think should play left?

Posted 4:38 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#95) - Andy James
  Rick:

I've often said the same sort of thing you have about Jeremy being overrated -- and even I think this deal is ludicrous. I think Billy Beane has been overrated as well, but I didn't expect a move this bad from him (I never said he was incompetent).

Even at the very least, you have to admit that some team, somewhere, could have given the A's more than John Mabry for Jeremy Giambi, for less salary.

Posted 4:38 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#96) - Hank Spears
  Peter Gammons is a vastly overrated writer.

Posted 4:38 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#97) - Buddha
  Did I miss Jeremy Giambi becoming a great player? A little overreaction here I think.

Well I know I didn't miss John Mabry becoming one.

Posted 4:38 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#98) - Ryan Jones (e-mail)
  Jay,

This trade might be challenged and ultimately rejected by MLB for being ridiculously one-sided.

Posted 4:39 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#99) - Rich C
  Rick, it's not that Giambi was all that. He might be overrated by some, but even if he's a marginal starter, he's way better than John Mabry, who should be in the Northern League or something. And Giambi didn't make that much money. This trade just makes no sense at all. The A's got nothing at all out of it.

Posted 4:39 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#100) - Jim Rice
  I think your point about Giambi being overrated here might be valid. But John Mabry? Why in the world? No, there really has to be something else here, because Billy Beane has demonstrated some serious intelligence, and barring other issues, this move does nothing significant to help his team.

Posted 4:39 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#101) - RossyW
  So, Pat Gillick undisputed best GM in baseball, hmmmm?

Posted 4:40 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#102) - terrence long
  "Beane said the A's plan to use Mabry off the bench."

Whew!!

Posted 4:40 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#103) - Brian C
  Yeah right, Ryan. They wouldn't help the A's out even when Hicks CLEARLY broke the rules with the Fuson hiring. They're certainly not gonna get involved with this.

Posted 4:41 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#104) - Repoz
  Ricciardi got bent out of shape by Orlando Hudson's pimp comment and shipped him out....possibly Giambi said or did something (that pot thing) that rubbed Beane the wrong way and disjointed him.

Posted 4:41 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#105) - David Mitchell
  I want to participate in the BP hysteria. Amazing that the guy considered by some to be the best GM in the game today (or at least close) makes apparently the worst trade in a long time. The ONLY thing gained by this for the A's is cut payroll, and not by much. Maybe there is some cash involved.

By the time I click on Post This Comment, there will be 10 more posts.

Posted 4:41 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#106) - Sharkbyte
  RossyW - Actually I think Ed Wade just took that title, at least unril Kevin Towers' prospect stockpiling pays off in division titles.

Posted 4:41 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#107) - Chris J.
  I'm totally dumbfounded. . . That being said, as I read this thread - am I the only one reminded of Whitey Herzog's Keith Hernandez for Neil Allen trade? (And that was shortly after Keith's co-MVP award). The general theory about that was that Whitey found out about Keith's coke habit, and wanted that out of his clubhouse ASAP. I've even heard it argued Herzog intentionally got too little for Keith to send a message to any other users or potential users on the team that this would not be tolerated. . . I know Jeremy's been busted for pot, maybe he does other stuff? Then again, maybe Beane's the one smoking pot. JOHN MABRY?!?

Posted 4:41 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#108) - Bill Barnwell (e-mail)
  Even at the very least, you have to admit that some team, somewhere, could have given the A's more than John Mabry for Jeremy Giambi, for less salary.

Like, say, the Rangers! Or the Blue Jays! Did he lose Ricciardi's number or something?

I would have loved to hear this trade discussion. "I'm looking to make a deal, Ed. I can send you Jeremy Giambi for something..." "Well, John Mabry is available..." "Hmmm, I was hoping for Brett Myers." "Sorry Billy, Brett's not available." "OK - I'll take Mabry, in that case."

This trade is like something out of a Monty Python sketch.

-BB

Posted 4:41 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#109) - Mike Piazza
  I'M GAY!!!! I'M GAY!!!! I'M GAY!!!! I'M GAY!!!! I'M GAY!!!! I'M GAY!!!! DOESN'T ANYBODY WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY BEING GAY ANYMORE?????

Posted 4:42 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#110) - Joe Medwick
  Rick -

Posters on this board may not be so aghast if Beane would have traded for a prospect or two instead of Mabry. I don't think it's that Giambi is that good, it's that Mabry is that worthless.

Ducky

Posted 4:42 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#111) - Jim Rice
  Palin-- do you really think Ed Wade'd be upset? He must know Beane's worried about something.

Posted 4:42 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#112) - Gary
  FREE JOHN MABRY!

Posted 4:43 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#113) - Sharkbyte
  RossyW - Actually I think Ed Wade just took that title, at least until Kevin Towers' prospect stockpiling pays off in division titles.

Or it could be an elaborate conspiracy to see how many posts can be generated here, I hope Billy had the "over" on 100 in an hour.

Posted 4:44 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#114) - Shredder
  Man, how stupid does Allard Baird look now?

Posted 4:44 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#115) - Paul DePodesta
  Can I come out of the filing cabinet now, Billy?

FREE ME!

Posted 4:44 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#116) - J. Cross
  If this is someone's idea of a sick joke I'll be even more pissed that I dropped Giambi for Piatt in my AL-only fantasy league. I do feel bad for A's fans. Honestly, what's going on here??? Did Bud have a hand in this??? He realized that Philadelphia is a big market and something needed to be done? Or is Giambi going to jail? or are there other players involved??? NO WAY Beanse just made that trade to save 500K. Ridiculous. Couldn't happen.

Posted 4:44 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#117) - Andy Nall
  As a poster above stated, the only way I can start to feel good about this is if the A's somehow or another in the next week land Jack Cust. I don't understand how getting Mabry works out in the whole scheme of things, but I still have faith. There has to be something more to this. There just has to be, right?

Posted 4:44 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#118) - Babe Ruth
  Even if Giambi did something wrong -- busted for pot etc. -- John Mabry is the type of player you get after he has been fitted for an ankle bracelet, not before.

Posted 4:46 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#119) - David Gee
  Getting rid of Giambi is one thing, but doing it and not making your team better at the same time is just a waste of a resource.

Beane has been very good at taking minimally valuable assets and turning them into something that might turn out much better. For example, he turned Mark Bellhorn into Adam Morrissey. Now, Morrissey was merely a 22 year-old A-level infielder who was coming off of a surprisingly good season, an interesting but not very exciting prospect, merely someone who has a lot of potential. Beane should have been able to turn Giambi into a Morrissey type, at least. In fact, these sorts of trades should be bread and butter for an organization like the A's.

Mabry is worthless. There has to be more to this.

Posted 4:46 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#120) - Palin
  Jim,

If Giambi's gonna be in prison for the next five years and Wade doesn't know that yet? Yeah, I'll bet he'll be pissed.

Posted 4:47 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#121) - Joe Morgan
  The A's finally get it. Esteban German's speed is what they need in the leadoff spot.

Posted 4:47 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#122) - RossyW
  Here's a question for anyone:

Why didn't Billy Beane send a fax to every major league club and say "I'm trading Giambi for Mabry, you have 10 minutes to beat that." ? Is that allowed? Is it practiced? It should be done for every trade, I think, but this one especially.

Posted 4:47 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#123) - Brian C
  Maybe we're looking at this backwards. Maybe JOHN MABRY was sleeping with Beane's wife, and this is just a "Count of Monte Cristo" routine to draw Mabry in before Beane kills him.

Posted 4:47 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#124) - Matthew Elmslie
  Repoz wrote: "Ricciardi got bent out of shape by Orlando Hudson's pimp comment and shipped him out...."

Not really true:
1. The plan had always been for Hudson to start the year at AAA, since 2001 was basically his first really good year as a pro.
2. At the time of the demotion, Hudson was 0-for-Florida.
3. Hudson later stated to a reporter that he and Ricciardi had talked about it and put it behind them.

Granted that until the Jays make Hudson a regular we won't know for sure that he's been sufficiently forgiven.

All that is kind of off topic, but it's hard not to imagine that there's something weird going on with Giambi. Like he's really a robot and his warranty is due to run out tomorrow. I read a comment on another website that compared this trade to the Brad-Fullmer-to-Anaheim trade, and there is a superficial resemblance.

Posted 4:48 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#125) - Dan Werr (e-mail)
  It's not just how Giambi plays now... it's the potential that he has (compared to the potential Mabry has).

I realize Jeremy's not that young, but with the power he displayed in the minors (.363/.465/.631 in AAA with 34 HR in 510 AB—better than Jason), he could improve a lot in that area, I think. I would guess that Jeremy's best years are ahead of him, and those could be really good years. Mabry's best years are behind him, and they weren't even as good as Giambi has been so far.

Posted 4:48 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#126) - David Gee
  Palin - Why would Wade be made if Giambi went to prison? All he lost was John Mabry.

Posted 4:49 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#127) - Steve Cameron
  Palin:

If Giambi has had something happen which IMMEDIATELY affects his ability to play, I'd be surprised - probably something on the order of sneaky murders or treason would be required for an athlete to get arrested without bail - and the media not being on to it.

Posted 4:49 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#128) - Brian
  Easily the worst trade in memory. There is no plus for the A's. None at all.
I picture Beane in his bedroom, having interrupted JG and the Mrs., pulling out his cellphone and saying " Wait one minute, asshole, I'll fix you".

Posted 4:50 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#129) - Palin
  Point taken, still he lost $1,000,000 - unless he doesn't have to pay it if Giambi's in prison.

Posted 4:50 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#130) - Steve Treder
  The Keith Hernandez-for-Neil Allen analogy is the only one that makes any sense at all. Jeremy did something really unforgivable off the field, and Beane is sending the message loud and clear to the rest of the roster that we will drop you, too, like a hot potato if you do whatever-it-is. (That's always been my theory of why the Giants dropped Estalella last year.)

It still isn't a good move, but at least that's an explanation. Absolutely nothing else makes sense.

Posted 4:52 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#131) - Larry Bowa
  You should see the photos I have of Billy Beane in compromising positions with woodchucks!

Posted 4:53 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#132) - Dallas Green
  I just yelled at Billy till he broke down crying and made the trade.

Posted 4:53 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#133) - J. Michael Neal (e-mail)
  J. Cross,

That's why I'm not dumping Giambi yet. I did pick up Piatt, though; I dumped Menechino instead. I figure by the time German is available on the Yahoo database, it'll have sunk in that I lost Gimabi.

So, I traded Frank Catalanatto for an empty roster spot ...

Posted 4:53 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#134) - Res. George W. Bush (e-mail) (homepage)
  Don't worry, Billy-boy, bad trades happen! Heck, Dick thinks you'd make a swell President some day!

Posted 4:53 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#135) - Rick
  Yes, I agree that (1) Giambi is a better player than Mabry (though I probably feel the gap between them is not so great as some of you think) and (2) there's probably something more to the trade (drug use). But my point was simply that the great lamentations over the loss of this marginal (and yet somehow worshipped) player are a bit much. Yes, it would have been nice for the A's to grab some single A prospect for him (the best possible deal for Giambi I think), but apparently no one was offering.

Anyway, I guess I'm just saying save the rending of garments for Dye for Perez!

Posted 4:54 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#136) - dp
  Philly isn't that bad a place to be sent, if this is punishment. He could've traded him to Detroit or the Brewers or Orioles. Philly has a shot at winning in the next 5 years...

Posted 4:54 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#137) - Lance Linden (homepage)
  Dan,

I'd read somewhere (I think it was BP) that Giambi's power stats were inflated by Omaha's ball park; if you pull his AAA stats, his minor-league numbers were not impressive (I don't know if that's true, I don't have JG's numbers handy)

I don't care if Giambi is getting executed tomorrow. Beane sold Giambi for much less than he could have gotten. As to the idea that this was a Herzog-style "message" move, that might have some merit, but holy Christ, John Mabry?!

Posted 4:54 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#138) - Toronter
  "Ricciardi got bent out of shape by Orlando Hudson's pimp comment and shipped him out..."

Amazing how that story lives on. Hudson was 0 for 16 and not playing well at all when he was sent down. I doubt that the "pimp" comment had anything to do with it - it was meant as a compliment!

Posted 4:55 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#139) - Sharkbyte
  On the 5-years-in-prison theory: wouldn't anybody with the slightest bit of foresight still take Giambi starting at age 32 (especially given that there's probably little more to do in prison than to bulk up) over a completely replaceable Mabry at 31?

Posted 4:55 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#140) - Andrew
  As a life-long Phils fan, I've seen the Phils be on the receiving end of lousy trades time and again (five guys for Von Hayes, Ryne Sandberg for Ivan DeJesus, whatshisname for Fergie Jenkins). Now it's the PHILLIES who've made out like a bandit? Pinch me, I'm dreaming.

Posted 4:55 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#141) - Chris Singleton
  Why didn't Billy Beane trade for me?? I could have brought a tofu dog along for the guys.

Posted 4:55 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#142) - DTS
  Even the Keith Hernandez for Neil Allen deal involved Rick Ownbey going to St. Louis and somebody else, I think. And, Allen wasn't terrible for the Cardinals. Of course, that trade was also amazingly one-sided also, and is an excellent explanation for this trade.

Amazing.

Posted 4:55 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#143) - Chris Berman
  I'm sure I'll get as much mileage out of Beane's quote about JeGiambi being "one-dimensional" as I have with Buddy Ryan's "all he does is catch touchdowns" description of Chris Carter.

Posted 4:56 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#144) - Jeff Kent
  Jeremy was washing his truck, I tell you!

Posted 4:56 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#145) - Palin
  Sharkbyte

Giambi would be a free agent by then.

Posted 4:57 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#146) - Dennis Eckersley
  Whatever it was, it was before today and Jeremy doesn't remember.

Posted 4:57 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#147) - eric
  does service time continue if one is incarcerated? :-)

Posted 4:58 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#148) - Steve Cameron
  Rick:

I see the gap as pretty large:

Mabry - not worthy of 40-man roster spot
Giambi - starter for the Phillies

Admittedly, this is very Philly-centric, but that's who I root for. From the Phillies fan's perspective you've got to understand the positive energy.

Posted 4:58 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#149) - Shredder
  Sean and Walt, this round's on me. A toast to Billy Beane.

Posted 4:59 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#150) - Lance Linden (homepage)
  dp brings up a helluva point. If I'm royally PO'd at Giambi and/or I want to send a message to the rest of the team, I'm sending him to Tampa Bay.

Posted 4:59 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#151) - Super lad
  Wow,

Rollins
Burrell
Giambi
Rolen
Abreu

is pretty nice.

Posted 5:00 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#152) - Steve Cameron
  Interesting parallel to Carter, because Carter has admitted that Buddy cutting him is what got his attention and got him to stop abusing drugs. If Giambi has a similar problem to Carter, Bowa has a similar personality to Ryan.

Posted 5:00 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#153) - Jay Payton
  I'm a 5-dimension player.

Posted 5:01 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#154) - J. Cross
  J. Michael Neal,

I went for Brian Roberts instead of German to fill in for my Catalanatto. I also changed the team name from "Beane Town" (I had 7 A's) to "John F-ing Mabry."

Posted 5:01 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#155) - Ed Wade
  Wait, Billy, let's not stop there! I've got Tomas Perez hitting .306, and a guy named Ricky Ledee who's a big prospect from the Yankee farm system!! You've got such a great rotation, I don't think you'd even miss Hudson and Zito any...

Posted 5:02 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#156) - DTS
  Rick, Giambi is marginal in the same way players with .390 OBP and .470 slugging averages are marginal. He is a good player with developing power. John Mabry is a journeyman who is on the wrong side of 30 with a career slugging percentage of under .400. He's bad. Giambi good.

The biggest shocker is that all Beane could get was Mabry. There must be something we don't know about.

Posted 5:02 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#157) - Craig Calcaterra (e-mail) (homepage)
  The Libertarian in me says that Beane can do anything that is plainly bad for him as long as he isn't hurting anyone else.

Oh wait, he is hurting lots of other people with this one. In that case, I demand a government investigation.

Posted 5:02 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#158) - Fidel Castro
  Down with the American imperialist system! Viva la libre Cuba! Livin' la vid-

My bad, wrong thread.

Billy Beane is proof of the inferiority of the American capitalist system!

Posted 5:02 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#159) - John Brattain (e-mail)
  My question is: Suppose the worst is possible with JG. His minor league stats were truly crap, he was arrested for deforestration on a massive scale etc. wouldn't his reputation alone make him more valuable to another team? It's not like a lot of GM's pay attention to anything more than the hype (hello Gord Ash).

I've gotta think that somebody out there would've offered more than Mabry if they knew JG was available. A lot of GM's aren't the most thorough when it comes to finding out/researching info. about other teams/players.

Best Regards

John

Posted 5:02 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#160) - Allan Baird
  If Billy was going to give up Giambi for spare change, the least he could've done is give him to me for a lousy player & a CD of Tony Muser's karokee rendition of "My Way." Jeez, the guy owes me, and lord knows with my track record he ought to want me to still like making trades with him.

Posted 5:03 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#161) - Chris Truby
  Man, you should see some of the shiznit Giambi is involved in...

Posted 5:03 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#162) - Dumpster Diver
  Post 163 and counting....

Posted 5:04 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#163) - Jeff Biddle
  Maybe this would explain it...

"A's fire Howe, name Mabry manager."

And you guys thought Mabry was worthless.

Posted 5:04 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#164) - Chuck LeMar
  This guy Beane is some kind of idiot!

Posted 5:06 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#165) - Rick
  Steve Cameron,
Here's how I see the gap:

Mabry -- not worthy of a 40-man roster spot
Giambi -- starter for the Phillies (i.e., not worth a roster spot)

Enjoy watching Giambi chase balls down around the Vet. No need for slow motion. Or if he's at first, get ready for his patented "Ole'" move. You will wish you had the DH.

Posted 5:06 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#166) - Dan Werr (e-mail)
  Lance,

That's true. His stats were worse before. He had a .507 SLG in AA (Wichita), and .578 in 116 AB at A in Lansing, following his initial showing of .424 at my little town, Spokane (231 AB). Still, I feel he has more power potential. I could be wrong. So far, though, he's at .471 this year, which is better than he'd done before. The point is that Giambi right now still has some potential... he's not the best hitter he can be (in my subjective opinion). I would predict that he will reach a .500 SLG at some point. I believe we have yet to witness his best performance.

Even if you think the chances aren't great, at least they're there.

Posted 5:07 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#167) - A.C.
  Finally, step two in the "convince Scott Rolen that we're serious about winning" campaign. Up next: replace Glanville.

Posted 5:07 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#168) - The Phillie Phanatic
  OK, who hacked into Yahoo and posted this story. It's April 1st, right? Go Phillies.

Posted 5:08 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#169) - Syd Thrift
  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Even I'm not dumb enough to make this deal. Well, Billy, welcome to the "worst GMs in baseball" club. We've reserved a seat for you right next to Allard Baird.

Posted 5:08 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#170) - Sharkbyte
  Palin -

I'm not sure whether a contract would be seen to end when a player still owes service time to a team. But even if not, the chances of re-signing a player after his prison term would have to be a lot better if you show enough loyalty to keep his rights rather than dealing him for John F-ing Mabry before there's so much as a rumour in public. (All this of course assumes that Giambi will end up in prison, and we don't have any particular reason to think that's the case.)

Posted 5:09 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#171) - Josh
  Maybe Beane wants out of his contract (that he just signed? OK, it's not a good theory, but this is like gravity suddenly stopping)?

This may be more lopsided than the Dye deal.

Posted 5:09 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#172) - Buddha
  164 posts in about 10 minutes. Gotta be a record.

Posted 5:11 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#173) - DTS
  I'd rather have Brett Laxton than John Mabry.

Posted 5:12 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#174) - dp
  "Beane trades Mabry for Singleton"!?!?!!?!?!?
See if we can't get another 200+ posts....

Posted 5:12 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#175) - huey
  Breathe, breathe...

Posted 5:13 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#176) - Michael Bodell
  Pat Gillick is a great GM. But I think you have to give Brian Cashman some credit as a pretty good GM too. I mean yeas the Yankees have a lot of money, but (unfortunately) they spend it wisely and well.

Posted 5:14 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#177) - Jeremy Giambi
  First Bret Laxton and now John Mabry? Am I really that bad?

Posted 5:14 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#178) - Joe Medwick
  Isn't Beane still secretly courted by the new Boston ownership group??? (Or was that a different potential buyer?)

Maybe he's trying his best to worsen the AL in the future.

Posted 5:14 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#179) - Comic Book Guy
  Worst. Trade. Ever!

Rest assured, I was on the internet within minutes, registering my disgust throughout the world!

Posted 5:16 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#180) - PETA Representative
  JG was arrested for deforestation on a massive scale

And experimentation on bunnies! Cute, cute bunnies. Cruel, cruel Jeremy.

Posted 5:18 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#181) - Palin
  I keep checking ESPN in hopes of there being some kind of explanation.

Posted 5:20 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#182) - Craig Calcaterra (e-mail) (homepage)
  Ever notice how Chis Kahrl's column always goes up the same day of a big trade, but too late to say anything about it? I saw the new TA at Prospectus, and I thought it was like an "Extra" edition of the old newspapers. Oh well, it looks like he has a whole week to rip into this one. I can't wait to see what he says.

Posted 5:20 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#183) - Lance Linden (homepage)
  Baffling, to use a word by Jim Rice. Absolutely baffling.

What makes it even more baffling is not just giving up a solid regular who has the potential to be more in exchange for a worthless utility man who's not even that, but in the values this trade represents.

Trading Giambi for pennies on the dollar goes against all the things for which Billy Beane seemed to stand (lots of walks, choosing offense over defense, ignoring speed, valuing youth, etc) while he was digging the organization out from under the rubble of Alderson/LaRussa's veteranmania. This is like Bill Gates releasing Windows/Office code to the open-source community, or George W. Bush stumping for more regulation of the economy or Bobby Cox going on record as saying that when you get right down to it, hitting wins pennants and all that talk about pitching and defense is really overrated.

Baffling.

Posted 5:21 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#184) - Steve Cameron
  Does Giambi have less range than Luzinski? That seems awfully unlikely. Bowa knows about the Maddox/McBride shift to cover left center, so I think Glanville & Abreu just slide over a bit.

Posted 5:23 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#185) - John Brattain (e-mail)
  Palin:

Explanation? My guess is Billy Beane has been smokin' Jeremy's stuff.

Best Regards

John

Posted 5:23 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#186) - Ernie Broglio
  John Mabry couldn't carry MY jock.

Posted 5:25 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#187) - Monica Seles
  Nor mine.

Posted 5:26 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#188) - Syd Thrift
  So Billy, how much for Mabry?

Posted 5:29 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#189) - Josh
  What's strange is the speculation that Giambi was being shopped for a while. Like, he passed up quite a few players before settling on John Mabry.

What was going on at those negotiating tables???

Posted 5:30 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#190) - Shredder
  Just hink of how long this thread is going to be when the guys that went outside for a cigarette about a half hour ago get back. I'm putting the number somewhere around 260 when all is said and done.

Posted 5:31 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#191) - Walt Jocketty (I wish...)
  How about Polanco for Chavez?

Posted 5:32 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#192) - Billy Beane
  Syd, you know I don't conduct negotiations over the Internet. I prefer face-to-face meetings over a tasty tofu dog ....

mmm .... does Singleton still have his dog?

Posted 5:32 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#193) - Mike Emeigh (e-mail)
  It's possible that Giambi's problems (whatever they may be) are known well enough within the major-league fraternity so that John Mabry was in fact the best player Beane could get. We might not know for a long time, if ever, what the exact situation is here.

I think something is seriously wrong in Oakland. I was listening to an archived broadcast of one of their recent games the other night, and the A's announcers were commenting that while the team recovered from a bad start last year they didn't think that with the *makeup* of the team this year that such a recovery was likely (I'm paraphrasing here, but there was an emphasis on *makeup*). It sounds to me that there's more than the usual backbiting and finger-pointing going on when a team is struggling; maybe the locals can shed some insight here.

-- MWE

Posted 5:33 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#194) - Chris J.
  Billy: "Hi Ed, I'm looking to make a trade, & I was wondering what you'd want in return for John Mabry?"

Ed: "Gee, I dunno Bill. I like Mabry. He fits in well around here, gives Dallas someone to yell at & all. . . maybe Menechino or Seanz or Jeff Tam, someone like that maybe."

Billy: "How about Jeremy Giambi?"

Ed: (after nearly choking to death on his sandwhich) "uh, uh, - yea, heck, I mean, I guess we could do that" - (looking around the room for Alan Funt & his Candid Camer) - "let's get the paperwork done right now while my blood is still up" (hangs up an gives a bewildered laugh).

Posted 5:35 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#195) - Billy Beane [tomorrow]
  "He was a heroin addict? Surely not. I hadn't the slightest idea. As I said, I made the trade because Jeremy is one dimentional."

Posted 5:36 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#196) - Tony Muser
  I didn't think Jeremy was worth a crap either! ACKNOWLEDGE ME AS YOUR NEW INTERNET GOD!!!

Posted 5:36 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#197) - J. Cross
  Okay, since we've accused Giambi of deforrestation already I think it's time for my crackpot theory. Ed Wade is going in on this scam with Billy Beane. The Yankees refused to deal with the A's so Giambi had to get moved to the Phillies so that they could trade him for Nick Johnson who will then get passed along to the A's (for someone like Jeff Tam). This has to be the explanation.

Posted 5:37 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#198) - Repoz
  Matthew Elmslie,Toronter...

With all of Toronto's problems, Orlando Hudson's numbers for the Syracuse Doghouses are .306/.360/.461..821 with 2 errors in 42 games.

The point I was trying to make was that Ricciardi comes off as somewhat of a stuffed shirt (radio,magazine interviews)and being that he and Beane are friends maybe they have similar sensibilities.

Maybe_we_ would take the pimp comment as a compliment but Ricciardi certainly_did not_.

Posted 5:40 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#199) - Dayn Perry
  Well, I'm one of the guys who stepped out for little while, and I almost fell out of my chair when I read this. When I saw the headline, I thought it would poorly executed Onion knockoff. I'm utterly confounded. Part of me says there has to be more to the story here. Otherwise, this is absolutely idiotic. I'm trying to think of the last trade this bad ... Was is another Ed Wade gem--Kevin Stocker for Bobby Abreu? All hail Ed Wade. I'm stupefied.

Posted 5:40 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#200) - Steve Cameron
  Okay, here are the numbers on Giambi range:

Player Pos G PO A E DP FP lgFP RnF lgRnF
Giambi 1B 51 337 15 4 33 0.989 0.992 6.90 8.84
Bull 1B 35 275 38 2 18 0.994 0.991 8.94 8.54
Giambi LF 31 30 2 4 0 0.889 0.970 1.03 1.97
Giambi RF 86 119 3 2 0 0.984 0.976 1.42 2.13
Bull OF 1221 1845 67 55 8 0.972 0.979 1.57 1.97

Ugh. Hopefully, Giambi may improve with less territory to cover in the Vet.

Posted 5:42 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#201) - Lance Linden (homepage)
  Mike,

You might well be right; people like me often deride things like chemistry and intangibles, and 29 times out of 30 we're right. However, it's certainly possible that being on the extreme edge of the "negative" side of the chemistry spectrum can damage a team, particularly if the end result is trading a cheap .380-OBA hitter with .420 potential for the last 100 games of John Mabry's career.

At any rate, those threads we were having about how the A's poor start doesn't matter because they could still get hot and go 48-17 are pretty much moot. Anyone still think Oakland can have a .650+ second half this year?

Happy Base Ball

Happy Base Ball

Posted 5:43 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#202) - Dayn Perry
  Shredder-

I'm putting the over-under at about 310.

Posted 5:45 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#203) - Cats
  Beane: What happen!!!

Mechanic: Someone set us up the Mabry.

Operator: We get signal.

Beane: Main screen turn on. It's you!

Wade: How are you gentlemen!!! All your Giambi are belong to us. You have no chance to win make your time! HA HA HA HA !!!

Posted 5:45 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#204) - nathan kunkel
  perhaps a permanent thread entitled "Poor Man's Comic: Tiny Contemplations on Baseball Today" could be established to relieve the wasted space occupied by those who find it necessary to litter, truly, the majority of the discussions displayed on this site.

it might be time baseballprimer.com considered a registration of users, NOT for the purpose of funding or advertising, but simply to weed out some of the pointless fodder that appears here.

my apologies to the original pranksters who, at one point, were limited and actually insightful as well as entertaining.

as for you wannabes, go ahead and bring it on. i'm an open target. see 'name'.

what do you say Sean? Robert? Joe?

***********
being a phillies fan, i'm elated by this trade, although i'm worried by Bowa being so darn enthusiastic about this 'type' of player joining the club, as if Giambi the Free Spirit is nothing but Good for the low key type players assembled in Philly. as has been stated elsewhere, Bowa's managerial style (if you can call it that) does not suggest longevity with regards to his continuing employment...

Posted 5:46 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#205) - Nate Silver
  Apart from the possibility that Giambi rapes little bunnies, and the possibility that Billy Beane was not of right mind in completing this deal (something that I haven't entirely ruled out), is there a third scenario here? Namely that Beane's hand was forced by Steve Schott or another higher-up within the organization? I don't think it's entirely a coincidence that something as strange as this comes immediately after the Carlos Pena demotion, which was pretty uncharacteristic in its own right.

It wouldn't shock me if Beane resigned within the next week or so. It would shock me as much as this trade did, at least. Beane's never struck me as all egomaniacal. But, damn, if he had some or another reason to exercise a grudge against his boss, this is one hell of a good way to do it. His comments in the ESPN article are such overused cliches that they come across as deadpan and almost sinister, like the victim of a botched lobotomy.

The point is that a move like this undoes an awful lot of what the organization has been trying to accomplish for the past several years; the Red Sox can afford to make a mistake now and again in a way the A's just can't. Even if Giambi does present some insurmountable sort of discipline problem, you'd think you'd explore in-house solutions to the problem first (bench him, send him to the minors if he has options left, suspend him without pay, send him to rehab).

Because, as it stands, this trade doesn't merely come across as stupid, but rather unprofessional. If you're attempting to cover for some sort of personal problem on Giambi's part, making a trade so bad that even a talk-radio jockey can jump all over it doesn't seem like a good way to accomplish that. Apart from damaging his reputation with statheads, this deal could go a long way toward damaging Beane's rep with other GM's.

Posted 5:46 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#206) - Steve Cameron
  Actually, Dayn Perry makes a good point about a better candidate for worst trade of the last 20 years.

Wade doesn't make a lot of stupid deals - Chen to the Mets was about the worst. Wade was trying to win a division, and Chen wasn't working out, so it was defended when it was done in the media. I do know a couple people who weren't sold on Stocker for Abreu at the tiem, because Stocker was the starting shortstop, but I can't imagine anyone - even some of the idiot hosts/callers on WIP (Philly's SportsTalk radio) - will find a way to rip this.

Ed Wade for best GM in baseball?? No. But he's average or better, I think.

Posted 5:46 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#207) - Eephus
  i dont get it

Posted 5:47 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#208) - Arthur Copeland
  This is only a great move for the Phillies if they actually give Giambi some At-Bats. I have this fear that we'll be hearing all about how Travis Lee's defense is too valuable to the pitching staff. Or better yet, Giambi plays in left and they bench Pat Burrell.

So here's a question: Does Giambi play 1st or do you move Burrell to 1st and play Giambi in Left? (In the great tradition of Phillies' Left "Fielders" Greg Luzinski and Greg Jeffries.)

Or is this in preperation for some disaster like Giambi at LF, Burrell at 3B and Rolen to the A's for some magic beans.

Posted 5:47 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#209) - Shredder
  I'm just assuming the T.O. thread is going to steal some thunder. It wouldn't shock me if you were right, Dayn.

By the way, have I mentioned that I'm still grinning from ear to ear. It's a great day to be a non-stathead Angel fan.

Posted 5:47 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#210) - Conventional Wisdom Apologist
  This team would still be on track if it had Jason Giambi in the clubhouse.

Posted 5:49 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#211) - dan
  Th eonly explanation I can think of is that Billy Beane is actually dead, and the A's have brought on Randy Smith to handle the club.

I mean, Ed Wade fleeced Billy Beane!!! Is this the bizarro baseball world?

Posted 5:49 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#212) - dan
  The only explanation I can think of is that Billy Beane is actually dead, and the A's have brought on Randy Smith to handle the club.

I mean, Ed Wade fleeced Billy Beane!!! Is this the bizarro baseball world?

Posted 5:50 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#213) - Andy James
  Nathan:

Perhaps. As long as the comments are tiny, I don't care if they aren't always funny.

And Cats surprised me with that one -- that was genuinely hilarious.

Posted 5:51 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#214) - stuart
  stunned

utterly, completely stunned

wha de faa???

on a side note, does anyone else wonder if jg is going to play enough with the phillies to actually make this trade look as bad as it actually is (in terms of the talent exchanged)

i mean jg is probably in mount kraka-bowa's doghouse already, just on reputation

and i can't imagine bowa sticking him in the OF very often ... so maybe he plays at 1st?

wow

Posted 5:53 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#215) - Josh
  Maybe nathan could share his intellectual greatness with us and tell us what is "worthy" of being posted?

Posted 5:53 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#216) - Joel Wertheimer
  This makes me happy as a Red Sox fan. Wow. Barring horrible collapse, or a Billy Beane return to form and a ripping off of some unsuspecting foe, we are set. BTW, is it possible Billy Beane made a bad trade so that people would be willing to trade w/ him in the future...

Posted 5:54 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#217) - Shane
  As a Seattle Fan I was quite elated to see this happen. But as a victim of some lopsided trades in the past (varitek and lowe for Slocumb) and some seemingly lopsided trades I feel for you A's fans.
Hopefully you'll end up with a player to be named later who turns out to be Mike Cameron.

Posted 5:56 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#218) - Joe Medwick
  Nathan -

If this trade were worth serious debate and/or rhetoric it would be sensible to post relevant comments, minus the jokes.

As it is, the trade is a bigger joke than anyone could post here. We may as well debate the worth of the circus clown vs. the court jester as comedic mediums if this trade is worth serious posts.

"being a phillies fan"

This trade is laughable as a non-Phillies fan and as such it is easier to joke about then make sense of.

As a side note, congrats as a Phillies fan for the steal. Giambi isn't great but he has much more worth than Mabry.

Ducky.

Posted 5:58 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#219) - Steve Cameron
  Arthur:

I know it's buried, but I looked up Giambi & Luzinski fielding stats on baseball-reference, and Giambi has a ways to go before he's as good as Luzinski. And, no, I never thought I'd be holding Luzinski up as a good fielder, but he did do okay on what he could get to, he just covered very little ground. I copied the info below.

I bench Lee most days, and use Giambi in LF, hoping he gets better there with more playing time. He seems to be worse at first. Even Burrell is better than Giambi at both spots:

Player Pos G PO A E DP FP lgFP RnF lgRnF
Burrell 1B 58 460 22 6 37 .988 .992 8.31 9.26
Giambi 1B 51 337 15 4 33 0.989 0.992 6.90 8.84
Bull 1B 35 275 38 2 18 0.994 0.991 8.94 8.54

Giambi LF 31 30 2 4 0 0.889 0.970 1.03 1.97
Giambi RF 86 119 3 2 0 0.984 0.976 1.42 2.13
Bull OF 1221 1845 67 55 8 0.972 0.979 1.57 1.97
Burrell LF 194 300 24 9 2 .973 .976 1.67 1.91

Nathan:

I'm a bigger Bowa fan than you, but we can both be elated about this. My wife called me, and asked how I could possibly be "excellent" while at work.

Posted 5:58 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#220) - Beane's Still a Genius
  He discovered the Grand Unified Theory of Baseball, which stated that Giambi's defense makes him worse than useless, so he dumped him for...nope, doesn't work, Beane's an idiot.

Posted 5:58 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#221) - nathan kunkel
  andy

yeah, ok.. it's late over here in denmark and i should be in bed. i've been renovating my house for two weeks, so my tolerance isn't up to it's normal level of good naturedness.

still, i miss that guy (when there was only one) who employed reasonably clever name plays AND had some decent points to make ..

Posted 5:59 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#222) - Josh
  Jeremy at age 27:

.274/.390/.471

Jason at age 27:

.295/.384/.489

Deal still not making sense, and getting worse!

Posted 6:03 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#223) - It's a Dog is what I'm saying
  Sit Deal!
Stay Deal!

Bad Deal!!
Bad Bad Deal!!!

Posted 6:04 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#224) - Steve Cameron
  Joe "Ducky" Medwick:

Any thought on where the Phils should arrange Burrell/Giambi/Lee? That is worth discussing, in my opinion, since it's not blatantly obvious.

Posted 6:05 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#225) - Robert Dudek
  So now, how many Oakland A's on the 25-man roster have good OBP skills? Um.... Jermaine Dye. Um... David Justice and Velarde a few years ago. That's about it.

Note that Oakland's park inhibits offense and thus hurt Giambi's stats a bit.

Okay guys - which was the dumber move: this one or Ash allowing Batista to be claimed on waivers.

Posted 6:05 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#226) - nathan kunkel
  steve

good one.. you made my aching body laugh for a wonderful moment..!

has Bowa hired Luzinski as baserunning coach yet?

ho ho..

smiles..

Posted 6:06 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#227) - Steve Cameron
  As a Jays/Phils fan, I have to give Ash the nod on stupidity.

Getting Batista was the blind squirrel finding a nut, letting him go was terrible, but probably not his worst move - Clemens deal was worse.

Posted 6:08 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#228) - trevise
  This might be a pretty bad trade but it's hardly the worse ever:

• The Hernandez/Allen trade has already been mentioned.

How about these:

• Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas
• Joe Coleman, Aurelio Rodriguez and Eddie Brinkman for Denny McLain.
• Steve Finley, Pete Harnisch and Curt Schilling for Glenn "Freakin" Davis.
• [Can't forget the Bosox] Jeff Bagwell for Larry Anderson. (or somesuch.)

Mabry may be a zero but Giamby (the lesser) is hardly a hero and not likely to be much more than he is now.

--------------
trevise :-) ...

Posted 6:10 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#229) - Frank
  Steve,

LF - Burrell
1b - Giambi

To the Angels for pitching Lee (or failing that to any other team for a pair of sanitary socks)

Posted 6:10 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#230) - Steve Cameron
  Nathan:

The funniest thing about the Giambi-Bull comparison is that it's serious. And sad.

Of course, Luzinski stole 37 bases in his career, so Giambi has a ways to go - he's only 37 behind. :)

Posted 6:11 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#231) - Aaron Gleeman (e-mail)
  The Phillies offense is looking pretty good, if Bowa plays Little G.

SS Jimmy Rollins
1B Jeremy Giambi
RF Bobby Abreu
3B Scott Rolen
LF Pat Burrell
C Mike Lieberthal
2B Marlon Anderson
CF Doug Glanville

It gets even better once they add Marlon Byrd.

Posted 6:12 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#232) - scruff (e-mail)
  I'm with Steve. At this point I don't need to comment on the deal as it's obviously a joke. Simply amazing. Allaird Baird has possessed Billy Beane. A sad day for the stathead population.

I think Giambi will do more damage in the OF than at 1B. You know, OF defense and it's impact on DER and all. I'd stick Little G (that must annoy the hell out of him, but I can't help it) at 1B and move Travis Lee for whatever I could get. Boston or SF could probably use him.

If you have to keep Lee, start Giambi and Lee comes in for the 7th if you have a lead.

Posted 6:13 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#233) - RossyW
  Trevise, most of those trades looked bad after the fact. Just looking at the day that it happened, this one blows away almost anything I can think of. Keith Hernandez and Bobby Abreu are the first two that pop into my mind.

Posted 6:14 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#234) - Rich Rifkin
  This is the fastest I've ever seen a Primer Thread get to 200 comments. It now has over 230, and Sean only put this up 2 hours ago. Wow! That's amazing!

Posted 6:14 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#235) - Bernal Diaz
  Put Giambi at 1st, wait a few weeks, and ship Travis Lee to Atlanta for prospects.

Posted 6:15 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#236) - nathan kunkel
  steve

AND the Bull put a few seasons under his belt where his offensive output (perhaps) justified his defensive liabilities. i always felt he kind of got a raw deal at the end in Philadelphia.

Josh

if you like those posts, state your case.. fine. my point remains, and it's my opinion. getting petty furthers no argument.

Posted 6:16 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#237) - Sharkbyte
  Robert: Two reasons why this deal is worse than the Batista loss on waivers.
(1) Batista at least had a contract that could conceivably be worth dumping, Giambi makes half the major-league average.
(2) Batista was playing badly at the time he was waived and didn't project to improve much beyond his established performance level, Giambi's been as good as ever this year and should continue to add power for another season or two.
Of course, Giambi has a lot less defensive value which would work in Batista's favor.
In any case there aren't many major-league teams with a substantially better LF/3B (or better yet SS) combination than Giambi/Batista, so it is very strange that both have been available for effectively nothing in the past year.

Posted 6:16 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#238) - Bernal Diaz
  The only question now is which thread is going to have more posts. This one or the "is Mike Piazza gay" one. If I were a betting man I would put my money on this one.

Posted 6:18 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#239) - Steve Cameron
  I like Lee to the Angels for pitching - that would almost be rubbing it in the A's fans faces, though.

I actually don't mind Lee as a player, he has his uses as a backup corner OF/1B who's a slick glove and has some pop.

I'm really afraid of Giambi's 1b range factor. I realize it may not a good indicator of 1B defense, but I don't know what else to use that I can find quickly. I think anybody who can play right, can play LF as well if there are no oddities like the Green Monster. Therefore, Giambi should be able to get his RF up to at least Luzinski range if he becomes an exclusive LF. Those numbers for the Bull, include 1 game in RF, by the way.

Posted 6:18 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#240) - scruff (e-mail)
  Trevise, I think this deal is worse than others, which all look terrible in hindsight. This one is terrible right now, the day it is made.

You are giving a pretty good 27-year old hitter for an absolute zero. Even w/Bagwell-Anderson you had a very good relief pitcher for a minor leaguer, we didn't now at the time he'd be a Hall of Famer.

On the surface, this is probably the most lopsided trade I have ever seen. I'm not exagerrating. There is absolutely no way this trade works out for Oakland. Even if Giambi suffers a career ending injury tonight, Mabry is worse than a zero. He's below replacement level.

Maybe Oakland will release him and sign Izzy Alcantrara or something. That'd be hysterical.

But even if they do -- they could have gotten more for Little G. I don't see how they couldn't have.

Posted 6:18 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#241) - Frank
  RossyW,

Abreu had just been left unprotected from the Astros roster in the expansion draft. The Rays then flipped him for a major league starting shortstop - Although Abreu looked like a good deal, laughing out loud was not the reaction. Thus, that trade was another that looks worse in retrospect.

This is something for nothing today.

Posted 6:21 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#242) - RossyW
  Frank - yeah, Abreu is borderline.

Posted 6:24 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#243) - Robert Dudek
  Steve...

The Clemens trade was a bad one, but it wasn't stupid. They had to deal Clemens because he had a written out clause. Obviously there weren't a lot of teams willing to take Clemens' salary at the time.

It's worth noting that David Wells outpitched Clemens over 1999 and 2000 and Homer Bush was decent definively and was their best offensive option until this year (Orlando Hudson is now ready, apparently). His main problem is that he couldn't stay healthy.

Posted 6:24 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#244) - Ben
  Or maybe Beane was sleeping with Wade's wife?

Posted 6:24 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#245) - scruff (e-mail)
  Steve, 1B range factors are useless. Throw them out the window. Not even worth looking at.

Diamond Mind rates Jeremy as FR at 1b and PR in lf and rf.

I'd NEVER play a PR of on turf. Ever. Unless he hits at an MVP level.

Jeremy will do a lot less damage at 1b. He shouldn't even be talked about as an OF. I'd bet Mo Vaughn would have just as much range in the OF.

Posted 6:24 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#246) - Steve Cameron
  Nathan:

Greg Luzinski is one my favorite players ever. Another one is John Kruk. Notice a trend? Luzinski's career OPS+ is 130. Excluding his first & last year, his worst OPS+ is 99, then it's 107, and 112. I would submit that his stick was worth his glove just about EVERY year. I don't know what you mean by the "raw deal at the end" in Philly - I was 13 when he left for the White Sox in 1981.

Posted 6:25 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#247) - You Don't Need to Be a Genius
  Doesn't this reek of anger? I mean, if no one in the world would make this trade, and Beane has established a rep as a pretty smart baseball man, doesn't it make sense that this is some kind of subversive move?

Posted 6:25 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#248) - Frank
  Steve,

As a fellow Phils Phan, the problem with Lee (and Glanville) is that watching adequate backups start for two years really grates against a fan's tolerance. Even though it is management's fault that they allowed to (t) rot out onto the field every day, they still become a lightning rod for phandom's displeasure. Lee has had waaaayy tooo much time to prove he is not an everyday player and I am ecstatic that his days as a starter (and hopefully a Phil) are numbered.

With that being said sliding Lee into Mabry's role is also a good trade even colored by semi-hatred I can see that.

Posted 6:28 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#249) - Steve Cameron
  Scruff:

Thanks. I thought they were probably useless, given that they're based on putouts. The Phils do have two pretty good OF's at covering ground, so maybe Giambi could play LF is needed.

I've heard negative things about Giambi at 1B & LF. His factor in RF isn't as terrible as LF.

Posted 6:30 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#250) - Jonathan
  According to BP's Adjusted Equivalent Average, Jeremy Giambi's EQA this year has been .305.

While that's not spectacular, it is the second highest EQA of any leftfielder in the American League behind (38 yr-old) Mark McLemore. Odds are quite good that he would have been the best offensive LF by the end of the year.

This seems - on the face of it - like a classic "blame your best players for your struggles" kind of move. Completely uncharacteristic of Billy Beane.

Maybe the A's are convinced that Eric Byrnes and Adam Piatt need to play? Maybe the A's pitching staff is threatening to go on strike (earlier than everyone else) unless the OF defense is improved? There is no doubt that the A's OF defense has been worse this year. (So why wasn't Justice unloaded?)

I suspect it'll be 2004 or so before we know for certain what happened behind the scenes.

Disclaimer: a) there are those who argue that EQA overvalues OBP by a little. b) sample size caveats apply to a certain extent. But still . . .

Posted 6:30 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#251) - Steve Cameron
  Frank:

To me Lee should move into a role more like Ledee than Mabry. He's mroe useful than Mabry, so use him. Of course, he might be best used as a trading chip as others have said.

Posted 6:35 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#252) - trevise
  Trevise, most of those trades looked bad after the fact. Just looking at the day that it happened, this one blows away almost anything I can think of. Keith Hernandez and Bobby Abreu are the first two that pop into my mind.

RossyW,

I'll admit, I was too young to remember when the Robinson/Pappas trade actually happened but, my father told me there was partying in the streets of Balmer after it was announced. general consensus of the time was Cincy got fleeced. It sure worked out that way.

However, I do remember the McLain trade. After looking at his stats compared to the others, I also thought it was a good trade. My father told me to look again and to highly discount 1968 as it wouldn't happen again. Second impression brought me to the same conclusion that he made. I was 9 at the time. It was a bad trade and it was called that at the time.

The "Davis" trade was a bad trade in the "worst George Allen tradition," 3 - 3 year old cats for a 10 year old dog. It smelled bad then, and smells worse now.

Although I'll grant that you may have a point on the Bagwell trade.

--------------
trevise :-) ...

Posted 6:38 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#253) - scruff (e-mail)
  Steve - Raw RF's are almost useless at any position, unless they say a player is incredible or awful they aren't of much use. Too much pollutes them.

You really need to look at system that is devised to weed through the inherent flaws in defensive stats. Defensive Win Shares. Charles Saeger's Context Adjusted Defense. Diamond Mind's ratings. Other than that it's just a guess.

Personally I like Diamond Mind's ratings, because they are on a scale (PR, FR, AV, VG, EX) that is easily recognizable. But if you don't have the game, you don't have access to the ratings.

A bad first baseman probably has a lot less potential to do harm than a bad leftfielder. If you play him close to the line, you aren't going to give up too many more extra base hits, most of his mistakes will be singles, and he's close enough to the bag that he can knock something down and still make a play.

But a terrible OF can have a devestating effect on team's defense. He'll probably (BTW, this is pure speculation, no data to back this up) cost you just as many 1B's as the bad 1B, but he'll also play singles and outs into 2B's and 3B's.

I can't remember where I saw it, but someone out there has sort of redefined the defensive spectrum. Instead of:

SS-2B-CF-3B-RF-LF-1B they now show it as:

SS-2B---3B----------1B
-----CF----RF-LF----1B

Kind of a two pronged spectrum, with both paths headed towards 1B. The best place to hide a butcher is 1B in my opinion.

Posted 6:39 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#254) - Dave H
  Manny Ramirez may have something to say about that "best offensive LF in the AL" overstatement.

Terrible trade, though, I don't get it.

Posted 6:41 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#255) - wshntnls
  I'm in the Bay Area, but don't keep up with the A's much for no better reason than the Giants' announcers are light years better than the A's', but here a tidbit of info I've gleaned:

There are five young, single A's who live together in some huge place. Giambi and Zito are (were) two, and I believe Pena was with 'em. The other's I don't recall, but you can probably make some guesses. Giambi may be the least vital team member of that group, and just be the one paying for any alledged shenanigans going on among those guys.

Posted 6:42 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#256) - Ghostbusters in Oakland
  Doctor Peter Venkman: This city is about to face a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical?"
Doctor Raymond Stantz: We mean real wrath-of-God type stuff. Plagues, darkness--
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Doctor Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes--
Doctor Peter Venkman: Riots in the streets, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!
Doctor Egon Spengler: Jeremy Giambi for John Mabry!!!

Posted 6:43 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#257) - Kurt
  On the surface, this is a worse trade than any of the others mentioned because Mabry is completely useless. LaMar could at least argue with a straight face that Stocker was a SHORTSTOP, and every team needs a SHORTSTOP; so as bad as that trade was, at least there was some justification. Same with Bagwell/Anderson; at least Anderson was a pretty good player who helped the Sox. This trade has absolutely no justification at all.

If the idea was to send a message for some unknown (to us) behavior, cutting Giambi would have made more sense.

Posted 6:43 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#258) - wshntnls
  and the best place to hide a butcher is at the postion of DH

Posted 6:46 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#259) - scruff (e-mail)
  "and the best place to hide a butcher is at the postion of DH"

Fair enough wshntnls, I stand corrected. I was kind of thinking about what the Phillies would do for the remaining 108 games where the Phillies won't be on the road in an AL city. Thanks for pointing it out though :-)

Posted 6:46 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#260) - Gergall (homepage)
  moish! this is the most ridiculous trade ever, and I am going to rub Giambi's face for it. Also I have a Giambi bobbing head thing I got in a box of cocoa pebbles and now it will be a collector's item

Posted 6:47 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#261) - E_Street
  I heard this on the radio and was cursing the media on the way home - "Why do they always just mention only the MAJOR LEAGUE players when they announce the deal - this deal HAS to be about prospects." I rushed to my computer to get the whole scoop - and discovered that is was just Giambi for Mabry. When did Beane hire Cam Bonifay?

Posted 6:47 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#262) - Keith L.
  Repoz wrote:

> The point I was trying to make was that Ricciardi comes off as
> somewhat of a stuffed shirt (radio,magazine interviews)and being
> that he and Beane are friends maybe they have similar sensibilities.
>
> Maybe_we_ would take the pimp comment as a compliment but Ricciardi certainly_did not_.

Give us an ounce of credit, Repoz. That was not the reason for Hudson's demotion.

Posted 6:47 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#263) - E_Street
  I heard this on the radio and was cursing the media on the way home - "Why do they always just mention only the MAJOR LEAGUE players when they announce the deal - this deal HAS to be about prospects." I rushed to my computer to get the whole scoop - and discovered that is was just Giambi for Mabry. When did Beane hire Cam Bonifay?

Posted 6:47 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#264) - trevise
  Trevise, I think this deal is worse than others, which all look terrible in hindsight. This one is terrible right now, the day it is made.

Scruff,

See my reply to RossyW. Besides, you were:

a) Not yet born then.
b) just outta the womb.
c) a 20 year old Yankee fan living in NY at that time. (I think.)

How would you know what the local reaction to those trades were when they were made.... hmmm? ;-) ...

--------------
trevise :-) ...

Posted 6:50 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#265) - A,C.
  From the latest AP feed:

"Phillies manager Larry Bowa plans to use Jeremy Giambi to spell corner outfielders Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu and at first base to rest Travis Lee. But, Lee has struggled since the All-Star break last season and Giambi could get an opportunity to win the starting job."

Posted 6:52 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#266) - Larry Sutton
  Ahem.

My OPS is currently .958.
Jeremy Giambi's is currently .862

I think my performance more than shows the pure, undeniable genius of Billy Beane

Posted 6:59 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#267) - Bill Barnwell
  There are five young, single A's who live together in some huge place. Giambi and Zito are (were) two, and I believe Pena was with 'em. The other's I don't recall, but you can probably make some guesses. Giambi may be the least vital team member of that group, and just be the one paying for any alledged shenanigans going on among those guys.

I distinctly remember Zito, Pena, and Venafro being in the house. Giambi might have also been there, but I'm not sure.

The only theory I can think of is the A's owner (whose name I can't remember) insisting on Pena being demoted, Beane protesting to no avail, and Beane making a move to "acquire some veteran leadership to stabilize the clubhouse" as a protest.

I can't see Beane being that unprofessional, though. There just has to be something behind this all.

-BB

Posted 7:05 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#268) - scruff (e-mail)
  Touche trevise . . .

"a) Not yet born then"

I assume this refers to Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas.

Not yet born, true. But Pappas at the time was a 26-year old pitcher with 110 wins under his belt, coming off an all-star season. That he was traded for a Hall of Fame OF was dumb, but you can see some justification for the trade, it wasn't a something for absolutely nothing trade like this. Local reaction has nothing to do with it, you never mentioned that in your post, I thought we were debating the trade on it's merits. That trade wasn't awful at the time. Look at the most similar players, it was like trading a 26-year old Vida Blue for Ken Griffey Jr. at the age of 29. It's a bad deal, but it wasn't indefensible at the time.

"b) just outta the womb"

Joe Coleman, Aurelio Rodriguez and Eddie Brinkman for Denny McLain.

Actually, it was a year prior to entering the womb, two years before I exited.

That's a bad deal too, but had won 55 games in the two years prior to 1970, and was only 26. A comeback couldn't have been unthinkable. He was a hell of a lot better risk than John Mabry.

Again, I wasn't there, but I think I can look back now and see what reasonable people would have thought at the time.

"c) a 20 year old Yankee fan living in NY at that time. (I think.)"

This could be both; Steve Finley, Pete Harnisch and Curt Schilling for Glenn "Freakin" Davis and;

Jeff Bagwell for Larry Anderson.

I was an 18-year old Yankee fan in college in Lancaster County, PA.

In 1991 I shelled out about $40 for Glenn Davis in a fantasy draft (salary cap $260). Obviously, that means someone else thought he was worth $39. He was a star, a first tier star at that time. A guy that hit 30 HR a year in the AstroDome. To give up a good young reliever; a .632 OPS as a 25-year OF and a 23-year old starter with an 88 ERA+ was a very reasonable deal. Many of us felt that the Orioles had fleeced the Astros actually.

The Bagwell deal was bad, but as was said earlier, Andersen was good and Bagwell was AA player who had yet to hit for power, although he was regarded as a good prospect at the time.

This deal is so much worse than any of those other deals, when looking at it at the time it was made.

I don't care if Giambi was making it with Beane's wife. You trade the wife for Mabry, not Giambi.

Posted 7:10 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#269) - Crispix Attacks
  As a Phillies fan, you can't imagine how energized this makes me feel. The Phillies never do anything interesting; last winter's acquisitions were Mabry, Dave Hollins, and Ricky Ledee, three guys whom nobody in the world projected, even at the time, as having a ceiling above average. The acquisitions over the previous winter were R-Corm, R-Bott, and J-Table. They're never "possible destinations" for free agents, or for people on the trade market. The only suspense is about who they'll get in return for some player who's obviously going to be traded and has a trade value that's depreciating every minute (Ashby, Schilling, Rolen). When they have a surprisingly good player, it's someone who was predicted to be virtually unnoticeable, and instead has become average (Daal, Lee for a while, Bottalico, Duckworth). The only well-known prospects they acquire are well looked over already (Chen, Ledee, Santiago).

Their bench players have been among the most boring imaginable, and they were the same for four straight years (Kevin Jordan, Kevin Sefcik); the temps are even more boring, come out of nowhere, and return there (Domingo Cedeno, Chris Pritchett, Chris Brock, Tomas Perez). Their hyped young players who go elsewhere don't turn out to be great (Eaton, Estalella, that other guy they traded with Chen). They keep having young pitchers who look like they're going to be really really good, and then turn out to be reliably average with occasional injuries and hot streaks (Wolf, Duckworth, Coggin, Loewer). Nothing to complain about, but not Kerry Wood. They're middle-of-the-road.

I've seen about 15 articles over the past 5 years about how Bobby Abreu is the majors' most underappreciated superstar. Scott Rolen is the ultimate "yeah, I guess he's a star" player. Paul Byrd was fun because he was a religious fanatic who was great in "Down Periscope", but now he's become an interchangeable slightly-above-average unreliable reliever. Now that Wayne Gomes is gone, there isn't even a recurring element of impending doom. All the white guys on the team look like Future Man from "Bottle Rocket". Doug Glanville can build a bridge and make the world smile, but he can't play. There's been nothing to latch onto.

Exception: Jimmy Rollins, who has proceeded exactly as expected.

So this is very surprising. I would have been happy if they had traded Rolen for Jeremy Giambi. The only explanation is that this is Beane's thanks to Ed Wade for his insightful US News & World Report articles and "Bunts" and "Men at Work".

Does this mean Beane is a Republican?

Posted 7:12 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#270) - wshntnls
  As an Orioles fan I was sick about the Glenn Davis for Finley, Schilling and Harnish trade when it was made. Clearly Davis may well have been useful for 3-5 years, but it was clear that any one of those guys panning out would be worth far more than the decline of Glenn Davis.

Finley had just lead, from the DL no less, the Orioles' one-year turn around from 108-losses to final wkend pennant hopes (and if you were following that team, you'll know I'm not being facetious about leading from the DL), and Schilling and Harnish at times were frustrating, but were both clearly long on promise.

Glenn Davis meanwhile was released the day after having his jaw broken in a Tidewater barfight while on AAA rehab.

Posted 7:13 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#271) - scruff (e-mail)
  "I would have been happy if they had traded Rolen for Jeremy Giambi."

That about somes this up. Good just Crispix. Decent cereal too, although surprising low fiber content for a "healthy" cereal.

Posted 7:14 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#272) - scruff
  Meant to say "good job Crispix" . . .

Posted 7:17 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#273) - Jonathan
  Yeah. I missed Manny Ramirez on the LF list. I still think of him as a RF.

But Giambi looks like a lock for second.

After McLemore and Giambi, the list reads Jacque Jones, Melvin Mora, Garrett Anderson.
(Jones Mora and Anderson are all good enough defensively to play center, so may be better overall players than Jeremy)
Not a stud in the bunch.

Posted 7:30 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#274) - Committee to Use the Word "Rash"
  This is rash. Rash, I tell you! Rash.

Rash rash rash rash rash
rash rash

rash rash rsh sh sh sh sh sh sh!

rash

rash rash rasssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssh.

sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssh.

rah-shuh,
rash.

Posted 7:37 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#275) - yb125
  Totaly nuts, unless the guys where running crack factory in their apt i don't really see trade JG for john does, unless Jeremy is really a sercert agent who was just being relocated, although bruce chen seems to be a better choice. Travis lee must be on the block now i'm sure there are still enough GM's who think he is ready to "pop", the braves could use him, i think the Gaints would rather have him then snow. Some one mentioned cust for john type deal, could see it but would john be better then tod zeile, prait for cust i understand.

Posted 7:40 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#276) - Larry Mahnken (e-mail)
  Wow, "The Spitter" sure changed their look.

Posted 7:40 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#277) - wshntnls
  Giants will not replace Snow. The organization seems to bow to Dusty's extreme sense of loyalty to certain guys -- witness the activation of Shawn Dunston yesterday.

Posted 7:56 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#278) - Steve Treder
  A couple of comments on the historically lopsided trades:

Frank Robinson was NOT traded for Milt Pappas. He was traded for Milt Pappas, Jack Baldschun, and Dick Simpson -- it was a 3-for-1 deal, not a 1-for-1, and this is almost never mentioned, and it's significant. Baldschun was coming off a so-so 1965 season, but he had been one of the better relievers in baseball in 1962-64, and Simpson was one of the better toolsy OF prospects around at the time. The Reds had featured an awesome offense in '65, but a very shaky pitching staff, and they figured they could replace Robinson's corner OF stick with some combination of Art Shamsky and Simpson (although instead what they did was use Tommy Helms at 3B and move Deron Johnson to RF, a poorer choice).

So the deal made some sense at the time, although it was still generally seen as favoring the Orioles. No one foresaw Robinson's huge triple-crown 1966 season (he had hit 21, 29, and 33 HRs the previous three seasons; no one expected him to suddenly crank out 49), and Baldschun's flaming out wasn't predicted, either. It was one of those deals that looks a whole lot stupider in retrospect than it did at the time.

The McLain deal, OTOH, was widely seen as a steal for the Tigers. Rodriguez looked like a budding star, Brinkman was among the best fielding SS's in baseball at the time, and Coleman was seen as a solid young starter. McLain was widely known as a flake, and his half-season performance in 1970 had been feeble. His demise was not unexpected. Ted Williams was known to have hated the deal; the only ray of hope he could see in it was that the Senators also gained a good young utilityman in Elliott Maddox -- not much in exchange for the best defensive left side of an infield other than Brooks/Belanger.

The trade that was most seen as a steal from that period was Orlando Cepeda for Ray Sadecki in May of 1966, and it did indeed turn out every bit as one-sided as it was generally predicted to.

I'll say it again: this Jeremy G. thing really shouldn't be seen as a trade at all; it's a firing. As such it should be considered as in the same vein as the Hernandez-for-Allen deal, and also Herzog's move to sell John Mayberry in 1977, the Astros' dumping of Joe Pepitone in mid-1970, Charlie Finley's firing of Ken Harrelson in mid-1967, and the Dodgers' dumping of Maury Wills in 1966. Those were moves born of spite, not strategy (which doesn't, in and of itself, mean they weren't warranted).

Posted 8:04 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#279) - Andrew Tarpinian
  My 2 theories

Maybe Mabry is the oft rumored East Coast gay ballplayer, and Beane plans on changing the A's uniforms to pink triangle and centering him in a new marketing scheme.

Maybe he lost Giambi in a poker game.

I hope the first comment didnt sound bigoted, I didn't mean it that way. I'm as dumbfounded as everyone else. Would it be possible that Wade is fired tomorrow and Beane is hired as the Phils GM? I dunno if that could work or not, but it'd make sense

Posted 8:21 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#280) - Wildrose
  The Oakland G..AY'S does have a nice ring to it!

Posted 8:24 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#281) - MAC
  I hope the first comment didnt sound bigoted, I didn't mean it that way.

On behalf of pink triangles everywhere, I'd like to say I appreciate the clarification.

Posted 8:31 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#282) - Chris Dial (e-mail)
  Range factor is completely useless. It doesn't address chances.

Defensive Win Shares et al also don't look at chances, but "guess" at them - which you have to do to include all of baseball history..

ZR is the best estimate of defensive play. My rating system or Mitchel Lichtman's are better for *players in the last decade*. Sample size also matters.

That said, Giambi has been terrible in LF.

Posted 8:55 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#283) - Jim Rice
  I suppose not many people are paying attention to Tigers/Indians: Jeff Weaver has a no-hitter through seven.

Posted 9:06 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#284) - Darren
  Maybe Beane meant that Giambi is literally one dimensional. That's the only way this makes sense.

Posted 9:07 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#285) - John Schuerholz
  My entries for worst (and obvious-at-the-time) trade ever:
First:
David Cone for Ed Hearn

Second:
Danny Jackson for Kurt Stillwell

Third:
Bud Black for Pat Tabler

Fourth:
Charlie Liebrandt for Gerald Perry

I think these deals are why people keep bringing up my name for Cooperstown!

Posted 9:27 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#286) - Steve L.
  Jeremy Giambi isn't an All-Star but this is still a lopsided trade. If Giambi had been traded 4 months ago perhaps this would have been perceived as some belated punishment for not sliding in the ALDS, but it's much too late for that to be the reason or to have a deterrent effect on the other Oakland players. Frankly, I'm at a loss for what more recent behavior would justify the trade but not have resulted in a suspension or even, apparently, a newspaper article.

Posted 9:47 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#287) - Mark McKinniss (e-mail)
  Settle down, fellas. No use in getting all hot and bothered trying to figure out which team got the better of this deal. That's exactly the kind of question that Win Shares were designed to answer.

Posted 9:56 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#288) - Bruce M.
  Steve, some great comments on lopsided trades of the last 40 years. Another lopsided deal that should be mentioned was the one that sent Nolan Ryan to the Angels for Jim Fregosi (as an added bonus, the Angels received three other players, though none really panned out longterm).

And then there was the one that sent Dennis Eckersley from the Cubs to the A's. At the time, Eckersley was considered over-the-hill, but he quickly became the best reliever in the game.

Giambi won't have the impact of a Ryan or Eckersley, but this trade still looks atrocious from the A's' perspective.

Posted 10:07 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#289) - Toronter
  More from Mr. Beane:

"This isn't a rebuilding situation," insisted A's general manager Billy Beane. "These are fringe moves."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=220522111

Posted 10:10 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#290) - Repoz
  Keith L.....Credit tendered.

Posted 10:30 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#291) - Stevie Ray
  Ok, let's look at this from Beane's perspective. He's got too many players (Giambi, Saenz, Byrnes, Justice, Piatt) that are too similar. He can't move Justice because of his salary. Saenz and Piatt can at least, in theory, play 3B, which with Chavez seemingly alway dinged up, is a consideration. Byrnes has more speed and defensive flexibility. So Giambi is the potential odd man out. Plus, he's a constant clubhouse reminder on the two that got away (both the non slide and the big brother). OK, I can see all of that. But John Mabry? Something else is going on here, plain and simple. My wife just called me and said that Giambi was on the news crying when he heard about the trade.

One more for the bad trade pile: Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz. OK, it won the Tigers a pennant. But it was still a bad deal, in the same way the Bags for Larry Anderson one was. Again though, it's a hindsight bad trade, and not as obviously terrible as this one.

Posted 11:03 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#292) - Tim
  From Ann Killion's column (on yesterday's roster shuffling) in this morning's S.J. Mercury News:

"'Any answers lie within the organization,' Beane said. 'We're not going to go out and make trades.'"

Apparently something changed pretty fast.

Posted 11:14 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#293) - Steve Cameron
  Stevie Ray:
I don't feel Smoltz for Alexander was bad for the Tigers. He got them a divisionn title, and I'd rather have the flag than an increased chance at multiple. That deal is one that made a ton of sense at the time, and was a good deal - in fact it's often held up as a great stretch drive move - unless I'm thinking of another deal with Doyle.

Posted 11:19 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#294) - Vlad
  Sheesh. I spend a day playing "Escape Velocity: Nova" instead of checking the transaction wire every 20 minutes, and something like this happens? I may never leave my computer again.

I don't really have anything to add except an echo of the groupthink so far: there's no upside for the A's in this deal, and there has to be something going on behind the scenes for them to be willing to make this move. Tomorrow should be interesting.

Posted 11:25 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#295) - Steve Cameron
  Crispix:
I was pretty interested when we got Terry Adams, although I wanted Astacio or Valdes more, particularly Valdes who would've been cheap.

And after my doctor's visit I turn on the sports talk station and hear: a comparison of NBA versus NHL playoffs - which is more exciting?

I'm happier about this deal than I was about the Abreu deal, because Stocker was more than Mabry. While I thought Abreu would turn out well, his value wasn't as certain as Giambi's. And I was very excited about the Abreu/Stocker deal.

Posted 11:30 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#296) - Ian Gray
  What I really find surprising is Giambi's reaction. He seems to have been completely blindsided, something I wouldn't have expected if he has, in fact, been 'fired' as some posters are speculating. I really want to know why Beane did it now.

Posted 11:35 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#297) - Steve Cameron
  I'm off to find some of the more useful fielding stats or raw data, if I can't find anything else. I saw that some of the detailed numbers are only in the last decade - I'd really like to compare Luzinski in this as well, so I may have to do some legwork.

Vlad, can you take tomorrow off, too? I'd really like to see if the Phils can get something good for another benchie.

Posted 11:46 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#298) - Stevie Ray
  Steve Cameron...

I guess I was just holding to the same light as people who were referencing Bagwell for Larry Anderson. And I remember being very PO'ed at the time. Who knew that Alexander was going to go 10-1 or whatever it was down the stretch....as a Tigers fan, I was thrilled with the result at the time, but I also knew it was going to haunt them for years, as well.

Posted 11:48 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#299) - David Nieporent (e-mail)
  First of all, the one comment I laughed out loud at was Darren's: Maybe Beane meant that Giambi is literally one dimensional. That's the only way this makes sense.

Second, this trade was inexcusably awful. But to label it the worst trade people can remember?

* Bagwell-Anderson
* Stocker-Abreu
* Giles-Rincon

Those three come to mind right away. All at least as bad, and all obviously so at the time of the trade.

Posted 11:51 p.m., May 22, 2002 (#300) - Tim DeWalt
  I was a young Tiger fan when the McLain deal went down. Jim Campbell, the Tiger GM, was immediately proclaimed a genius for this steal. Everybody in Detroit knew McLain was getting cortisone shots once a month. Hell, everybody knew it, even Bob Short knew it. The Tigers were competitive until '73 largely because of that trade, even tho it turned out that neither Brinkman or Rodriguez could get a hit to save their life. Coleman straight up would have been a great steal.

My nomination: another brilliant Mets 3B move, Joe Foy for Amos Otis.

Posted 12:00 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#301) - Steve Treder
  "My nomination: another brilliant Mets 3B move, Joe Foy for Amos Otis."

Sure, but I think we have to be careful to focus ourselves on trades that AT THE TIME looked bizarre ... no one at the time said this one was; Foy was a young regular who appeared to be maybe on the brink of stardom, and Otis was a toolsy kid who had done nothing yet except hit .151 in 93 atbats for the Mets.

Similarly, the Ryan-for-Fregosi trade wasn't obviously a bad one at the time it was made.

And, may I say it yet again: this Giambi deal isn't a trade. It's a firing.

Posted 12:09 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#302) - Thomas
  AndersEn. Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen. sheesh.

The Abreu deal was doubly stupid; the Astros never should have left him unprotected in the expansion draft in the first place.

Posted 12:11 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#303) - Ian Gray
  Steve,

I think you're probably right, but why does Giambi seem so shocked? Presumably, if he was sufficiently wild off the field as to merit a 'firing' from a GM who doesn't seem to care overly much about clubhouse chemistry, etc, he'd not be sufficiently surprised by his dismissal as to cry on the news.

Posted 12:15 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#304) - David Jones
  Maybe Beane did this deal because he knew the season was toast, was bored, and decided to make the most asinine trade he could think of just so he could see all of the folks on this site who worship him tear their hair out. He's probably chuckling right now, drinking a soda, eating a bag of cheetos, and planning tomorrow's Tim Hudson for Dave Burba deal.

Posted 12:27 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#305) - J. Cross
  This isn't the WORST deal in history but it's the most baffling deal I can remember. Our only explanation is: There's something we don't know. I also enjoyed the "really one-dimensional" comment but I also enjoyed

Settle down, fellas. No use in getting all hot and bothered trying to figure out which team got the better of this deal. That's exactly the kind of question that Win Shares were designed to answer.

Think about it. Over 300 posts and still no one has even come up with a plausable explanation of why Beane made this deal. I'm dying to know what really happenned here.

Posted 12:33 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#306) - Voros McCracken (e-mail)
  David,

The problem with all of those trades was that at least the "losing" team got something useful Rincon is your basic lefty reliever, but he's a decent pitcher. Andersen was a good middle reliever. Stocker, well Stocker is harder to defend but he had a good glove and could draw a walk so he wasn't a complete zero, plus Abreu had not yet done anything to suggest Superstar (it would be the equivalent of, I suppose, trading Tony Torcato for Chris Gomez or Royce Clayton. Not a real good idea at the time to be sure, but the prospect in return as of right now has been a lot of tools and some (but not a ton) production.

Stupid trade yes, but this is something for less than nothing. Mabry is a net minus since I think most would agree that the roster spot would be worth more if Mario Valdez or Graham Koonce had it instead.

I mean hell, I'm sure Brant Brown is floating around somewhere and Brown at least has athletic skills superior to Mabry.

I don't see why the A's wouldn't have been better simply designating Jeremy for assignment. He almost certainly would have snagged a claim from somebody somewhere, and the A's would have been off the hook for his salary and freed up a roster spot that they could use on Valdez.

Giambi had to do something or Beane has taken full leave of his senses. For whatever Jeremy's deficiencies were (and they were numerous), he could hit and for a team currently DHing Scott Hatteberg, that should be useful enough. There's got to be more to this.

I like the "drawing two to a flush" theory, IE that Beane is doing something obviously stupid so Baird and the other GMs will return his phone calls. I suppose that's standard stathead fanwanking, but it's an interesting idea for a maneuver anyway.

Posted 12:35 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#307) - Voros McCracken (e-mail)
  J. Cross,

I agree, Mark McKinnis thus far wins the best post out of the 300 title. Quite funny actually.

Posted 12:39 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#308) - S. Enzanome
  Man, heck of a thread. Is this a Primer record?

Anyway... Voros sez: "I don't see why the A's wouldn't have been better simply designating Jeremy for assignment. He almost certainly would have snagged a claim from somebody somewhere, and the A's would have been off the hook for his salary and freed up a roster spot that they could use on Valdez."

I'm not so sure he'd get claimed. His salary was ~$1MM for the year, so figure anywhere from $600K-$750K remaining. All this for a player who, QED, has pretty modest career numbers, an OPS this year of .862, and poor numbers career-wise in the stats most GMs still look at. And I doubt many scouts like him either. Even though we all say we'd take him if we were GMs, I'd bet the market for him was more limited than we think.

Posted 1:32 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#309) - Rob Haneberg
  You're kidding, S, right? Gee, Placido Polanco is earning almost $2 million this year; $750K is nothing for Big Market Franchises such as Atlanta, Boston or the Mets.

Larry Sutton and John Mabry were dumped by the Cards early last season. Maybe McCracken (Vörös or Quinton, does it matter?) is next on Billy Beane's wish list.

Posted 1:38 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#310) - Eric Enders
  Man, heck of a thread. Is this a Primer record?

Yes, but only because of all the posts commenting on what a heck of a thread it is.

Posted 1:38 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#311) - Eric Enders
  Like the one above.

Posted 1:54 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#312) - Joel Barrett
  At the time (1999), Tony Batista for Dan Plesac was also a pretty bad trade.

Posted 2:24 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#313) - KJOK (e-mail)
  I think I have it. It was simply a signability issue. Like his brother, Je.Giambi wasn't going to re-sign, and Beane figured that instead of losing him he would trade him now for a player that he COULD sign to a long-term contract for a reasonable amount. ;)

Posted 2:46 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#314) - Don Seligula
  Hasn't anybody thought that I might have a hand in this? Beane was screwing up my plans with his fine team in a small market (and a low payroll to boot)! So me and "the boys" had to whack him and replace him with a clone. Nothing personal, just business.

Posted 2:48 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#315) - Jonathan
  ++an OPS this year of .862++

You say that as though that's a bad level of production. In a league where the Angels are playing Scott Speizio at 1st and Brad Fullmer at DH (I know Speizio's playing out of his mind this year. His OPS is up to .790)

I speculate that Beane wanted to trade him out of the AL.

And if this was punitive, there are worse choices than the Phillies. (Can you imagine Larry Bowa getting along with a Giambi?)

Posted 2:57 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#316) - Jonathan
  Theory #2306:
The A's have had 2 team meetings in the last four days. Giambi said something at one of those meetings that rubbed Art Howe and/or Billy the wrong way. Convinced them that he was part of the problem, not part of the solution.

It's a stretch...

Posted 3:03 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#317) - John Murphy
  (Can you imagine Larry Bowa getting along with a Giambi?)

I have a hard time imagining Bowa getting along with Mr. Rogers!

Posted 3:23 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#318) - Randy Smith
  The 2 weeks of Juan Gonzalez I got for Cat and Kapler is better than John Mabry.

Posted 3:26 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#319) - Herk Robinson
  The things I do when Billy takes his naps. Tee hee hee.

Posted 3:42 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#320) - Tom
  John Mabry is a twenty-one year old prospect in the Phillies system. Right? C'mon, I just got home. What's the deal here? It does free up a roster spot for Oakland, assuming they get rid of Mabry. I'm sorta glad that Piatt will be getting a chance to play. I like him OK. But,this trade isn't JFK getting shot or the Challenger blowing up: elementary school principals probably aren't going to announce this over the loudspeakers. Is Tony Pena as big of a fan of Utility guys as Muser was? Maybe they're going to make a push for Carlos Beltran or something(since, the Royals'd never go for Giambi for Beltran).

Posted 5:06 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#321) - Greg Franklin (e-mail) (homepage)
  Nothing to add to the groupthink -- I agree with you all that it's a terrible trade.

Just for the record ... how many Win Shares have Mabry and Giambi accumulated to date?

Postseason history: IIRC, Mabry is 6-5 (won 1 series), Giambi a mere 4-6 (won no series). Will anyone offer this up as THE reason for the trade?

Gillick is now ineligible for "best GM in baseball", because he once GMed a team that had Mabry, and was only able to fetch 1.5 overpriced seasons of Al Martin for him in trade. It is obvious that Pat had no appreciation of John Mabry's market value.

As to why this came down today, we had bad signs on Primer the last two days. First the untimely death of S.J. Gould, then the mongo thread about gays ("In and out with the Mets"), then suggestive thread titles nearby like "YANKS EYE THREE JAYS" and "Dreamy in Portland". (For the record, I enjoyed the first-hand dendrophilia memoir.)

Perhaps the baseball world cracked under the pressure, and Beane along with it.

Posted 7:08 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#322) - David L
  I've been perusing the bay area papers this morning looking for some clues to this trade. The general conclusions among the various writers:
-Giambi's one-dimensional (slow, can't field, hits a little, not a leadoff hitter)
-The team needed a shake-up
-The A's needed to break from the (Jason) Giambi era, and Jeremy was a daily painful reminder
-Giambi had re-dedicated himself after the marijuana arrest and wasn't a team cancer

Two things that still surprise me: (1)the papers didn't criticize Beane for only getting Mabry in return, (2)the demotions of Pena, et al, was the bigger headline (at least on-line) in most of the papers I saw.

Posted 8:11 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#323) - Destro
  According to sources, the A's want to position themselves to sign their 7 first round/sandwich round picks in the upcoming draft and viewed Giambi as expendable. That $500,000 saved may end up allowing them to sign the next big thing. It's a shame that their ownership has to stoop to such levels, but given the choice I think you can see Beane's perspective.

Posted 8:12 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#324) - Tim
  When evaluating Jeremy's trade value, you have to consider the reaction that teams are going to have to the A's trying to get rid of him. With Jeremy being considered pretty much the ultimate A's-style player, if the A's are trying to get rid of him, that must mean there's something terribly wrong, right? Maybe he couldn't bring much. Then again, Beane is the guy who got Damon and Lidle for Ben Grieve. How can you get so much for Grieve, and so little for Giambi?

Posted 8:18 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#325) - Dan Szymborski (e-mail)
  If the A's had simply placed Giambi on waivers, does anyone think there's a chance in hell that Ricciardi wouldn't have been falling over himself claiming him? This is a guy that practically described himself as an OBP fetishist before hiring Keith Law.

Posted 8:29 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#326) - Rich C
  I thought of another Orioles trade that no one has mentioned that I thought (at the time) was about on par for this one. After the 1990 season the Orioles traded Mickey Tettleton to Detroit for Jeff Robinson. I don't think anyone else was involved. Robinson had an ERA 2 runs over the league average, and more walks than strikeouts, the year before. Tettleton had a bad year the year for HIM the year before, but even than he was a catcher with a .381 OBP and some power. Awful trade.

The only thing that probably kept that trade from being remembered is that it gave Chris Hoiles an oppurtunity, and he turned out to be a pretty good catcher, too.

Posted 8:34 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#327) - Rapscallion Jones
  "Our only explanation is: There's something we don't know."

Isn't this the case more often than many of us would care to admit?

I can think of a number of trades made in the recent past (the Braves trade of Bruce Chen, the Cards trade of Fernando Tatis, the Astros trade of Mitch Meluskey and Roger Cedeno) that seemed ridiculous when they were made (i.e. on paper), but that didn't wind up that way because of "intangibles" (mostly in the form of bad attitudes and/or injury risks). There's almost always something we don't know or don't consider when evaluating trades. Why can't we realize that fact all of the time, as opposed to just when our favorite GM makes a trade that looks foolish? That doesn't mean we can't have fun debating the merits (or lack thereof) of various moves, but it does mean we should realize that there are some things -- important things -- outside our sphere of knowledge.

Posted 8:35 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#328) - Charles Saeger (e-mail)
  Mabry career Win Shares: 43
Giambi career Win Shares: 22

Posted 8:50 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#329) - Robert Dudek
  Destro...

Then why didn't the A's trade Giambi for a AA pitcher and saved even more money?

Voros is right, on a talent/finance level this trade makes no sense for the A's.

Posted 8:56 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#330) - James B.
  Just to give the rest of you around the country how bad sports radio is in Philadelphia:

Yesterday, I am at work and read that the trade is made. I get in my car to drive home. There is a radio station in town that bills itself as "The Nation's Best Sports Station"; they aren't and a long time ago I gave up listening to them. But what the heck, I want to hear reaction to the trade.

1st call- Is Piazza Gay?
2nd call- NBA Draft
3rd call- NBA Draft
4th call- NBA Draft
Break for commercial and news

Now i am wondering, is the trade an internet hoax after all? Can they really not be talking about the trade at all?

They come back from the news. Now the co-hosts are having a discussion concerning Fox Celebrity Boxing. Howard says Olga Korbut is a "mortal lock."

Another call. Finally about the trade. The caller takes the co-hosts to task over their comments on the trade. Evidently before I was listening they dismissed the trade as much ado about nothing.

Co-host Mike: Giambi is a good bench player; he's marginally better than Mabry
Caller: Are you crazy? .BA 275, OBP .390, 12HR in 150 ABs
Co-host Howard: Giambi only has 17 RBIs
Caller: He's batting leadoff
Co-host Howard: If it's such a great deal for the Phils, why did the A's make it?
Caller: I don't know
Co-host Howard: Cause it's not a great deal, that's why.

They hang up on the caller.
I turn off the radio, and once again swear never to listen to that station again.

Posted 9:23 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#331) - A.C.
  WIP covers four sports seasons a year: Eagles training camp and pre-seaosn, Eagles season, Eagles post-season and aftermath, and Sixers/Flyers. Eskin and Missanelli are publicity hogs and choose not to be sports analysts. But you knew that.

From today's Inq. Guess who called who first:

The Phillies have a history of acquiring the less famous of baseball brothers. Some examples: Ken Brett instead of George; Vince DiMaggio instead of Joe or Dom; Mike Maddux instead of Greg; and Mark Leiter instead of Al.

Wade said he was surprised Tuesday when his phone rang and Oakland general manager Billy Beane offered Giambi for Mabry.

"His numbers were pretty good, so I was surprised his name was in play," Wade said.

Apparently, the knock on Giambi in Oakland was that A's manager Art Howe had no place to hide him other than designated hitter, a position that soon will belong to David Justice, who is close to coming off the disabled list.

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/sports/baseball/mlb/philadelphia_phillies/3319770.htm

Posted 9:24 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#332) - RP
  Rich C. -- yes, I'm surprised the Tettleton trade doesn't get more play. *At the time the trades were made* I thought the Tettleton trade was far worse than the G. Davis trade. The Davis trade made me nervous b/c the Os were clearly giving up three decent young players, but, at the same time, they were getting a pretty good power hitter (who had, dare I say it, a proven track record) who wasn't ancient. OTOH, the Tettleton trade made absolutely no sense whatsoever at the time it was made and only looks worse in retrospect.

Posted 9:32 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#333) - MattB
  The A's are 1-0 in the post-Giambi era!

Will they ever lose again?

Posted 9:41 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#334) - Jon Daly
  Does anyone remember the Danny Cater - Sparky Lyle deal? Obviously the Yankees got the better end of it, but how did it look when it was made? I vaguely remember Bill Lee saying something in "The Wrong Stuff" about how Lyle wasn't exactly a management favorite. Lyle said something similar in "The Bronx Zoo." Sparky definitely was a free-spirit, like Je Giambi. Maybe the A's caught Jeremy sitting on a cake?

Posted 9:43 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#335) - Vlad
  Jon Lieber for Brant Brown looked bad at the time, especially after Brown's first start in center.

Posted 9:49 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#336) - Met Fan Charlie
  Headline: "PHILLIES PHLEECE ATHLETICS"

Posted 9:54 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#337) - Rapscallion Jones
  "Jon Lieber for Brant Brown looked bad at the time, especially after Brown's first start in center."

I don't know, Vlad -- remember than Brown was coming off a season in which he hit .291/.348/.501. Trading him for a guy who had just gone 8-14 with a 4.11 ERA didn't look THAT bad. The speculation in Chicago has always been that Brown's infamous dropped ball against the Brewers (which almost cost the Cubs a playoff spot) really screwed him up mentally.

Posted 10:05 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#338) - bryan h
  Some more evidence for the idea that Giambi did something that pissed Beane off and made him want to humiliate Giambi:

http://www.nj.com/phillies/times/index.ssf?/base/sports-0/1022144416175150.xml

key paragraph:
"According to a major-league source, Giambi recently did something to sour Oakland general manager Billy Beane on his character. The source said that Beane was resigned "to get him out of here." "

Posted 10:08 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#339) - Dayn Perry
  Maybe we're jumping the gun here. Maybe this was a wise move for the A's after all. After all, Skip Bayless thinks so ...

http://www.bayarea.com/mld/bayarea/sports/columnists/skip_bayless/3320368.htm

Ah, Skip. You're truly, truly an idiot.

Posted 10:08 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#340) - Toby
  "There's got to be more to this" -- Voros (and echoed by many others)

Maybe this is just a bad move.

What is clear is that Billy Beane enjoys a huge double standard (perhaps deserved, based on reputation), simply by the willingness of people here to say there must be more to the story than is known.

John Hart sends down Blalock, and people who are reluctant to criticize the trade because "maybe Rangers management knows more than we do" are shouted down.

Beane ships Giambi, C.O.D. included, to the Phillies and all of a sudden there must be something more to the story.

Personally, I wouldn't shy away from the following conclusion: The A's really do need to scrape together every last $500,000 they can get, even more than we realize.

What this trade reminds me of is Boston's dump of Carl Everett, only without the added burden of a high salary attached and without the luxury of an entire offseason in which to shop around.

Posted 10:18 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#341) - S. Enzanome
  "John Hart sends down Blalock, and people who are reluctant to criticize the trade because 'maybe Rangers management knows more than we do' are shouted down.

Beane ships Giambi, C.O.D. included, to the Phillies and all of a sudden there must be something more to the story."

Of course, the problem there may be that posters here don't give Hart enough credit, not that they're giving Beane too much.

Does anyone here really think that Billy Beane thinks that Jeremy Giambi for John Mabry is a good baseball deal?

Posted 10:21 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#342) - MikeC
  Dan Duquette: "I'm ready to uphold the Finley tradition and bring a long awaited championship to Oakland."

Posted 10:22 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#343) - Jay Roberts
  I've gotta chime on the Glen Davis for Harnisch/Schilling/Finley deal...I remember the general consensus being that this trade was a steal for the Orioles, not the Astros. Glen Davis was seen as one of the best power hitters in either league, with seasons of 20, 31, 27, 30, 34, and 22 home runs immediately before the trade, and this in the Astrodome. Away from the 'dome, there were serious projections for 40+ home runs for Glen Davis. He didn't have any significant injury history, either.

And who did the Orioles give up? Three spear carriers--decent enough players, but none of them star players. Steve Finley was probably the best one at the time--a defensive stud with limited offensive abilities. Pete Harnisch, over 305 innings, had a K/BB ratio of 1.27. And future star Curt Schilling was being used as a (quite effective) relief pitcher.

It looks bad, of course, in hindsight, with the worst of all possible cases happening for the Orioles: Glen Davis' career is wiped out by freak injuries and strange incidents, and all three of the other players develop into productive players. At the time, though, I still think it looked like a steal for the O's.

Posted 10:27 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#344) - David Gee
  Bayless' column is interesting, albeit written by one of sportswriting's most infamous hacks. He does make it sound like Giambi was exiled for non-baseball reasons, and he does mention that Mabry might be traded elsewhere.

Isn't Mabry the perfect Royal?

Posted 10:28 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#345) - Aron
  To synthesize some of the comments, here's the most plausible justification:

1) Giambi is such a bad outfielder that playing him in the field more than cancels his bat.
2) Now that Justice is back, the A's don't have room for him at DH, and you can't carry two DH's
3) Beane refused to let him play in the American league, where he could do some damage to the A's by replacing one of the several DH's who are inferior hitters to him;
4) That also meant he couldn't put him on waivers to save the extra 300K in salary.
5) So getting rid of Giambi and saving a few bucks without putting him in the AL was the key consideration.

If this is true,
6) Don't be surprised if Mabry goes on waivers or is traded for a minor leaguer in the next few weeks, possibly restoring the 300K.

This argument has a couple things going for it:

a) The A's defense is down drastically this year (see Sheehan's recent BP article)
b) It fits with Beane's comments about Giambi being one-dimensional and and the A's needing defensive improvements

But there are still a few problems:

a) Nothing stops the Phillies from trading him to the AL for more than Mabry
b) With Pena down, why not stick Giambi or Justice at first for a couple months until Pena's return makes him truly unnecessary?
c) Are the A's really confident that Justice is healthy?
d) Is there really no way the A's couldn't have got a mid-level prospect or two?

Posted 10:29 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#346) - Dan Szymborski (e-mail)
  Uh oh, Skip! Jason Giambi had dinner with his brother and his friend!

Does this mean if Skip Bayless has dinner with Tom Boswell, the Mercury News should fire him?

Posted 10:43 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#347) - Darren
  A lot of people have given reasonable explanations as to why Giambi might be traded (no glove, pissed off manager, etc.), but no one can seem to explain why it was for Mabry.

There doesn't seem to be a good explanation, except that Beane made a bad decision or deliberately tanked the trade. Why would he call and make that offer, before trying to get about a dozen other players in the organization?

Posted 10:45 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#348) - Matt Rauseo (e-mail) (homepage)
  Is this the worse deal of the year even? I'm thinking Cust for Myers would be worse if O'dowd would actualy play Jack.

Posted 10:55 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#349) - Shredder
  The problem with all of those trades was that at least the "losing" team got something useful

How about Damion Easley for Greg Gohr?

Gohr's Angel career-- 1W, 1L, 1S, 24IP, 15K, 7.50 ERA, 7 HRs allowed.
Yes, that was his entire Angel career, and he wasn't shipped off for someone else.

Damion Easley with the Tigers
2898 AB, 441R, 96HR, 370RBI, 80SB, .254AVG.

Easley's never been great, but he's been good a couple of times, and serviceable when not good. As for Greg Gohr, I think I saw a Greg Gohr Angels jersey on ebay about a year ago.

Posted 11:03 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#350) - Dumpster Diver
  To prove how AWFUL Philly sports radio is, this is fom one of the articles linked above:

"Bowa went on the air yesterday afternoon with WFAN (660 AM) sports talk-show hosts Mike Francessa and Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, and the primary topic of discussion was third baseman Scott Rolen's impending departure (either via trade or free-agency). "

WFAN is a New York station. WIP doesn't carry interviews, even with Philly personalities.

The guy who mentioned Howard & Mike (or Ego & Ego as I like to call them) is talking about the WORST sports radio show in the nation. Eskin has "inside info" but only rarely is it right or useful. He's & Missanelli are dumb.

Posted 11:13 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#351) - Kurt
  James B's story was pretty funny - WIP is truly awful.

The angle the DC guy last night (Steve Czabin?) took was that well, those small market A's had a couple of nice years, but it was never going to last, blah blah blah. When the caller pressed him on the trade itself, he hadn't crunched the numbers, so he really couldn't assess the trade in great detail. I guess he at least gets credit for admitting he didn't know something.

God bless the internet.

Posted 11:14 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#352) - Sean Smith
  "How about Damion Easley for Greg Gohr?"

That was bad, but I think Dante Bichette for the carcass of Dave Parker was worse, especially when they released Downing right after making the deal. But lets not bring up the past. The Angels are the best team in baseball over the last month. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

I can't see the Giambi deal as a salary dump, if that was the case, and Beane wanted him out of the AL, why not trade Giambi for a 25 year old hitting .213 in A ball, making $800 a month? It looks like he wants Mabry as part of his bench.

Posted 11:17 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#353) - Shredder
  From Bayless' column
"The problem, of course, is Boston's crazy-hot start. Boston probably will wind up being Oakland's target in the wild-card race. Catching Boston looks like a long shot. But Boston's history predicts demonic possession."

The other problem is that they are tied for last in the division, seven and a half games behind the hottest team in baseball. There's no guarantee they'll finish ahead of the Rangers, let alone the Angels.

Posted 11:18 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#354) - Chris J.
  In the comparing this to The Worst Trades Ever, people are missing the fact that this really doesn't fit the pattern for most of those trades. Most WTE contain a young promising (but often frustrating) player on the verge of an explosion for a vet on the verge of collapse (the Ryan trade, the Bagwell trade, the Glenn Davis trade - or heck, how about Christy Matthewson for Amos Rusie? - are all types of this). An alternate WTE has a GM trading a player after a flukishly-good season for a player with more potential (Leiber trade). This is nothing like that. This is Younger & Better being traded for Older & Inferior, and not only that, the trade is completely at odds with the organizational philosophy of the team that made the trade. Worst trade ever? No. Most inexplicable trade ever? That I can think of, yea. I mean most WTE were well received & made sense at the time - heck, I once looked up the headline in the Trib the day after the Brock trade; it read: "Cards Deal Cubs in the Pennant Race: Send Broglio." This trade just makes no dang sense. I'm a firm believer that boards like this tend to over-rate Billy Beane. . . but John Freakin' Mabry?!?!?!?

Posted 11:24 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#355) - Shredder
  I'm sorry, the Damion Easley trade made no sense to me whatsoever at the time. He'd had some injury problems, but he was still pretty young, for an extremely replacebale middle reliever.

Posted 11:25 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#356) - scruff (e-mail)
  James B. -- you bring back memories. I was subjected to Philly sports radio from late 1995 until mid-2000. I was laughing out loud when I read your comments. Let me reinforce for everyone that there is no exaggeration in James' comments.

I do like Missinelli though. I like his "Heavyocity Thursday" topics generally, and he used to do a hysterical thing called "Who's stealing money in the NBA". He'd look through the box scores and pick out some hysterical lines. One time he noted that Shawn Bradley, despite being 7' 6", played 18 minutes without getting a rebound. He said, "You'd think one would have hit him in the head or something."

Don't get me wrong, he's a terrible analyst, but he's entertaining to listen to, especially when he used to be teamed w/Steve Fredericks.

Eskin in not listenable. He's the worst paid sports commentator I've EVER run across. He has no redeeming quality whatsoever. He's the Jeffrey Loria of sportstalk radio.

I think you can get ESPN Radio on 1680 in Philly, but they may have gone out of business. You can definitely get WFAN 660 from NY in Philly. You have other options James.

Ed Wade's comments say it all by the way. His jaw basically hit the floor when Beane called him, as it should have. I don't care what we didn't know, you just don't give talent away for nothing. It was a stupid trade, plain and simple.

Posted 11:26 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#357) - DTS
  I agree that Cust for Myers looked bad at the time, and it still looks bad. But, Myers is at least a valuable asset on the DBacks and is having another good year and is helping the DBacks win games. Cust in playing AAA baseball and is not helping the Rockies win games.

Giambi was helping the A's win games. Mabry was not helping the Phillies win games. Ridiculous. Giambi's OPS+ last year: 126. Mabry's career high OPS+ for full season: 103. Amazing. Mabry does have 6 career steals though. Maybe the A's are changing their philosophy to one of speed.

Posted 11:28 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#358) - Crispix Attacks
  "Maybe JOHN MABRY was sleeping with Beane's wife, and this is just a "Count of Monte Cristo" routine to draw Mabry in before Beane kills him. "

Not enough credence has been given to this theory. OR perhaps...BILLY BEANE IS THE GAY GM.

Posted 11:32 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#359) - Edmundo
  Beane ships Giambi, C.O.D. included, to the Phillies and all of a sudden there must be something more to the story.

Personally, I wouldn't shy away from the following conclusion: The A's really do need to scrape together every last $500,000 they can get, even more than we realize.

Toby, I don't get your first point. You criticize those who say there must be more to the story and then in the next paragraph you offer "something more to the story" -- a desperate need for cash.

Posted 11:35 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#360) - Crispix Attacks
  Sorry, I meant to end that by saying "And Jeremy refused his advances".

I like the Count of Monte Cristo/evil vindictive genius theory though.
Macha: "You can't do this, sir! The people will think you're mad!"
Beane: "Let them have their pathetic pontifications. Kenny my lad, I keep my friends close, and my enemies closer. This Mabry may think he's pulled one over on the master. This Mabry may think he's won. Ah, he'll squirm...that accursed wretch will sit there and he'll squirm. And that shrew I've married...fie, the guilt of knowing she's destroyed an honest Giambi, that'll rot her from this inside. By God's wounds, I doubt Mabry has the capacity for guilt. Look at him, idly counting his shirts. But soon - aye, soon - THE HAMMER FALLETH."
(flash of lightning; Beane lights a cigar with a thousand-deutschmark bill)

Posted 11:37 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#361) - scruff (e-mail)
  Kurt, I heard Czabin last night too, the exact exchange you were talking about.

I like Czabin though, just because he's not politcally correct, he tries to be funny, etc.. SportsTalk 980 has a very pompous attitude, they act like the callers don't know anything, they are all knowing. They even refer to the listeners as "Joe the Fan", and try to dumb everything down for them.

I like the Sports Junkies, they are funny, but their analysis is pretty scratch the surface stuff. They act like the callers have a clue at least though.

In Philly, at least they interact with the callers, although they are limited to 2 minutes, because no can possibly be interesting for longer than that.

Lardass and the Puppy at least bring up relevant topics for the national sports fan, and they have a clue about what is going on, their analysis is typical sportswriter stuff, but I really like Russo because he's passionate about sports and from what I hear he's a great guy, he'll talk to anyone, anytime about anything.

We have to realize that sports radio can be entertaining, but it's not a place to go for hardcore analysis. Some of these guys (Missinelli, Czabin, Russo, Junkies) are funny and entertaining nonetheless.

Posted 11:52 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#362) - Devin McCullen
  Just a question from a Mets fan who doesn't pay enough attention to guys on other teams: Is John Mabry better or worse than Jay Payton? I ask because I'm reasonably certain Phillips would trade Payton for three baseballs and Frank Menechino's chewed gum, but I'm not sure if Payton for Giambi would have been a better or worse trade.

Posted 11:59 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#363) - Sean Smith
  "Just a question from a Mets fan who doesn't pay enough attention to guys on other teams: Is John Mabry better or worse than Jay Payton?"

I'd say Mabry is an older, slower version of Jay Payton.

Posted 11:59 a.m., May 23, 2002 (#364) - Toby
  Edmundo,

that the A's need to pinch pennies is common knowledge. That Giambi can't play good defense is common knowledge. The only question is how much budget value should be placed on shedding Giambi's salary and how much baseball value should be placed on Giambi's lack of defense. In other words, the information is there, the conclusions to draw from that information is in doubt. I suggest that people might not be giving enough weight to the budgetary significance of this move. (Though I too wonder why Beane wouldn't have wanted a prospect rather than a salaried vet like Mabry).

That's completely different from saying that there must be some incident or injury or other secret information.

Posted 12:04 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#365) - Charles Saeger (e-mail)
  Speaking as an O's fan on the Davis and Tettleton trades ...

Even in retrospect, I must conclude the Tettleton trade was worth. I wasn't happy about the Davis trade, but I wasn't furious either. Like everyone else, I had a higher assessment of Davis's talent than it actually was (I ran his pre-1991 numbers into the Brock2 spreadsheet once, and his totals from 1991 on, rate wise, are not out-of-line with his actual performance once you account for injuries -- his 1992 season, in terms of OBP and Slug, was dead-on). We also failed to note that Davis wasn't particularily hurt by the Astrodome.

The Tettleton trade, OTOH, made no sense whatsoever. Robinson couldn't pitch at all, and his 1989-90 stats made that abundantly clear. Tettleton had a low batting average, but a high secondary average, so he was a good hitter for a catcher, OK for a DH. It made no sense whatsoever.

Posted 12:04 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#366) - Rapscallion Jones
  "Toby, I don't get your first point. You criticize those who say there must be more to the story and then in the next paragraph you offer 'something more to the story' -- a desperate need for cash."

Edmundo-

I don't think Toby is saying that we are giving Beane too much credit; rather, I think he's saying that we as a community tend to give other GMs too little credit. There may indeed be a good reason for this trade, one that doesn't show up in the stats, but that may also be true of many other deals (made by guys like Thrift, Kenny Williams, etc.) that are criticized here.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, Toby -- I don't want to put words in your mouth.

Posted 12:07 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#367) - Walt Davis
  I don't see much difference at all between the reaction to this trade and the reaction to Blalock being sent down. The reaction to Blalock being sent down was "this is a bad move and don't give me that psychological mumbo-jumbo." The reaction to this is "this is a bad trade that surely only happened due to psychological mumbo-jumbo." It's still a bad trade regardless of what Giambi might have done. The psychological mumbo-jumbo is not being offered in the sense of "oh well, if Giambi did that, then this move makes sense" it's being offered as "the only way I can see something this nonsensical happening is if Giambi did something."

The difference between the Blalock move and this one is that in the Blalock case there's the real possibility that the Rangers did it in the belief that it makes them a better team. With this trade, it is inconceivable that _anyone_ could see this as making the A's a better team, so the only explanation is that Beane screwed up for other reasons. But I don't think anyone here is saying that Beane didn't screw up.

As to Giambi's limitations, it's not like these weren't known from the start. That's why getting Justice and signing Hatteberg made little sense. And even with Justice coming back, he's not likely to be a more productive DH than Giambi.

Of course, I'm more than willing to say that Beane has been at best a mixed-bag since the end of last season. Getting Justice was a reasonable gamble but definitely a gamble, and the only position he's fit for these days is DH but the A's already had a ton of those. Signing Hatteberg made no sense given they had Myers under contract and he was just adding to the glut of DH's. Giving guaranteed contracts to 2 lefty relievers then picking up a 3rd made no sense. Long-term contracts to Long and Hernandez were questionable at best and he overpaid for Dye (wouldn't Damon at $8-9 M look good in an A's uni right now). Now this trade.

On the plus side, he's got the Pena trade and signing Zito and Mulder (or was it Hudson?).

Posted 12:09 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#368) - Tim
  I suspect this is the first move in a campaign to lure Tony LaRussa back home to Oakland. He's certainly a Mabry fetishist.

Posted 12:09 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#369) - Steve Treder
  "I'd say Mabry is an older, slower version of Jay Payton."

No, he isn't. Payton is a center fielder, and Mabry never has been. Mabry has never been as good as Payton.

Mabry is a marginal player, teetering on the brink of slipping below replacement level. He's waiver wire fodder.

"I suggest that people might not be giving enough weight to the budgetary significance of this move. (Though I too wonder why Beane wouldn't have wanted a prospect rather than a salaried vet like Mabry)."

But Toby, you yourself point out how this deal doesn't even work as a budgetary move. It doesn't make sense from that angle.

Obviously the deal doesn't improve the A's on-field talent, and just as obviously there were better ways for the A's to cut costs. So therefore the only logical conclusion to draw is that (a) it was simply a blunder, an egregious error committed by an organization that has no track record for making such errors, or (b) it was done to serve some other purpose that isn't visible to us.

Posted 12:14 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#370) - Chris Dial (e-mail)
  Payton is a pretty good defensively and can play CF - he's also fast. Mabry can't do anything. It would have been a great trade for the Mets, except they are too stupid to play Giambi over Vaughn.

If the A's sent Pena down, why not move Giambi to first - unless there's something ugly in the background?

Posted 12:19 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#371) - Aron
  1) This season provided new information about how bad Giambi's defense was, and the chances it had of getting better
2)If you give credence to keeping Giambi out of the AL, it wasn't a bad cost-cutting move, especially if they cut or turn around Mabry
3)We're all assuming Beane could have got more for Giambi, but that might not be true, if he refused to trade him to the AL
4) Still, you've got to wonder whether keeping Giambi out of the AL is worth getting nothing in return

Posted 12:20 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#372) - scruff (e-mail)
  Payton for Giambi would have been a steal for Phillips, and a much better deal for Beane.

For one, Payton can play defense, at least adequately. I wouldn't say that he's worth Giambi by a longshot, but ANYONE would have been better than Mabry.

He's better than John Mabry. There are probably hundreds of players in AAA that are better hitters than John Mabry. Just about anyone in the Sickles book would have been a better choice, and there are roughly 1400 players in that book.

Posted 12:32 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#373) - dp
  The more appropraite comparison would be Giambi for Mark Johnson...
Giambi for Payton would help the A's, especially if Long is as bad defensively in CF as people here say he is.

How freaking stupid was the Mo Vaughn trade???? When a valuable 1B becomes available, the Mets can't grab him up because they've got Mo's fatt ass/contract blocking his way.

I'm still abosolutely baffled...if the A's want to move Long, I wish the Mets still had Mark Sweeney...

But my .02 is that this is not as bad as Fat Gord losing Bautista for nothing- a middle infielder who can pop 35+ HR is worth something, and most definitely worth holding on to, especially when they had Homer Bush sucking horrible ass for about the same salary...

Posted 12:32 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#374) - MikeC
  Commissioners have stopped free agent signings (Joe Rudi, Wetteland, Sosa). Can they stop trades? If so, when would they? Clemens and Jeter and B Williams and Nick Johnson for Mabry and some Krispy Kreme doughnuts and cash, lots of cash.

Posted 12:36 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#375) - dp
  I'd also like to point out that while Payton is fast as hell, he is an absolute idiot on the basepaths, which basically negates his blazing speed...the Mets need to get him a brain transplant...

Posted 12:53 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#376) - Dayn Perry
  To me, trading Giambi for Mabry is infinitely dumber than demoting Blalock. It may have been an overreaction on Hart's part, but Blalock was putting up awful numbers and not helping a team that Hart probably still hopes will contend.

But for this one ... I don't care what excuse Beane has, and I don't care how much this eases a roster bottleneck or scores addition-by-subtraction points, he blew it. He squandered commodity for nothing. It's a dumber move than anything Allard Baird ever did.

Posted 12:56 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#377) - Greg Franklin (e-mail) (homepage)
  Charles, thanks for the WS figures. You wouldn't think a Mabryesque player could have collected 43 WS. That's a lot of front office people to fool.

To chime in on the sports radio topic, I caught the webcast of the Bay Area sports radio station (KNBR) that afternoon, and the #1 hot topic was Rich Aurilia going in for surgery. Giambi trade followed.

If the NBA draft had any possibility of going right for the Warriors, they might have discussed that ahead of Giambi.

Posted 12:56 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#378) - Walt Davis
  I suggest that people might not be giving enough weight to the budgetary significance of this move.

That's because there is no budgetary significance to this move. It saves them maybe $300-400,000. No baseball team is that desparate. If the A's were that desparate for cash, they never would have signed Hatteberg or Holtz; they wouldn't have traded for Justice; they would have traded Justice instead of Giambi; they wouldn't have just signed Zito to a long-term contract; or at least they would have traded Giambi for a cheaper bag of balls than John Mabry.

Mabry doesn't help in any way, his sole "asset" is that he's willing to stand near 3B if you ask him -- something both Piatt and Saenz are willing to do and probably Menechino if you explained the alternative -- so why would an organization so desparate for cash be willing to pay someone $300-400,000 to do something they don't need for the next 4 months?

Shoot, Giambi for Keith Lockhart ("proven" pinch-hitter, possible platoon 2B) would make more sense than this. Of course, he makes $100,000 more than Mabry. So maybe Giambi for Wes Helms ($250,000).

To sum up, there are potentially lots of reasons for the A's to want to get rid of Giambi, from the true and clearly justifiable (they have too many DH's) to the possibly true and possibly justifiable (he's a clubhouse cancer), but none of those reasons justify trading him for Mabry.

There may indeed be a good reason for this trade, one that doesn't show up in the stats, but that may also be true of many other deals (made by guys like Thrift, Kenny Williams, etc.) that are criticized here.

ummmm....no. There is no "non-stat" which would be a good reason for this trade. This is a bad trade.

There is a difference between an explanation and an excuse. Giambi doing something awful may _explain_ this trade, but it doesn't _excuse_ this trade. And there is absolutely nothing that could explain or excuse getting Mabry in this deal. Beane screwed up. Even if you believe removing Giambi from the A's clubhouse this instant was the best thing for the team, Beane screwed up -- at the very worst, Beane should outright him which gets him out of the clubhouse but gives Beane 10 days to find somebody to trade him to ... and Beane couldn't possibly have done worse in such a trade.

And please, Thrift? Do you honestly think that string of horrendous moves are justified by "non-statistical" reasons? Why not just accept the fact that there are bad GM's out there, ones whose talent evaluation skills do not produce winning baseball? Why is it hard to believe that a bunch of computer nerds have the ability to demonstrate just how bad those moves have been?

People jump on GM's when they show an obvious lack of player evaluation and money management skills. Allard Baird didn't talk about psychology when he traded Jermaine Dye, he talked about his belief that Dye was too expensive and that a no-hit, good defense (and soon to be expensive) SS is a vital piece of a winning team (and demonstrated an ignorance about Coors impact on offense). He was wrong on all counts. Why shouldn't everyone say so?

So where's the inconsistency? Is anyone here, other than the GM apologists, calling this a defensible trade? Not that I see. The statheads all seem to think this is a very bad trade.

The only difference is that Beane is a GM with a good track record of player evaluation, therefore it seems very unlikely that he would make a player evaluation mistake of this magnitude. Therefore, he most likely made this trade for some other reason. That other reason doesn't make this a good trade, it just explains why Beane made the mistake he did.

Were a GM like Baird to make a move like this, say when he gave away a yet unproven Jeremy Giambi for Sal Fasano, it is one of a string of moves that demonstrate poor player evaluation. So, perfectly reasonably, it is treated as such and no other explanations are looked for.

Posted 12:59 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#379) - scruff (e-mail)
  I think Billy Beane has jumped the shark.

Posted 1:12 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#380) - Tim
  Comparing this to Blalock is just downright silly. I mean, really, if the Blalock demotion doesn't work, they can just bring the guy back up. Even Beane isn't going to be able to turn Mabry into someone as good as Giambi.

Posted 1:17 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#381) - David Mitchell
  Maybe I get $.03...

To paraphrase many previous posts, I think the trade is not the worst ever in a 'Giambi - Mabry = A Lot' sense, but rather in a 'Giambi/Mabry = A Lot" sense. Mabry is completely worthless, and Giambi is good. He isn't Bagwell or Brock, but the key here is that Mabry isn't even close to being Larry Andersen.

The reason that this trade is so baffling is that there is no possible reason for Beane to make it. It is unjustifiable. People on this thread can't even rationalize with things like Veteran Presense because most think Beane is too smart for that. There is not a single way that Oakland can benefit from this trade.

And the thing that gets me more than anything, is that everyone's theories could be satisfied (NL trade, dump cash, etc) if Giambi goes to the Braves, who need Giambi in a big way. And surely Atlanta would give up Spooneybarger, or at least a AA pitcher, or even a six-pack of Corona, which is much more valuable than Mabry.

Posted 1:21 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#382) - Ted
  It's hard to defend this trade in absolute terms--Giambi is clearly better than Mabry.

That said, Jeremy seems to be overrated by a lot of people in this thread and I don't see why the A's can't replace him. He appears to be peaking with a .390 obp and .470 slg, which puts him on par with Mark Grace the last couple years (though not this year), hardly a darling of the sabermetric community. Giambi has a fine obp, but not much power for a DH/1B (yeah, I know he plays OF, but that hardly seems like an argument in his favor given he's such a liability there). In other words, Beane may be very comfortable with the notion that he can find a suitable replacement somewhere else (after all, he got Giambi for very little in the first place, I believe).

Additionally,it's easy for us to say, "Beane should have gone out and found a better deal", when we don't actually have to make it. There are 29 teams for Beane to bargain with under ideal circumstances, but this number is reduced by:
(a) teams that Beane may not want to deal with for competitive reasons;
(b) teams that have no need for a DH/1b/nominal OF;
(c) teams that have a need for a DH/1B/nominal OF, but don't recognize the value of OBP;
(d) the Royals, for whom trading to get Giambi back would be too much like admitting failure (who probably fit in category c anyway).

The point is, to get the best value in trade you need the widest possible market, and I doubt there was a very wide market in the case of Jeremy Giambi.

All of this ignores the basic issue of why Giambi would be on the block anyway (or why give him up if the market isn't there). The best I can suggest is that Beane wanted to move Giambi to pave the way for further roster changes or usage patterns. If Giambi was going to move to the bench full-time anyway, the A's may well be better off with a defensive replacement than a pinch-hitter whose main offensive component--though obviously not his only one--is obp.

Posted 1:25 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#383) - Jon Daly (e-mail)
  For the record, Bowie Kuhn stopped the sale of Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers to the Red Sox as well as the sale of Vida Blue to the Yankees (I may have the pitchers mixed up) and not a free agent signing. This was part of the notorious Charlie Finley fire sale. Kuhn used the "Best interests of baseball" clause to void the deal. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Selig to do the same here. I feel like the old man here, making references to this 1970's stuff.

Posted 1:28 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#384) - Steve Treder
  "You wouldn't think a Mabryesque player could have collected 43 WS."

Well, almost all of them were collected a long time ago.

John Mabry Win Shares
1994 1
1995 9
1996 13
1997 8
1998 5
1999 3
2000 3
2001 1

Jeremy Giambi Win Shares
1998 0
1999 4
2000 6
2001 12

Posted 1:38 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#385) - Rich C
  Isn't Giambi/Mabry = Infinity?

Posted 1:41 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#386) - Steve Treder
  Oh, what the heck:

Jay Payton Win Shares
1998 0
1999 0
2000 14
2001 3

Posted 1:43 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#387) - David Nieporent (e-mail)
  Toby : Maybe this is just a bad move.
What is clear is that Billy Beane enjoys a huge double standard (perhaps deserved, based on reputation), simply by the willingness of people here to say there must be more to the story than is known.

If it's "deserved," then it's not a "double standard" at all.

As for the Glenn Davis trade, it was awful at the time because the Orioles gave up a lot and didn't fill a team need. Replacing Milligan with Davis was a minimal upgrade at best.

BTW, Voros, if "Abreu had not yet done anything to suggest superstar," neither has Giambi.

Finally, as for Easley-Gohr, and Voros' comments about Rincon and Andersen being useful, I'll wager that any team that trades quality for a middle reliever loses on the deal.

Posted 1:52 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#388) - Toby
  Let me put it this way:

If Giambi were making $6 million, we would recognize this as a salary dump.

He's making $1.5 million, as I understand it. At what point in between $6M and $1.5M do we cease to recognize this as a possible salary dump? Probably somewhere between $3M and $6M, for most of us. In NORMAL TIMES.

But a work stoppage looms over baseball, and many of baseball's teams, the A's included, might well be in financial trouble. Maybe cutting every last $500,000 will prove to be prudent.

People here like to pretend that every team in baseball is awash in black ink, but the only real evidence of this is that Bud Selig asserts otherwise (and everything Bud says is a lie). Therefore, people here like to pretend that saving $500K means nothing.

Which is more likely: Billy Beane made an inexplicably idiotic move, or Billy Beane sees the need to do some serious belt-tightening? I'll go with the latter.

Posted 2:01 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#389) - Frank
  Rich C,

Actually Giambi/Mabry does not equal infinity, division by zero does not exist.

Posted 2:03 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#390) - Devin McCullen
  The argument against the salary dump is that Beane could have saved even more money by trading for a minor leaguer or two (and gotten better value). Or, to bring it up again, by all appearences he could have sent him to the Mets for Payton (who's only making $362,500) and gotten a marginally better player back. Maybe Beane just went to b-r and played with the "random player" until he got a current major leaguer.

Posted 2:06 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#391) - David Gee
  "To sum up, there are potentially lots of reasons for the A's to want to get rid of Giambi, from the true and clearly justifiable (they have too many DH's) to the possibly true and possibly justifiable (he's a clubhouse cancer), but none of those reasons justify trading him for Mabry."

There is one possible reason: no one would offer anything better. In this case, that might even mean that no one would offer to take Giambi for NOTHING. Beane may have prefaced his offer of Giambi with an honest disclosure of why he wanted to dump him. In that case, Beane's best offer may have been: "We'll take your burden for you, but in return you've got to take our burden that is costing us $500K per year."

In order for that to be true, Giambi would have to be one serious burden, and we have only a few, inadequate puzzle pieces that even begin to suggest that (pot bust, a few allegations of tiffs between Beane and Giambi). Perhaps this scenario is not all that likely, but it is a reasonable scenario, and I wonder is somehow things really are that bad.

Posted 2:11 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#392) - Steve Treder
  "Which is more likely: Billy Beane made an inexplicably idiotic move, or Billy Beane sees the need to do some serious belt-tightening? I'll go with the latter."

Fine, but if you go with the latter, why didn't Beane do one of any number of other things he could do to tighten his belt even more seriously? Even if the deal is just a salary dump, it's still a bad one on those grounds alone.

Posted 2:12 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#393) - Rob Haneberg
  Toby, I believe Jeremy Giambi is making $1.1 million this year. Pro-rated the A's will save maybe $350K.

Last year my precious Cardinals got more in return for Jason Christiansen, namely some 27-yo converted pitcher who had never played above AA. (No, he is not Simontacchi.) Also, as others have pointed out, if the A's are that tight for money, then picking up Hatteberg and Justice was short-sighted in itself. Both transactions were greeted luke-warmly here, but if they forced the Giambi-Mabry trade, then those moves were as awful as most feel this trade is. Either way Beane looks bad.

The only way this deal is justified is if Giambi has a nasty off-the-field problem and a lot of people in baseball know it (and Beane knows they know it). If this is the case, then someone presumably will let Peter Gammons know.

Posted 2:15 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#394) - David Gee
  ...and if Gammons doesn't know, he will make something up.

Posted 2:25 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#395) - scruff (e-mail)
  "He appears to be peaking with a .390 obp and .470 slg, which puts him on par with Mark Grace the last couple years (though not this year), hardly a darling of the sabermetric community."

Grace isn't a darling of the sabermetric community, but we think he's a hell of a lot better than John Mabry.

We realize Grace is a pretty good player, just not the stud the typical baseball fan thinks he is because he's got a nice BA and he's a "gamer".

I'd be up in arms if Grace were traded for Mabry as well.

I'd be up in arms if ANY 27-year old player were traded for Mabry. I wouldn't give up 1 player in the Sickles book for Mabry.

I wouldn't give the six-pack of Corona mentioned above for John Mabry.

To say the Braves wouldn't give up a mediocre AA pitcher for Giambi is ludicrous. That's much better than having to take on John Mabry's salary, even if it is the league minimum, assuming this is a dump (I still doubt it is).

This just doesn't make any sense at all. Not on any level. I still stick with it as the worst "at the time" trade I've ever seen.

Mabry is not even worth the roster spot he's taking. We're talking about a corner OF that hasn't had an OBP over .300 since 1998. His SLG hasn't been higher than .401 since 1996.

I hate to rip him like that. He's a nice guy. He's from Delaware and I hang out in Delaware a lot. He went to West Chester U. in PA, near where I used to live. He was college roommates with a friend of mine actually. But he's useless as a major league baseball player. Absolutely useless. I stand by the opinion that this is the worst at the time trade ever.

Posted 2:32 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#396) - Walt Davis
  People here like to pretend that every team in baseball is awash in black ink, but the only real evidence of this is that Bud Selig asserts otherwise (and everything Bud says is a lie). Therefore, people here like to pretend that saving $500K means nothing.

Actually, the real evidence is quite strong. We have the Forbes analysis which is based on financial analysis and information from the teams. We have the fact that baseball revenues are going through the roof and increasing at a faster pace than payroll. We have the fact that the A's payroll this year isn't very much more than it was in raw dollars about 10 years ago, yet their revenues (even by baseball's admission) have more than doubled in that time. We have the fact that no baseball team has ever been sold at a loss.

Besides that, according to MLB's own numbers, the A's made $3.4 M last year. Forbes puts it at $6.8 M. Everyone's agreed that the A's are in the black.

But, even if you're right, why not save $1 million instead of 500 k (or as pointed out $700 k vs. $350 k)? Why not trade Justice for nothing? Why not swap Velarde for Mabry? Why sign Zito just a couple weeks ago, with a work stoppage looming over baseball?

And do you really think $500 k makes the difference between bankruptcy and solvency for a franchise valued (by both MLB and Forbes) at $160 M with 2001 revenues of $80 M?

Posted 2:37 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#397) - A's Fan
  A huge question mark is suddenly placed against the mental state of Billy Beane after his sudden trade of Jeremy Giambi.

Has the extraordinary pressure he applies to himself and all those around him professionally finally carried him over the top? Has the GM become power-crazed and impossibly intolerant of anybody who he believes has fallen below his own standards?

The profile is of a man obsessed with success, who has literally become maddened by his failure to get his hands on the pennant that has eluded him.

There is no doubt that Beane is in great turmoil - but this is not a man who has lost his wits. It is a supreme professional who has looked around and been angered by what he sees as a shortfall of professionalism around him.

The basic truth is that Beane is suffering from rage. A rage to win. An insistence that nothing is left to chance in the pursuit of that goal.

Any judgment of Beane's behaviour now has to be balanced against the reality of his place in the game. It is an extraordinary one he has fashioned for himself. It does not speak, it yells of commitment.

We also have to remember that Beane has no sense of public relations or celebrity. He does not think in terms of image. He thinks just about the margins between victory and loss. He is a supreme loner - and he knows more clearly than most of today's professionals what it takes to win.

So what does Beane do? Given his nature, he will march on, breathing fire.

There is a by-product of this, though, that the A's, A's fans and all of Beane's potentially damning critics must not forget. It is that as Beane racks up the demands on himself, he also raises his expectations of all those around him.

No, Billy Beane hasn't gone mad. He has simply reached breaking point. How well he comes back from it depends on the depth of his own will - and the ability of the A's and staff to at least begin to meet their GM's own amazing standards.

Posted 2:37 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#398) - Mike
  Is this a record-long thread?

Posted 2:38 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#399) - Officer Ramsey of the Metropolitan Police
  I am happy to announce that an arrest has been made in the mysterious disappearance of Chandra Levy. Acting on a tip from a Mr. Bean after the discovery of the body yesterday, we have conclusively determined the identity of her killer. Amazingly, Mr. Bean was able to have the suspect delivered to our Philadelphia field office late last night, where an arrest has been made. More details will soon follow.

Best explanation I've thought of.

Posted 2:45 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#400) - Aron
  Scruff,

I'm trying to reconcile two points you've made:
1) Giambi shouldn't be played in the outfield unless he put up MVP batting numbers
2) This is the worst at-the-time trade you've ever seen

If Giambi can only be a DH or maybe a bad-fielding first baseman, then isn't he not far above replacement level, a younger Hatteberg or late-90s Canseco (but slower than Canseco)? If that's the case, how could this possibly be the worst trade ever? Strangest, perhaps, but the worst?

I'm getting this from your own evaluation of Giambi's defense, so maybe I misunderstood what you were saying. It just seems that if Giambi's defense cancels his offense--which is good, but not great--then he's not all that valuable, and this just becomes a dump, albeit a strange one.

Posted 2:57 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#401) - bob mong (e-mail) (homepage)
  though you probably mean "Mr. Beane"

Additionally,it's easy for us to say, "Beane should have gone out and found a better deal", when we don't actually have to make it. There are 29 teams for Beane to bargain with under ideal circumstances, but this number is reduced by:
(a) teams that Beane may not want to deal with for competitive reasons;
(b) teams that have no need for a DH/1b/nominal OF;
(c) teams that have a need for a DH/1B/nominal OF, but don't recognize the value of OBP;
(d) the Royals, for whom trading to get Giambi back would be too much like admitting failure (who probably fit in category c anyway).

The point is, to get the best value in trade you need the widest possible market, and I doubt there was a very wide market in the case of Jeremy Giambi.

OK. assume that (a) elimates all the AL (unlikely but possible, i guess).
that would leave the 16 teams in the NL - you think not one of them wouldn't want a .280/.390/.475 1B/OF for $1 million? I would say that $1 million is worth it just to have him as a pinch-hitter/part-timer - and i don't think most GMs would disagree.
as to undervaluing OBP, lets look at numbers that dumb-GMs do look at: his batting average is .274 and he hit .283 lat year. not great but good, and pretty well established. and homeruns - he has hit 8 so far this year (pace for about 30). you telling me that even a dumb-type GM wouldn't want a 1B/OF who would hit .280 with 30 HR for only $1 million, even if he couldn't field worth crap?

I think this quote is most illuminating: Wade said he was surprised Tuesday when his phone rang and Oakland general manager Billy Beane offered Giambi for Mabry.

"His numbers were pretty good, so I was surprised his name was in play," Wade said.

Posted 2:58 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#402) - S. Enzanome
  "No, Billy Beane hasn't gone mad. He has simply reached breaking point. How well he comes back from it depends on the depth of his own will - and the ability of the A's and staff to at least begin to meet their GM's own amazing standards. "

Man, I hope you were kidding...

Posted 3:01 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#403) - Bud in SF
  Good god, I haven't seen this much collective angst since Chewbacca was traded for Jar Jar Binks.

I'll bet the hangover is gonna be a doozy ...

Posted 3:01 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#404) - S. Enzanome
  bob mong:

"that would leave the 16 teams in the NL - you think not one of them wouldn't want a .280/.390/.475 1B/OF for $1 million? I would say that $1 million is worth it just to have him as a pinch-hitter/part-timer - and i don't think most GMs would disagree.
as to undervaluing OBP, lets look at numbers that dumb-GMs do look at: his batting average is .274 and he hit .283 lat year. not great but good, and pretty well established. and homeruns - he has hit 8 so far this year (pace for about 30). you telling me that even a dumb-type GM wouldn't want a 1B/OF who would hit .280 with 30 HR for only $1 million, even if he couldn't field worth crap?"

$1 million for a bench guy is pretty steep for maybe 25 clubs.

And I'm not seeing what NL lineups he'd crack. Pittsburgh has a worse 1b, but a better alternative in Craig Wilson. St Louis ain't sittin' Tino, and I can't see La Russa putting Jeremy in left field. Atlanta's about the only team I can think of that has a need at 1b without a sunk cost there. The market for Jeremy was probably pretty limited, no matter how much we all like his bat.

Posted 3:02 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#405) - Al (e-mail)
  From http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/sports/baseball/mlb/philadelphia_phillies/3319770.htm:

"Wade said he was surprised Tuesday when his phone rang and Oakland general manager Billy Beane offered Giambi for Mabry."

Beane didn't even try to save more money or get a prospect. He just picked up the phone, called Ed Wade and said, do you want Giambi for Mabry.

If this was a cost cutting move, Beane should have started the negotiations asking for someone cheaper. If Beane just wanted to get rid of Giambi and had to deal with the Phillies, he could have started by asking for someone better than Mabry (Lee, Glanville, Perez).

He did none of those things. He started and ended the negotiations with Giambi for Mabry. It's a bad mov eno matter what way you look at it.

Posted 3:05 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#406) - theboyqueen
  maybe beane tried trading giambi for marcus giles or cliff floyd or luis castillo and got turned down so he gave giambi to the phillies out of spite?

Posted 3:10 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#407) - scruff (e-mail)
  ARon - Giambi is well above replacement level, even for a DH.

He was 4th among AL DH's in XWins and offensive W% (5th if you count Canseco in 76 G). His OW% was .608. He's a very good hitter. A replacement level DH is in the low .400's. You know, someone like Scott Hatteberg :-)

Mabry's offensive W% was .414 and he's 4 years older. That's why this is the worst trade ever.

Scott Hatteberg had a .394 OW% in 2001. This year he's been better, but his OPS is about .150 below Little G. Trade him for Mabry.

At 1B, I'd say Giambi is adequate. Below average, but nowhere near so much that it offsets his offense.

You need to get more for a guy that would be one of the 4 or 5 best DH's in the league who is only 27 years old.

Let me re-phrase that. You need to get something for such a player. That's why this trade is so awful.

Posted 3:10 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#408) - Walt Davis
  Regarding the "maybe Beane couldn't get anything better/cheaper" argument, about all I can say is that, if true, it might partially excuse Beane but it would indict the other 29 GM's as idiots. Oops, sorry, 28 as Wade definitely doesn't qualify as an idiot on this deal. OK, maybe not all 28 as those who are set with really good 1B, DH, and corner OF might be off the hook. So that would leave us with, what, 26 GM's as idiots. :-)

But according to Ed Wade, Beane called him and made the offer. Wade didn't say anything about Beane trying to get a prospect or a cheaper player. It's hard to believe that Beane has spent the last few days calling GM's without rumors being started. It seems more than a bit coincedental that they'd make this trade on the same day they decide to shake up much of the rest of the roster without some connection between the two (i.e. similar motives).

Posted 3:17 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#409) - Doctor Who
  "There is a by-product of this, though, that the A's, A's fans and all of Beane's potentially damning critics must not forget. It is that as Beane racks up the demands on himself, he also raises his expectations of all those around him."

So the banishment of Giambi was enhanced by getting nothing in return for him, further affirming Beane's control of the franchise. Were the A's really that lazy or sloppy? He must expect a big bounce attitude-wise if all he cares about is the margin between victory and defeat.

Posted 3:21 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#410) - Greg Pope
  Did you read today Daily Prospectus? Sheehan says that the trade is so obviously terrible that it's inviting speculation. It seems like he's saying that Beane was forced to trade Giambi, so he made the worst deal that he could, hoping that the real reasons would be uncovered.

Posted 3:21 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#411) - Walt Davis
  Regarding the "maybe Beane couldn't get anything better/cheaper" argument, about all I can say is that, if true, it might partially excuse Beane but it would indict the other 29 GM's as idiots. Oops, sorry, 28 as Wade definitely doesn't qualify as an idiot on this deal. OK, maybe not all 28 as those who are set with really good 1B, DH, and corner OF might be off the hook. So that would leave us with, what, 26 GM's as idiots. :-)

But according to Ed Wade, Beane called him and made the offer. Wade didn't say anything about Beane trying to get a prospect or a cheaper player. It's hard to believe that Beane has spent the last few days calling GM's without rumors being started. It seems more than a bit coincedental that they'd make this trade on the same day they decide to shake up much of the rest of the roster without some connection between the two (i.e. similar motives).

Posted 3:29 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#412) - JIM
  -Maybe Beane is the one with the drug problem.

-John Sherhoultz must have been asleep at the wheel on this one. He could offer a box of baseballs for Giambi and been in contention. I can't fathom how Beane didn't get more for Mabry.

-I think this signals another Philly move is in the works. I wonder if Burrell could move back to third (his college position). We could see Rolen packaged with Glanville or Lee to get pitching or a big bat. Byrd could come up and play center, leaving LF, 3b, and 1b to be manned by some combination of the left overs.

Just some thoughts...

Posted 3:29 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#413) - Robert Dudek
  The not trading him to an AL team theory is nonsensical.

1) The Phillies can trade him tommorrow to any team they want.
2) If you trade him to a team like Toronto, a team that would fully recognize Gimabi's value (such as it is) you're going to get something back. At least a picthing prospect or someone like Joe Lawrence a young guy who makes nothing and could become a valuable utility infielder one day. Toronto is out of the race this year anyway so its not like Little G is going to destroy the A's in the playoffs.

I can guarantee you that of Beane had talked to Ricciardi about Gianbi he would have got a better offer.

Posted 3:33 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#414) - Rich C
  Since everyone is reading this thread only :-)

Shawn Green has 3 HR's today, and is going to be leading off the 8th inning.

Posted 3:34 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#415) - David Gee
  I think it's awfully presumptuous to "guarantee" what Beane would have been offered from anybody.

Posted 3:37 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#416) - bob mong (e-mail) (homepage)
  $1 million for a bench guy is pretty steep for maybe 25 clubs.

well, according to baseball-reference, last year...

Atlanta paid: $1.1 million to Rico Brogna to play in 72 games, $1.5 million to Dave Martinez to accumulate 240 AB, and $3.9 million to Quilvio Veras to play in 71 games.
New York (NL) paid: $1.1 million to Lenny Harris for 135 AB and $3.3 million to Daryl Hamilton for 126 AB
Houston paid: $1.3 million to Tony Eusebio for 154 AB and $1.5 million to Jose Vizcaino for 250 AB.
St. Louis paid: $1.3 million to Craig Paquette for 340 AB.
Chicago (NL) paid: $1.1 million to Ron Coomer for 350 AB, $1.1 million to Damon Buford for 85 AB, and $2 million to Joe Girardi for 78 games.
Milwaukee paid: $1.375 million to Tyler Houston for 235 AB and $3.5 million to Mark Loretta for 100 games.
Cincinnati paid: $1 million to Ruben Rivera for 260 AB.
Pittsburgh paid: $3.79 million to Pat Meares for 270 sucky AB.
Arizona paid: $1.6 million to Greg Colbrunn for 100 AB.
San Francisco paid: $1 million to Shawon Dunston for 186 AB, $1.3 million to Russ Davis for 170 AB and $1.5 to Eric Davis for 75 games.
Los Angeles paid: $3.4 million to Tom Goodwin for 100 games.

That is eleven teams that, last year, paid at least $1 million to a part-time position player. That is 11/16 of the NL. I would say that at least half the teams in MLB would be willing to put out $1 million for a good hit/no field part-timer.

Posted 3:42 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#417) - bob mong (e-mail) (homepage)
  I forgot to mention, but in compiling that list I only looked at NL teams (going with the somewhat unlikely assumption that Beane was only willing to trade Giambi out of the AL).

Posted 3:45 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#418) - dp
  Lenny Harris is making $1 million for having no defensive value, no position, and not hitting...by the Brewers, hardly a large-market ballclub.

The notion that someone wouldn't pay $1 million for a PH as good as Giambi seems pretty ridiculous.

Posted 3:45 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#419) - Al (e-mail)
  The Prospectus theory of making the deal so that people will dig deep doesn't excuse the crappiness of this deal. If Beane wants to expose any issues that he had with Giambi to the public, he easily could have suspended him and stated why. He shouldn't be intentionally hurting the chances of the team to win to prove any point.

Posted 3:55 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#420) - Andrew Siegel (e-mail)
  Al--

As I hypothesized on the transactions board, the trade only makes sense if Beane had a serious problem with Giambi and DIDN'T want to expose the issues to the public -- out of some sense of tact or more likely on the advice of counsel. Under those circumstances, Beane couldn't just realese Giambi nor could he explain the real reasons for the trade in public. Employees are transferred to lesser jobs or "resign" in other fields all the time while management makes lame excuses about the reasons for the transfer or resignation rather than risking legal exposure if they made public the truth. How's that for a theory?

Posted 3:55 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#421) - Walt Davis
  $1 million for a bench guy is pretty steep for maybe 25 clubs.

You're joking right? The A's alone have 4 bench players making .8 to 1 M. Limiting to bench position players:

Orlando Palmeiro -- $1 M
Scott Speizio -- $2.25 M
Greg Colbrunn -- 1.8 M
Craig Counsell -- 1.5 M
Henry Blanco -- 1.5 M
Dave Martinez -- 1.5 M
Brian Daubauch -- 2.3 M
Carlo Baerga -- .7 M (I just had to include him)
Willie Banks -- .45 M (I know he's a pitcher but c'mon)
Joe Girardi -- 1.5 M
Delino DeShields -- 1.2 M
Chris Stynes -- 1.2 M
Juan Encarnacion -- 1.5 M
Kelly Stinnett -- 1 M
Wilton Guerrero -- .85 M
Wil Cordero -- 4.2 M (old mistake)
Eric Owens -- 2.2 M
Jose Vizcaino -- 1.7 M
Gregg Zaun -- 1.15 M
Orlando Merced -- 1 M
Brian Hunter (fast) -- 1 M
Dave McCarty -- .85 M
Luis Alicea -- .8 M
Raul Ibanez -- .8 M
Chad Kreuter -- 1.1 M
Marquis Grissom -- 5 M (old mistake)
Ron Belliard -- 1.65 M
Lenny Harris -- 1.1 M
Denny Hocking -- 1.1 M
Joe McEwing -- .75 M
Gerald Williams -- 2 M
Shane Spencer -- .89 M
Randy Velarde -- 1 M
Scott Hatteberg -- .9 M
Greg Myers -- .8 M
Olmedo Saenz -- .8 M
Ricky Ledee -- .75 M
Pat Meares -- 3.8 M
Mike Benjamin -- .925 M
Tom Lampkin -- 1.25 M
Bubba Trammell -- 1.5 M
Shawon Dunston -- 1.15 M
Desi Relaford -- 1.28 M
Placido Polanco -- 1.75 M
Eli Marrero -- .85 M
Mike DeFelice -- .75 M
Gabe Kapler -- 1.85 M
Herbert Perry -- .9 M
Bill Haselman -- .8 M

Posted 4:04 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#422) - bob mong (e-mail) (homepage)
  You know, the more I think about this, the more it seems that, for whatever reason, the most important factor in this deal was speed.

Judging from Wade's comments, Beane's comments, and the whole rest of the situation, it really looks like Wednesday afternoon, all of a sudden, Beane had to get Giambi out of the As organization right that minute.

Consider:
judging from the lack of rumors, this deal probably went from start to finish in a day, if not in hours.
the sheer ridiculousness of the offer (Mabry? for Giambi? Um, sure!) ensured that the deal would be quickly accepted and quickly executed. I.e., Beane didn't make offers that would have to be considered or have to be negotiated. He made an offer that he surely knew would be accepted immediately.

My theory: for whatever reason, Beane had to get Giambi out of the As organization as soon as possible (meaning within hours). So, off the top of his head, he thought of a team that he would not be directly competing with, had a GM that wouldn't be reluctant/suspicious at the quickness/abruptness of the deal, and which had a player that he could easily get the GM to immediately trade him for Giambi. The first club he could think of was the Phillies, the first player he could think of was John Mabry.

this all might be wrong, of course...but it was fun to imagine. :)

Posted 4:06 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#423) - Walt Davis
  the "not trade him to the AL" theory also doesn't hold water for this simple reason: if Giambi was so good that trading him to an AL team would come back to haunt the A's, then he's good enough to bring more in trade with an NL team than Mabry. If he wasn't that good, then what's the harm in trading him to an AL team? Maybe Beane overvalued Giambi ... but if that was the case, that he could only get Mabry would have certainly woken him up to that fact.

On the BP piece, I read it as being critical of Beane -- that he traded Giambi for some nefarious doings on Giambi's part but instead of doing it in a manner that would let Giambi get on with his career, he did it in a manner that would keep people digging until they found the dirt on Giambi.

Posted 4:09 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#424) - Pete Sommers
  Sorry to interrupt, but this is exciting news...Shawn Green just hit his 4th homer. His box score line: 6 6 6 7.

Ok. Back to Giambi trade talk.

Posted 4:13 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#425) - Kurt
  After watching the Seventh Heaven episode this morning where Ruthie starts a petition to reinstate a fired teacher and accuses the prinipal of racism, only to find out that the teacher had breast cancer and was taking a leave of absence, I'm starting to come around to the idea that -we shouldn't kill Beane until (if) all the facts come out. For all we know Giambi has breast cancer or something.

Posted 4:14 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#426) - dp
  Robert-
Unless the point was to deal him somewhere else there's no way Toronto can use Giambi (and take on salary). They have 4 OFs for 3 spots with bitching already about playing time, and Brian Lesher, whose spot Giambi would take, bats about once a week. Delgado is entrenched at 1B with Phelps and Werth banging the door down at AAA for some 1B/C/DH/OF time. On top of that, Chad Mottola would probably do almost all of what Giambi would for the league minimum.

This is precisely the type of trade Toronto is not in a position to make- taking on salary to fill what's not even a need. Given the possibility of a strike, wise GMs like Beane and Riccardi are stepping real careful I think with salary and call-ups- note the Jays are keeping Hudson and Phelps and Werth down even through all are performing very well and the Jays have had injuries at their positions in the majors....

FREE CHAD MOTTOLA!!!!

Posted 4:15 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#427) - Steve Treder
  I find it kind of interesting that the concept that some off-the-field issue could be the motivation behind this deal seems to be rejected out of hand by some posters. Apparently the logic seems to be that if we don't know about something, it can't exist, or perhaps that things like that just don't happen in baseball.

Well, why don't they happen in baseball? As someone pointed out, there are all kinds of episodes in the real world in which people are fired/transferred/demoted etc., and the cover story is vague and discreet, and the real issue is some kind of a personal situation (very likely involving sexual infidelity and/or some kind of illegal activity, such as drugs) that, for everyone involved, it's better to just keep private. Why would baseball be immune from such situations?

Of course this is all speculation. Of course speculation is not knowledge. But this isn't a scientific inquiry here. I think to automatically rule out that a transaction as strange on its face as this one (or to take another case, the Bobby Estalella dumping last year) could have at least part of its motivation being some kind of personal scandal is just not realistic.

Posted 4:16 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#428) - Al (e-mail)
  Andrew -

I completely understand that Beane might want to get rid of Giambi for whatever non-baseball reason. Maybe Giambi didn't like Episode II while Beane thought it was brilliant. Who knows. If you want the issues to remain silent, then you don't remain quiet or say something like "Giambi is a one dimensional player," when it's the one dimension that your team's philosophy is supposedly based around.

You make a deal that has a believable reason behind it, other than "there are other issues". You make a deal where the public could say "the A's are dumping salary", or "the A's are strenghtening their bullpen/bench", or "the A's are helping out their farm system", or "the A's are getting younger/faster", etc. There has been no believable baseball or financial related explanation for the deal given by anyone. The only other place to look is "off field" issues, or to just say that Billy Beane made a really bad trade.

Posted 4:22 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#429) - RP
  Green is now 6 for 6 w/4 HRs.

Posted 4:23 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#430) - dp
  Hey, Mike Piazza is 2/2 today- will we see the ehadline tommorrow "Piazza Catches Fire?"

Sorry, wrong thread...

Posted 4:25 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#431) - dp
  Can Ricarrdi invoke the "I take it back" clause in the Green/Mondesi deal?

While we're talking about lopsided deals...I still steam over this one...

Posted 4:27 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#432) - Dayn Perry
  No, Billy Beane hasn't gone mad. He has simply reached breaking point. How well he comes back from it depends on the depth of his own will - and the ability of the A's and staff to at least begin to meet their GM's own amazing standards.

Those standards are certainly amazing now. Albeit, on the other end of the "amazing" continuum.

Posted 4:31 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#433) - Devin McCullen
  BTW, yes, this is the longest thread for # of posts, although the infamous "Thread That Wouldn't Die" may have been longer in terms of words - that was a Hall of Fame debate that mutated a few times, with a lot of LONG posts.

Two points: 1)There seems to be a consensus that Giambi for Payton would have been a better trade for the A's, and I can't believe Phillips wouldn't have done it - although I could see that Payton's bad baserunning/bad attitude might have turned Beane off. But that's 1 better trade that was available - and that's without even trying hard. Where's the unnamed GM who was complaining about the Scott Strickland/Bruce Chen trade?

2) I was amazed by Rob Neyer's column. He reviews Beane's questionable trades in the past, and concludes he's never had a truly bad one. Fine. But then he tries to justify the trade by saying that, based on his track record, Beane knows what he's doing. Uh, Rob, the issue isn't getting rid of Giambi - it's doing it for so little in return that it looks bad. I don't think Beane has earned a pass on this one.

I'm also laughing because Joe Sheehan has to write about Shawn Green tomorrow. That's what you get for making blanket statements. I did think his column on Giambi was pretty good, though.

Posted 4:33 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#434) - Chris J.
  Regarding the theory that Mabry was the best Beane could get for Jeremy. . . If so, so what? That's no excuse. If you can't trade him for anything better than John Freakin' Mabry, then sit on Giambi. At least you can get some value out of Jeremy - that's more than can be said for John Freakin' Mabry. Even if Jeremy's about to be arrested for the Levin murder, or animal molestation, or crimes against humanity or whatever - the A's could at least have gotten a little bit out of Giambi 'til the [unknown off-field problem] came to light. I mean, John Freakin' Mabry?

Posted 4:38 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#435) - Tom
  I think everyone here is missing the point: Twins and Expos in the All Star game. If everyone here put there passion and energy into filling in those bubbles on MLB.com, we'd have something happily inexplicable on our hands: Christian Guzman, starting SS for the AL.

Posted 4:42 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#436) - MikeC
  Jon Daly-
Thanks for reminding me that it was a sale of players. I was just wondering. Believe me when I say I don't hold my breath that Selig would do anything similiar. First, I don't know how he would recognize the "best interests of baseball." Second, he didn't do anything during the Marlins fire sale.

Posted 4:46 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#437) - Sharkbyte
  Steve - What seems surprising is that any off-field issue wouldn't leak into the media, either before the deal happened or immediately afterward to explain why the deal was made. I don't think most people would be surprised to find out there is such a reason...but until it surfaces, we're left to either speculate as to what it was (which has certainly been done by a lot of people discussing the topic), or try to figure out why the deal was made if there wasn't one.

Posted 4:47 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#438) - Robert Dudek
  dp...

I see your point. But I believe that Giambi is a much better hitter than Lesher,or Mottola. Since Shannon Stewart is now going to be a DH, Giambi is about as good a hitter as Shannon at a much lower cost. Rmemerber Oakland is a pithcer's park and Skydome favors hitters.

1 million is cheap - you can flip that kind of salary easily.

In any case, Ricicardi could flip Giambi or Stewart for some pithcing and that would certainly address a need. It's often a good idea to accumulate surplus talent that you can later trade for what you need.

Heck, Chris Woodward is a better, younger player than John Mabry.

Posted 4:49 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#439) - Andy James
  I, too, was stunned by Neyer's response. Beane must know what he's doing? Making that statement in the face of incontrovertible evidence against it is absurd.

I wonder if Neyer has himself in Gammons' trap -- that is, as a nationally read columnist he has to be nice to the GMs that provide him with information. Even so, a terrible trade "analysis" on his part.

Posted 4:52 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#440) - Gerrard Thock (homepage)
  Something must've happened, Giambi must've shot his mouth off or acted insubordinate or lit up a blunt in the clubhouse, because there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for a major league team to trade for John Mabry. You don't have to trade for a John Mabry, players like him are everywhere. Hell, GMs try as hard as they can to NOT have a John Mabry in their system somewhere. Even if Beane gave up the worst player on his team, he'd still just be getting his equivalent in return. That's a waste of time and a pointless trade.

But, Beane gave up one of his better hitters for Mabry, and this just enforces the idea that he felt Giambi couldn't spend another minute in an A's uniform. Even if we're being too stat-headed on this and ignoring all Giambi's shortcomings, he's still worth something. And if Beane wanted to get rid of him to dump salary, why not hold onto him for another week or two and feel things out? The argument that Mabry was the best he could get doesn't hold because Mabry was pretty much the WORST he could've gotten too. Hell, EVERY team has a John Mabry, and every team would've (I hope) traded their Mabry for a better, younger player.

Although slumping recently, Giambi's trade value is still probably at it's all time high, which makes it even more curious that Beane settled for someone as useless as Mabry. The only rationale is that, like the Everett-Oliver deal this offseason Beane made a "Get the F*ck off My Team" trade.

Posted 4:57 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#441) - bob mong (e-mail) (homepage)
  From Rob Neyer's analysis of this trade:

Now we've got Jeremy Giambi for John Mabry, which will almost certainly be lopsided in terms of eventual Win Shares. Giambi is 27 and he can hit: Mabry is 31 and he cannot hit.

So far, so good. Makes sense.

But how good a player is Giambi, really? He's a terrible baserunner. Historically terrible. He's a terrible outfielder, to the point where pitchers cringe when they see his name next to LF on the lineup card.

He can't be that terrible; he doesn't get thrown out trying to steal and the As weren't afraid to lead him off for the first two months of the season. And regarding his fielding, that is why they invented the DH, and what about 1B? that's where Mo Vaughn, Frank Thomas, and other bad-field/good-hit players have done time in the past.
But, it gets worse:

And how good a hitter is Giambi, really? Yes, he's got a world of ability; his minor-league stats were actually better than his big brother's. But he turns 28 in September and he's got a .423 career slugging percentage.

Let's compare him to his older brother:
Age 24
Jason - .256/.364/.398 (in 175 AB)
Jeremy - .285/.373/.368 (in 288 AB)
Age 25
Jason - .291/.355/.481, HR every 26.8 AB
Jeremy - .254/.338/.423 (in 260 AB), HR every 26 AB
Age 26
Jason - .293/.362/.495, HR every 26 AB
Jeremy - .283/.391/.450 (in 371 AB), HR every 31 AB
Age 27
Jason - .295/.384/.489, HR every 20.8 AB
Jeremy - .274/.390/.471 (in 157 AB), HR every 19.6 AB (that would be this season)

In other words, through age 27:
their power? slight edge to Jason (though notice the HR rates - almost identical).
Their batting average? Jason a bit better.
Their ability to get on base? Jeremy a bit better.

Or, basically, to me they look like almost identical hitters.

And, Rob continues:

Sure, Giambi might become the next Matt Stairs, but he also might be out of baseball in a few years. It's up to him, but in the meantime it looks like the A's just got tired of waiting to find out.

Yeah, it was sure dumb of the As to wait to find out about Jason too, wasn't it?

And finally, the boot-licking, suck-up kicker:

And given Billy Beane's track record, it's safe to assume that he knows what he's doing this time, too.

What he should have written: "And given Billy Beane's track record, what the hell is he doing?!?"

Posted 4:59 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#442) - Darren
  I think people may be taking Wade's comments the wrong way. The writer actually says that the phone rang and Beane offered Giambi. We don't hear what else was said in between, or what he might have been initially offered for. Additionally, Wade refers to Giambi being "in play" which suggests that he may have been one of a few guys mentioned or that there was at least some negotiation going on before the final deal was reached.

What we shouldn't conclude is that Beane called up and immediately said "Giambi for Mabry, what do you think?"

Posted 5:02 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#443) - dp
  Robert,

I'd take Stewart over Giambi, Giambi over Mottola/Lesher all other things being equal. But if Giambi hit 30 HR this year for the Jays, it wouldn't matter. If the Jays do manage to clear 2 of Stewart, Cruz and Raul, they need to use those spots to evalate their minor league talent (unless JP really thinks the strike is going to happenand wants to keep the young guys playing, but if that's the case, you don't want Giambi on the roster chewing up $$$).

Theoretically, Giambi'd be a nice guy to have around on the Jays because I always think you can use anyone with a .370 OP%, but realistically, I just don't see room for him...
...but if it got Chris motherfucking Woodward off the team, it'd be worth $1 mil. Woodward is young and still could develop, but he'd give Mayberry a run for his money in the useless department...

Posted 5:14 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#444) - Robert Dudek
  I think it would be wrong to expect Little G to develop like his big brother at age 28. Nevertheless, guys who can get on base and who can hit with some power are valuable. By definition.

I honestly don't understand what Rob Neyer is thinking. His case seems to be that Giambi isn't as good as some people think and you've gotta assume Beane knows what he's doing.

Disgusting.

Posted 5:26 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#445) - bob mong (e-mail) (homepage)
  I think it would be wrong to expect Little G to develop like his big brother at age 28.

Agreed, Robert.
But if he develops just a little bit, say into a .300/.400/.500 hitter who can't field, he will be pretty damn close to being another Edgar Martinez, or another Gary Sheffield.

Posted 5:28 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#446) - Jazz-loving Jewel Thief
  "The basic truth is that Beane is suffering from rage. A rage to win. An insistence that nothing is left to chance in the pursuit of that goal."

Be that as it may, how is trading Giambi supposed to help sooth that rage? Derek Jeter is a player that has that same "rage to win". Not everyone does.

Posted 5:29 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#447) - Casey
  Like Gerard said, John Mabry is quite likely the LAST player the A's, or any team, would want to trade for. You just don't make trades for guys like him. What's most peculiar about this deal is not what Giambi's faults are--that's where Neyer misses the point--because Giambi is certainly a player good enough for other teams to want him and he certainly has his faults. No news there. The question is: What on Shawn Green's earth would compel a team to trade for John Mabry, regardless of who the other player was?
Like Sheehan wondered, was this a statement from Beane? If so, what could he mean? If he was simply trying to get rid of Jeremy as quickly as possible, he still could have gotten somebody better than Mabry because just about anybody is better than John Mabry or at least has more potential than John Mabry. The only way someone would make a trade for John Mabry is if he was intentionally setting out to pick one of the worst possible players available.
Perhaps for some reason Beane was ordered to trade Giambi (or perhaps just to trade somebody and Giambi happened to be the one) against his wishes, so he vindictively hurt the organization by getting the A's a useless player with no potential. Then he would resign his post as GM soon after.

Posted 5:32 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#448) - bob mong (e-mail) (homepage)
  so he vindictively hurt the organization by getting the A's a useless player with no potential. Then he would resign his post as GM soon after.

I can't imagine this occurring unless he never wanted to work in baseball again.

Posted 5:38 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#449) - Gerrard Thock (homepage)
  God, Rob Neyer is a spineless suck up, huh? He's been preaching the stathead dictum for years, and now just because he wants to lick Billy Beane's nuts he all of a sudden decides that fielding and baserunning are more important than OBP?

I also hate when people look at a guy's career % totals in mid-career and try and use it as a negative. For instance, Neyer says "His career SLG % is only .423." Yeah, it is, but he's 27 and increased his SLG% every year since his sophmore season, and has been slugging way over that for the past two seasons. To discredit the player he is now by painting him as the player he was three years ago is foolish. He's no longer a weak 24 year-old trying to learn to hit in the majors.

Posted 5:42 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#450) - Rapscallion Jones
  "And given Billy Beane's track record, it's safe to assume that he knows what he's doing this time, too."

That's exactly what Neyer said about the Terrence Long contract, isn't it? At what point do the Giambi trade, and the Long and Ramon Hernandez contracts, also become a part of Beane's track record?

Posted 5:44 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#451) - Casey
  Bob - yeah, that's what I meant to add: '...and would never work in baseball again.'
sounds crazy, but that's all i can think of. this is a self-inflicted wound. the A's are now and will always be worse than they could have been because of this trade.

Posted 5:45 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#452) - RossyW
  I agree. Beane has been exhibiting serious Dan Duquette tendencies recently.

Posted 5:46 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#453) - Walt Davis
  I'm missing something in the Giambi for Payton musing -- who would play center? Are we talking about moving Cedeno to center and putting Giambi in left? Yikes, even I'm scared by that defensive scenario. Or would Cedeno take a seat and Timo would play center?

Neyer's defense was pretty weak and I'm disappointed to see him defend it. His defense comes down to "how good a player is Giambi really?" which is at best a defense of getting rid of him but it's no defense of getting nothing more than Mabry. Sure, his career slugging %age is only 423, but it was 450 last year and 471 so far this year. His OPS (age) since 1999 has gone 741 (24), 761 (25), 841 (26), and 861 (27, this year). Gee, who ever heard of a player reaching their peak at age 27 and maintaining that level for a few years?

At age 26 and 27, Jason had OPSs of 857 and 871, not much different than his brother's. This is not to say that Jeremy will turn out like Jason (though their career trajectories seem eerily similar), it's to say that Beane trading Jason in the middle of 1998 would have made about as much sense as trading Jeremy now. Jason Giambi for John Mabry might well have been the worst trade ever.

And a number of A's have serious baserunning and fielding deficiencies, so if that's now Neyer's criteria for "not that good really", then he's got to be down on many of Beane's other deals....which would contradict the thesis that this trade can't be as bad as it looks because Beane is one of the best GM's. If Giambi's defense counteracts his 850 OPS, doesn't Long's defense counteract his 750 OPS, and what could possibly justify Ramon Hernandez whose defense seems adequate at best (CS% under 30%)? Did Adam Piatt turn into a defensive wiz when I wasn't looking? Does Scott Hatteberg have a degree from the Rick Reuschel School of Artful Baserunning for Slow Guys? And of course the only reason Giambi ever saw LF was because Beane has the team stocked with hitters who can't play defense. If he's worthless, what are Justice, Hatteberg, Saenz, Piatt worth?

In short, if Giambi is worth this little, so are most of the rest of the A's, and we'd have to conclude that Billy Beane is a mediocre GM at best.

By the way, here's what Rob had to say about Giambi's baserunning earlier this year:

"But Jeremy Giambi will do just fine. He's slow -- Strat-O-Matic says Jeremy's a 10 -- but he's no tree sloth."

In 2000, he said this:

Rob Neyer: A fair number of evaluators don't like Giambi because he's slow and really doesn't have a position. Well, one might have said the same of Harmon Killebrew, and last I checked he had his own plaque in Cooperstown. If Brett Laxton winds up having a better career than Jeremy Giambi, I'll eat my Springfield Isotopes cap.

OK, he's right that he's better than Laxton, but one shouldn't toss around Killer comparisons lightly.

Posted 5:54 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#454) - Todd
  Neyer: "And when you're the Athletics, $350,000 is a considerable amount of money."

To me, $350,000 is winning the lottery. To the A's, it's upgrading at backup catcher.

Posted 5:57 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#455) - RossyW
  The idea that the money is needed for draft picks has been tossed around. What does 350Gs get you these days, a 4th rounder or something?

Posted 5:57 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#456) - Devin McCullen
  As the Payton freak, my argument was based on my understanding that Phillips would like nothing better than to get Payton out of town, because of his general suckitude and because Phillips dislikes his attitude (the whole bit about not congratulating McEwing after the home run). That's the impression I've been getting - one sportswriter's analysis was that Payton was playing so bad that the Mets couldn't get anything back for him. I thought Timo was starting over Payton anyway. You could move Cedeno (although that would terrify your pitchers), sit Cedeno and start Timo, or just use Giambi as a 4th OF/backup 1B.

Posted 5:59 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#457) - Robert Dudek
  Walt...

You've made excellent points. I guess we are left to conclude that this is Rob Neyer's philosophy: if Beane acquires a player he must be better than most people think and if he deals them they must be worse than most people think.

Posted 6:03 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#458) - Shredder
  Rob Neyer's defense of Beane is like going to a great restaurant, run by one of your favorite chefs, ordering your favorite item, getting a horrible meal, and saying "Well, even thow I'm about to go throw up this pile of dog food, the Chef must have known what he was doing." I find it interesting that he can go face to face (or at least ear to ear) with Bud Selig and not be intimidated (I mean, as much as we all hate him, he IS the Commissioner), yet Beane makes a horrible trade and he comes off sounding afraid to criticize.

Posted 6:17 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#459) - Charles Saeger (e-mail)
  I look at most of what Neyer said and say, "So what?"

Giambi is a terrible baserunner. So is Mabry.

Giambi is a terrible fielder. Mabry isn't as bad, but he isn't good either.

Giambi can hit. He isn't a great hitter. John Mabry can't hit.

What we really have is a large difference in hitting ability against a small difference in fielding and baserunning ability. What's more, John Mabry is not good enough to play left field or run the bases every day -- he too needs a defensive replacement and a pinch runner.

Neyer has chosen to focus on a player's negatives, which isn't the right focus, especially here since Mabry has the same negatives as Giambi, only to a lesser degree. Focusing on the positives, we have a player in his prime who can hit some versus a player past his prime who cannot hit at all. John Mabry cannot hit, cannot field and cannot run the bases, and is at the age where he will lose what little value he has (which is zero, so this is meaningless). Jeremy Giambi cannot field or run the bases, but he can hit and will retain that value for the next few years, making him infinitely more valuable than John Mabry.

The not only would Giambi being such a bad influence on his teammates that he causes them to play markedly worse justify the trade. I know the A's are not playing well this year, but they did play well the past two seasons with Giambi, and the Royals did not improve when they lost Giambi. Even if this were so, John Mabry would need to have a significant ability to improve his teammates' performance, something he has yet to show.

Not even doing something morally reprehensible would justify this. He could have Chandra Levy's and Osama bin Laden's numbers on speed dial and I still would not make this move. I would not make this move were I to have caught Giambi en flagrante with my dog, who has been dead since 1989.

When Giambi were either of the above scenarios true, you wouldn't trade him for John Mabry. You'd release him.

The cost of playing John Mabry is negative, since any knowledgeable observer would know he cannot perform any task on an MLB diamond except maybe a coaching job or bat boy. You're better off with some AAA guy of limited skills because you never know what he can do. If he cannot do the job, release him. Putting Mabry in the same slot probably gives you more of a chance to overplay him, due to the psychological value of having a track record. In any event, the AAA player costs less to waste a few months on the roster.

Trading Giambi isn't bad. Trading Giambi for his brother, obviously, is a good trade. Trading Giambi for Chris Singleton is a good trade, if Giambi really is such an awful influence. Trading Giambi for Ricky Bottalico would be a good trade if Giambi were a horrible person. All of these people have at least some potential value.

John Mabry has no value. That is the issue. And by focusing on nothing but Giambi, Rob Neyer twisted the issues to defend Billy Beane where no reasonable defense is possible.

Posted 6:18 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#460) - Jonathan
  Back to the "worst trades in history" theme. Doesn't Babe Ruth for cash, a loan and an 84 year (and counting) curse qualify for the discussion? The magnitude of the effect is at least much larger than in the Giambi/Mabry case.

Just thought I'd ask...

BTW: Glenn Davis wasn't a marginal upgrade on Milligan at best.

Potentially the upgrade of Milligan to Davis would have been in the general range of a Daubach to Sweeney move today. (Disregarding age, of course.) ((Yeah, I know Dauber's been playing out of his mind lately.))

Posted 6:19 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#461) - Chris J.
  "I find it interesting that he can go face to face (or at least ear to ear) with Bud Selig and not be intimidated (I mean, as much as we all hate him, he IS the Commissioner), yet Beane makes a horrible trade and he comes off sounding afraid to criticize."

I think your overstating talk with Selig. Rob pretty much admitted in his column that the conversation with Bud didn't go that well, as he was asked point blank to name one time an owner ever lied, and couldn't think of one. Also, Selig controlled the entire talk as Rob never got to ask him the questions he wanted to. Also, after the talk ended he spent the rest of the weeks slagging the players union as much as he did the owners, & while I'm not arguing Fehr doesn't deserve to be slagged on, this doesn't really add up to going face-to-face with Selig. ("I'll show the commish! I'll get pushed around by him in a phone conversation, and then write a column or two attacking union leadership! Ha ha ha!" - uh, no). I like Rob's work usually (though not today's column), but confrontation isn't his strong point.

Posted 6:20 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#462) - DTS
  Shredder, great analogy.

Neyer's column shocked and disappointed me. If any other team "got tired of waiting to find out" about a hitter like Giambi, that GM would have been mocked unmercifully. Got tired of waiting? For what? A .390 OBP/.490 Slugger?

In fact, I'm similarly disappointed in Neyer as I am in Beane.

Posted 6:24 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#463) - Matt Z.
  Unless, of course, Neyer is privy to why Giambi was moved.

Posted 6:29 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#464) - DTS
  Let it die, just let it die. I can't.

The A's traded, among those who have played all season, their leading guy in EQA: .306 (just last week in his chat, Neyer said EQA was an excellent indicator of offensive prowess), their leader in EQR, their leader in RAR, and leader in RARP. These numbers are available here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/current/eqa.html.

The A's traded for Mabry. EQA: .226 with 1.8 EQRs and negative value in all the replacement categories.

I can't let it die. I just can't.

Posted 6:34 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#465) - Steve Treder
  "Doesn't Babe Ruth for cash, a loan and an 84 year (and counting) curse qualify for the discussion? The magnitude of the effect is at least much larger than in the Giambi/Mabry case."

It does indeed. The Ruth deal was a bad one in conception and (duh) in outcome. A worse deal can scarcely be imagined.

Bad as this Giambi thing is, it's certainly overstating the case to consider it a blockbuster giveaway of historic proportions, unless Jeremy develops into a star (which he might and might not). If Giambi hadn't been traded, but had suffered some sort of career-ending injury, we'd say, gee, that's too bad, but we'd realize that the A's have plenty of other options at DH/1B/LF, and long-term team performance would not likely be significantly impacted.

Posted 6:34 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#466) - Charles Saeger (e-mail)
  "Potentially the upgrade of Milligan to Davis would have been in the general range of a Daubach to Sweeney move today. (Disregarding age, of course.) ((Yeah, I know Dauber's been playing out of his mind lately.))"

Nope. Milligan was the better player. This was my biggest disappointment really -- Randy Milligan had shown he could play, and he was going back to the bench.

You also must remember when evaluating Mike Sweeney that he is one of the worst defensive first basemen known to man.

Posted 6:35 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#467) - Billy Beane's Mom
  I always told Billy that it was better to give than receive, but John Mabry???

Posted 6:36 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#468) - jdw (e-mail)
  Longest thread ever? If so, should anyone be surprised that a thread involving Beane and a Giambi would do it? :-)

Strange trade. Even if Voros and other are correct and "there is more", that aspect is strange. For every Steve Howe who can't/won't clean up, there is a Bob Welch. For every Straw, there is a Tim Raines. If Giambi has some problem, I'd just as soon keep him and try to see if it can be worked out than add _the_ John Mabry to my roster.

John

Posted 6:47 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#469) - Jerry Royster
  " Doesn't Babe Ruth for cash, a loan and an 84 year (and counting) curse qualify for the discussion? The magnitude of the effect is at least much larger than in the Giambi/Mabry case."

Borrowing the logic of the other posters, Ruth may have been a worse transaction, but it was explainable. BoSox owner needed capital to stage a play, and the Yanks were ready to pony up the dough. I read here far more than I post so I am not going to try and say whether I understand the trade. My memories of Mabry where as a Cardinal youngster that hit near .300. I didn't really know much beyond BA/HR/RBI in those days.

Posted 6:49 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#470) - Jonathan
  ++that's the part of it that bothers me: not that he might have had to trade Giambi for non-baseball reasons, but that he didn't, or didn't care to, make it look good.++ -Joe Sheehan

Theory #3562 - Occam's Razer is Dull. It's conspiracy theory time.

Beane has been ordered by the A's ownership to tank the season. (Either to force the stadium issue or more likely to strengthen the owner's bargaining position by eliminating the strongest case for "small-market success".)

Disgusted by this directive, he sends down Pena, Menachino & Tam, thinking "this is so obviously out of character for me that the snoops will come out of the woodwork and all will be brought into the open." (Pena's demotion was - if nothing else - more surprising than Blalock's. Pena had shown greater ability to function at the ML level. The Beane A's are known for patience with young talent.)

It doesn't work. Beane is driven to desperate measures. He has to do something so painfully out of character that there will be no question but that something is going on behind the scenes. (After all this is not only a bad trade, it is completely opposite to his philosophy as revealed through many years of track record.)

Ok, like any conspiracy theory, this one's probably wrong. But it does seem to fit the facts as we know them. I'm more inclined to think Beane would do something to protest ownership than something to destroy a player's reputation (deserved or otherwise.)

I also will point out that Beane implied he would have given Jason Giambi the no-trade clause, but was blocked by ownership on that move.

Posted 6:50 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#471) - Jonathan
  ++that's the part of it that bothers me: not that he might have had to trade Giambi for non-baseball reasons, but that he didn't, or didn't care to, make it look good.++ -Joe Sheehan

Theory #3562 - Occam's Razer is Dull. It's conspiracy theory time.

Beane has been ordered by the A's ownership to tank the season. (Either to force the stadium issue or more likely to strengthen the owner's bargaining position by eliminating the strongest case for "small-market success".)

Disgusted by this directive, he sends down Pena, Menachino & Tam, thinking "this is so obviously out of character for me that the snoops will come out of the woodwork and all will be brought into the open." (Pena's demotion was - if nothing else - more surprising than Blalock's. Pena had shown greater ability to function at the ML level. The Beane A's are known for patience with young talent.)

It doesn't work. Beane is driven to desperate measures. He has to do something so painfully out of character that there will be no question but that something is going on behind the scenes. (After all this is not only a bad trade, it is completely opposite to his philosophy as revealed through many years of track record.)

Ok, like any conspiracy theory, this one's probably wrong. But it does seem to fit the facts as we know them. I'm more inclined to think Beane would do something to protest ownership than something to destroy a player's reputation (deserved or otherwise.)

I also will point out that Beane implied he would have given Jason Giambi the no-trade clause, but was blocked by ownership on that move. I seriously doubt he has an outstanding vendetta against the Giambi family.

Posted 6:50 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#472) - Aron
  You don't need to know more than triple crown stats to know this is a bad trade. Compare triple crown stats since 1998. It's actually amazing that Mabry is still in the big leagues.

Posted 6:53 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#473) - Steve Treder
  "Theory #3562 - Occam's Razer is Dull. It's conspiracy theory time."

You really aren't serious about this, are you? This is beyond the pale in about six different ways.

Posted 6:56 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#474) - Jonathan
  ++You also must remember when evaluating Mike Sweeney that he is one of the worst defensive first basemen known to man.++

Yeah, but a spectacular hitter for a catcher!

I guess my memories as a ten year old fan aren't so accurate after all. I thought Glenn Davis was a legitimate slugger, the likes of which the O's hadn't had since Murray left/was driven out of town.

Posted 7:05 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#475) - JasonE
  "You really aren't serious about this, are you? This is beyond the pale in about six different ways."

This is what I said when I heard about the Giambi-Mabry deal.

With a trade this bizarre and out of character for Beane, you can't entirely dismiss the conspiracy theory that Jonathan proposes (although it is far-fetched).

Posted 7:08 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#476) - Jonathan
  ++"Theory #3562 - Occam's Razer is Dull. It's conspiracy theory time."

You really aren't serious about this, are you? This is beyond the pale in about six different ways++

What is it Sherlock Holmes used to say? "Once you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be true."

Yes, this is beyond the pale. I am 99.99% convinced that it isn't what happened (If put in this hypothetical position, Beane would just resign.)

I honestly believe that we don't know why this trade was made. I think it will be years before the full truth comes out. (Even if the truth turns out to be so mundane as "Giambi was a jerk during the team meetings.")

There's some very small, but real, chance that this trade makes the difference between making the playoffs and not for both the Phils and the A's this year.

It's just bizarre.

Posted 7:08 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#477) - DTS
  I always get Glenn Davis and Nick Esasky mixed up. I once saw Esasky hit an upper decker home run at Busch Stadium and pretty much thought he was the greatest home run hitter of all time. Ah, youth. This whole thread I thought Glenn Davis was the guy with vertigo. I kept thinking "cut the guy some slack, he had vertigo! You can't predict that."

Jonathan, I like your theory. Beane is actually signalling for help! Could be. I think I remember a Batman episode when Batman did something totally out of character so people would realize he was in trouble. Maybe it wasn't Batman. Well it was something like that. =)

Posted 7:15 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#478) - DTS
  "What is it Sherlock Holmes used to say? "Once you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be true.""

Wasn't it: once you have eliminated the possible . . .

Funny, because I read that quote last night in an old Joe Lansdale novel.

Posted 7:19 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#479) - 478
  Slogan: "More posts than Jose Canseco home runs."

This thread could be a record.

Posted 7:21 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#480) - not quite
  Not yet to Bonds though.

Posted 7:22 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#481) - Michael Fischer
  If anyone remembers the old R&R on the R's columns, Rob and Rany often took Royals management to task for not giving Little G a chance in KC. Why the sudden about face? Your favorite GM gives up on him, so you do, too? In my opinion, Rob has been focusing on other things lately, books, etc, and is not putting much effort into his columns. They've been pretty bad for the last 4 or 5 months.

Regarding the trade, I interpret it as a "get him the f*** off my team" deal, and I'd bet getting Mabry was calculated. I think Beane is intelligent enough to know this is a bad trade, so there has to be some reason behind it. I'd imagine we'll find out eventually. All statiscal reasoning about it is pointless.

Posted 7:32 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#482) - bob mong (e-mail) (homepage)
  Regardless of this Giambi deal, the As are going directly to the toilet unless their pitchers pick it up.

Mulder's line today: 4.7 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO, 2 HR

Sucks to lose to the D-Rays, yeah, but it sucks worse, I think, to get blown away by the Orioles. 11-3. sheesh.

And considering the Phillies just lost 1-0 today, they will probably welcome with open arms Giambi The Younger.

Posted 7:37 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#483) - Walt Davis
  Yeah, but how many of us actually remember the Ruth trade? :-)

One wise poster back there 150 posts or so put it quite well...

Giambi - Mabry = not the worst trade ever
Giambi/Mabry = maybe worst trade ever

As the denominator goes to zero, the ratio goes to infinity no matter how small the numerator may be.

Though it may actually be worse. I just ran this through my trusty Earl Weaver Baseball Calculator (tm) and Giambi/Mabry returns a negative number.

Posted 8:18 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#484) - ralph
  If anyone remembers the old R&R on the R's columns, Rob and Rany often took Royals management to task for not giving Little G a chance in KC. Why the sudden about face? Your favorite GM gives up on him, so you do, too?

Maybe Rob is trying to send us a signal that ESPN forced to him to analyze the trade this way. By using such faulty reasoning, and taking a total about face on his previous position, he's SURE his loyal readers will properly interpret his message. You know, the whole Batman logic...

Posted 8:20 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#485) - Steve Treder
  "Maybe Rob is trying to send us a signal that ESPN forced to him to analyze the trade this way. By using such faulty reasoning, and taking a total about face on his previous position, he's SURE his loyal readers will properly interpret his message. You know, the whole Batman logic..."

LOL!!!

Posted 8:38 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#486) - Joe
  Beane got rid of Giambi, OK? These things happen.

Nobody here knows how to evaluate a trade. Beane wants to get rid of Giambi, for some good reasons, like he can't field and he can't run, and one would imagine the A's believe Adam Piatt is ready. Giambi wasn't the left fielder and the leadoff hitter because that's what the A's want. He had those two roles because they didn't have anyone else more appropriate. With their season in the toilet, they've done the right thing and brought up German to look at as a leadoff hitter and a second baseman. So they don't need Giambi hitting leadoff anymore.

So with Giambi gone, Piatt in his place and the other moves what could they use? A left-handed bat with a little power to come off the bench. Thus Mabry comes to the A's.

Once David Justice is healthy if Hatteberg plays well at 1b, their lineup looks arguably better than it was before the Giambi trade.

Besides, I haven't seen anyone mention the fact that Giambi was almost certainly going to be somewhere else next year.

Posted 8:38 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#487) - Captain Obvious
  "Unless, of course, Neyer is privy to why Giambi was moved. "

Duh. Hasn't Neyer said he talks to Beane occasionally? I wouldn't be surprised if the BP guys have the same muzzle on.

I'm trying to figure out how y'all haven't hurt yourselves jumping off the Billy Beane bandwagon...

Posted 8:48 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#488) - Voros McCracken (e-mail)
  "Bud didn't go that well, as he was asked point blank to name one time an owner ever lied, and couldn't think of one."

Bud lied to Congress for crying out loud.

What's the exact quote? Something like if things don't change three to six teams will be bankrupt in three years? Somebody can reproduce this one.

And I think in the spirit of the word lie ("to make misleading statements when one is aware of their lack of accuracy"), you'd have to say that when the owner's reported a loss of $56.8 million in 1984, and after looking at the books Roger Noll came up with a net profit of $20 million instead...

I suppose Bud wouldn't consider that $56.8 million figure a lie, but it sure as hell wasn't the truth either.

Posted 8:58 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#489) - The relevant calculations would be...
  Giambi/Mabry = Giambi
Mabry/Giambi = 0.000000000285714...

Posted 9:11 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#490) - David Nieporent (e-mail)
  DTS: - Wasn't it: once you have eliminated the possible . . .

No. If you eliminate the possible, you're left with nothing.

Jonathan: I guess my memories as a ten year old fan aren't so accurate after all. I thought Glenn Davis was a legitimate slugger, the likes of which the O's hadn't had since Murray left/was driven out of town.

Davis was a legitimate _slugger_. Milligan (and Murray) was just a better _hitter_. (Or, rather, "offensive player," since much of their advantage came in the walks.) Davis wasn't Joe Carter, but he didn't walk enough to be close to Murray.

Posted 9:18 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#491) - Max
  Oh, you poor Phillies fans.

Wait until you see Jeremy flounder in left field, looking dazed and stupid, as balls drop in front of, behind, and to both sides of him. He doesn't make many errors because he never gets close enough to a ball to *make* an error. He's so dumb he used to have to look at Ja$on when he played RF, as his brother always helpfully pointed out which base he should throw to.

As a baserunner, he can't pick up the ball and will often stop dead in his tracks until he can figure out if it'll be caught. This will happen frequently, and keep your team from scoring runs that a little league player could score on. The fact that he's dead slow is obvious.

And his "it's no big deal" attitude everytime he screws up - which is often - will grate on your nerves. What Oakland fan will forget his "it's no big deal" when asked about his non-slide?

Granted, Oakland got nothing for him and on paper it's a horrible trade. Still, he's an oaf and it'll be a relief to never see yet another ball whistle over his head in left field.

Posted 9:31 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#492) - Pat Hobby
  "Granted, Oakland got nothing for him and on paper it's a horrible trade. Still, he's an oaf and it'll be a relief to never see yet another ball whistle over his head in left field."

LOL. (just padding the stats)

Posted 9:39 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#493) - James Newburg (homepage)
  Hey , why don't you guys read my article on this, from an A's fan's perspective.

http://www.baseballjunkie.net/features/archives/000171.html#000171

Posted 9:55 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#494) - Newt
  Incredibly amusing thread, even though I only read snatches. I liked these comments the best:

>>>"...just so he could see all of the folks on this site who worship him tear their hair out."

I have to admit I'm enjoying it. Because those who think baseball can be measured by stats alone can't comprehend something that doesn't compute. Because Beane worshipers apparently haven't understood that Beane built the A's the way he did not because it was the best way to build a team, but out of financial necessity. Because of the love affair for good hitters who are fairly young who bring no other baseball asset to the table.

>>>"There's almost always something we don't know or don't consider when evaluating trades. Why can't we realize that fact all of the time, as opposed to just when our favorite GM makes a trade that looks foolish? That doesn't mean we can't have fun debating the merits (or lack thereof) of various moves, but it does mean we should realize that there are some things -- important things -- outside our sphere of knowledge."

As usual, Mr. Jones succinctly points out the flaw in a good bit of the "analysis" here -- that important factors lie outside the numbers, and all too often these factors are dismissed as non-existent or, at best, irrelevant.

Bayless may be an idiot, but I think he's on the right track with the Little Bro'/Mini Me theory.

Finally, Jeremy is no Jason.

Posted 10:04 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#495) - scruff (e-mail)
  Newt, all of the unknown reasons in the world don't explain, "WHY FRIGGING JOHN MABRY????"

Fine, Jeremy is no Jason, but Mabry is no big league ballplayer either.

We aren't saying trading Giambi was dumb. Trading him for John Mabry was INDEFENSIBLE. There is NO REASON THAT WOULD JUSTIFY THIS MOVE. Absolutely none.

If Giambi is that big of a cancer, release him and call up a random player from Sacramento. Have a lottery and televise it. Trade him for a A ball pitcher who throws 80 and is coming off rotator cuff surgery. Trade him for any player in AAA. Any of these options are better than giving 1 AB to John Mabry.

Posted 10:33 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#496) - Axl Rose
  Sometimes I feel like I'm beating a dead horse.

Posted 10:46 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#497) - Shredder
  Are the numbers next to these posts new, or is it just something I haven't noticed before?

Posted 10:54 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#498) - Tom
  You know, that story about Nick Esasky reminds me of a similar occurence when I was younger. My mom and I used to play cards and drink coffee while listening to Cubs baseball on the radio. One day, Eric Anthony hit a grand slam to the upper deck in the Astrodome. I think I remember Santo having a conniption fit, although I might just be assuming that considering Santo's on-air tendencies. After that, whenever I'd open a pack of baseball cards, I would set aside Eric Anthony's cards thinking he was going to be one of the all-time greats.
This has been an entertaining thread, but it doesn't take 500 posts to reveal this as a bad trade, even assuming there is something we don't know. Nonetheless, if there are more theories about Billy Beane's doppelganger, telepathic mind control, Beane saying "Abreu" and Wade hearing "Mabry," MLB rule changes that gives runs for not getting on base, or temporary insanity due to Oakland's position in the standings, I'll love reading it. An interesting question: given Oakland's bad start, where are they on the success cycle now? Obviously the trade of Giambi drastically changes there position now, Beane's claims about tweaking the lineup aside, what is the best thing for them to do now? Beane assuredly recognizes that the A's chances for success this year might be slightly hampered now. The core is there for the big league team, so should Beane just wait now?If Beane's throwing in the towel, why send down Pena? Hatteberg's does not have a whole lot of upside as a first baseman.

Posted 10:56 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#499) - ralph
  Are the numbers next to these posts new, or is it just something I haven't noticed before?

New.... and I assume they were a direct response to this thread.

Posted 10:58 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#500) - Bud Selig
  Contraction of the Oakland franchise is a distinct possibility because of this deal.

Posted 10:59 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#501) - Police Squad
  I've got it. You remember how, in The Naked Gun the bad guy had those watch mind control devices? Perhaps they've been perfected by the Phillies. 'I must trade...Giambi for Mabry. I must trade...Giambi for Mabry. I must trade...Giambi for Mabry.' It would be easy enough to give Beane the watch, just offer it to him at the Winter Meetings...

Posted 11:01 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#502) - trevise
  Dammit!

Jeremy Giambi - $500,000.00 = John Mabry
John Mabry + waiver = freely available roster spot

the rest is just nonsense...

T

Posted 11:07 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#503) - DTS
  David Nieporent, thanks for the correct Sherlock Holmes quote. I've never read Sherlock Holmes, so my first taste of the quote came in the Lansdale book. In fact, it went like this:

Cop: Wasn't it Sherlock Holmes who said something like once you've eliminated the possible, then you were left to believe the impossible?

Main Character: Close enough.

Your way makes oh so much more sense, and now I get the joke.

Ok, enough of that. The question is: Is Beane trying to signal us?

Posted 11:20 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#504) - Don Malcolm (e-mail) (homepage)
  The numbers on the posts are indeed new, and they are indeed a response to this thread. While the Primer contrbutors were discussing some aspects of this thread off-line, it was suggested (by Eric Enders) that posts be numbered because it would make it easier for people following a long thread (such as this one...) to return to it and pick up where they left off. Sean Forman thought that was a fine idea, and so he implemented it.

So it's not just real-time news and analysis here at Primer, it's also real-time upgrades. (Apologies in advance if another Primer contributor posted this info before I could hit the "post" button.)

Posted 11:28 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#505) - Steve Cameron
  To those of you who've said Phillies fans will rue this trade due to us getting sick of watching Jeremy Giambi in the field, I ask:

Have you watched John Mabry at the plate?

Posted 11:48 p.m., May 23, 2002 (#506) - Shredder
  Well darn it, I think its a fine idea too. And I'm damn proud to be #506.

Seriously, this improvement is another example of the fine work that all of you guys do. I, for one, really appreciate it. Keep it up.

Posted 12:05 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#507) - Greg Pope
  I really got the impression that Sheehan thinks that Beane was forced to trade Giambi against his will. Why else would he make the comments about "holding up that day's paper"? So he makes an awful deal and hopes that someone in the media will snoop around and find out that MLB is forcing the A's to tank in order to help their cause.

Why was Beane forced to trade Giambi? Because if "they" make him trade Zito, everyone will know. If "they" make him trade Long, the A's won't miss him too much. However, Giambi is very important to the A's success, but he's not perceived as such. So trading him will hurt the A's a lot, but no one in the media will pick up on the trade as the reason. They'll just say that the A's can't compete. Look at what's been said by the mainstream media already. They don't think it's a big deal, but it's a record sized thread on Primer.

The only thing Beane could do was make the worst trade that he could and hope that someone picks up on it. Kind of like the kidnap victim that says hello to his dead sister or something to signal the only people who know.

Excuse me, I have to go watch the X-Files now.

Posted 12:05 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#508) - Dan Werr (e-mail)
  The other nice thing about the numbering system that Don explains in post #504 is that it's a nice way to refer back to another post. Preferable to using the time.

Posted 12:21 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#509) - Dayn Perry
  As far as I'm concerned, anyone whose Beane apologetics are based on the but-Giambi-isn't-all-that premise is talking about a separate issue. Sure, Giambi's tradeable. Hell, anyone's tradeable if they're flipped for at least commensurate value. I have no problem whatsoever with trading Giambi. Trading him for Mabry, however, can have no defense. It's such a bad trade, I'd say that trading Giambi for any single pitcher, majors or minors, would be a better deal. At least a pitcher might surprise.

Because those who think baseball can be measured by stats alone can't comprehend something that doesn't compute.

I'd wager that there's no one posting on this site who believes baseball can be measured by stats alone. Fashionable thing to say, though.

Because Beane worshipers apparently haven't understood that Beane built the A's the way he did not because it was the best way to build a team, but out of financial necessity.

And how do you know this?

Posted 1:36 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#510) - Doctor
  One of the great "truths" that only the "insightful" baseball minds know -- the key to building a team is to acquire players with maximum vaule. If you have budget constraints, there is a good deal of "free" talent readily available that most baseball men have ignored. Another great truth -- one of the underrated keys to scoring runs is not to make outs often.

The A's are the poster boy for this "rational" approach, in contrast with irrational organizations like Tampa Bay and Kansas City that rely on idiotic "conventional wisdom". It's very empowering to be locked into the rational viewpoint, and that's why this site is so popular. That's why Bill James became popular back in the 1980s. That's why everyone here loves to support the players union and bash the owners. We're all baseball fans here, but we also love feeling smart.

Now Oakland's reputation is well-deserved -- to some extent. They certainly have put the "small-market team can't possibly compete" camp to shame. They've focused on college pitchers, underrated slow-footed sluggers, and cheap young talent. All very smart. But it seems very likely that we've missed some things, and I find this thread very revealing.

1) One is the level of luck involved in baseball. It's an unpredictable game to a large extent, and GMs have to gamble. Sure, gambling on Pat Meares, Kevin Young, and Derek Bell is foolish, especially considering the investment placed in them. But just making the smart bets is no guarantee of success. There's always the "small sample size" problem -- you don't have forever to wait for the players who SHOULD do well. Ramon Hernandez looked like a smart sign a few months ago, now he looks like dog meat. Mulder/Hudson/Zito was invincible a few months ago, now they're routinely getting hammered. Johnny Damon hit brilliantly right before his trade to OAK, sucked it up, and now is hitting well again. Ben Grieve loses all his power? Who knew that would happen? Brady Anderson hits 50 homers one season? Wil Cordero makes MLB at age 20 but never turns out to be any good. Jason Giambi's and Sammy Sosa's numbers go through the roof in their late 20s. All this is unpredictable, and you have to roll the die, and you don't have "infinite time" in which to be guaranteed of anything.

The A's looked like a good bet entering this season, and they've really sucked this year. Who knew?

2) Beane's commitment to OBP has not exactly been fanatical. Plenty of players on the roster do not have great OBPs. He's found some great cheap guys who've been underrated in spite of good OBPs (see Giambi) but he's also had T-Long, Damon, Tejada, Ramon Hernandez, etc...

3) Beane does not take the "only safe bets" approach. He signed Dye to a big contract. He signed Terrence Long long-term. It's not like he'll value a player if and only if the guy has a .400 OBP. He does things sometimes that aren't "right out of the stathead rulebook."

4) Is anyone here reminded of the Bill James ESPN chat thread? Admit it: part of the lure of this site, of BP, of being a stat-head, is being "smart" -- "knowing" the things that other baseball fans don't know. Clutch hitting is a myth, Derek Jeter's defense looks good but actually sucks, OPS is a great stat to measure offensive value, better than AVG/HR/RBI. Bill James and Billy Beane are two different figureheads for this empowering rational approach.

But guess what? Bill James is just a writer who's interested in baseball and is famous enough to support himself on it. And Billy Beane is a GM of a low-payroll team who's had to get creative to compete with the Yankees. Unlike us, their primary interests are not "to be smart."

That's why Bill James doesn't give a rat's ass about research in this field that he created, and that's why Billy Beane is willing to give up Jeremy Giambi for jack, and that's why everyone here is so hurt by it.

"How could he trade Jeremy for JOHN MABRY? That's blatantly STUPID!" Clearly "never being dumb" is not one of Beane's prime directives, although it might be for many stat-heads. (Maybe it should be; that's a rational thing to say; I can't really logically argue.) Beane was probably frustrated by the team's performance, and made a dumb trade that won't really hurt the team in the long run. And he's probably not going to suffer too much from it either.

Posted 2:13 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#511) - trevise
  Thanks Doc!

That's like a breath of fresh air from the door being opened after a large crowd has been locked in a room for too long. Now send them home to take showers, so the janitor can clean up the 5,000,000 Mountain Dew cans.

Sheesh!

--------------
trevise :-) ...

Posted 2:36 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#512) - Flynn
  while I'm not much of a stathead outside of the basics and some of the easier stats oft-quoted here (i.e., walks, obp, ops, whip, etc.), this looks like a horrible trade. Giambi was a consistent, if not unspectacular (yet) player, and Mabry's a nobody. This trade has received surprisingly little press coverage here, probably due to the Giants love-fest that is the Bay Area press (by the way, Greg Franklin - the Giants own part of KNBR, so that's why KNBR is silent on the issue..the Ticket 1050 is much more Oakland-oriented, so they might be covering this issue). The general opinion around here (I live in SF) and in BP is that Beane is a pretty good GM and has an idea of what he's doing, and well..what was he doing here? I think bob mong (I think he proposed this) has a good point in saying that Beane might have been told to trade him, since the 1-d quote doesn't make sense, as it's B.B.'s whole philosophy. I read the Skip Bayless (idiot) article and it notes that Giambi was doing a lot of partying when the A's were getting their asses kicked back East, so maybe this has something to do with it..? I don;t know, although I bet we will eventually.

P.S. Jonathan, shut up about the Babe. :( although it was done because Frazee was losing money on the Sox and needed dough for his plays as well. (he needed the plays to work to finance the sox, and vice versa, which is very shaky finanical ground, needless to say he I doubt would be voted in as an owner today) It goes without saying that if a players owner like Tom Yawkey owned the Sox in 1918 that he'd ahve given Ruth the pay raise the Babe wanted and he'd have probably worshipped Ruth like he did Yaz and Teddy. It shouldn't count as a bad deal as Frazee fully knew the implications, but just did it for financial reasons.

Posted 3:02 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#513) - Doctor
  My post was largely addressing the fact that this thread has generated over 500 responses, many quite emotional.

What can we say about this trade? Not a single person thinks it was a good trade for the A's. No one. There's no way to justify it at all. Even the casual fan who might believe that Jeter is better than A-Rod because of his rings thinks it's a pointless move for Oakland.

So why did Beane do it? He obviously didn't think, "Gee, we need John Mabry." I would guess that there's a lot of frustration in Oakland, and there's some pressure on Beane to shake things up. Clearly Mabry is a poor return, so I'd guess Beane is spiting someone here -- maybe himself because things aren't turning out as planned, maybe the stupid owners who are forcing him to do things he doesn't want to do. I don't know, I'm not Billy Beane.

Post 484 about Neyer is hilarious. I don't think Beane is sending a secret message to his stathead following here. I think he made a dumb trade for emotional reasons, and fortunately losing Jeremy Giambi is not the end of the world for the A's. If he wasn't Jason Giambi's brother, no one would be comparing the two. It's not a big loss.

What does this really mean? It means Billy Beane is a human being, not a cult leader.

Posted 3:39 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#514) - Dullatron (e-mail)
  A San Francisco Chronicle columnist, Ray Ratto, reports Friday that a drunken display by Giambi on the team flight home from Toronto was the catalyst, and that while a team source said it was maybe a 1 on a scale of things to get upset about, it was the last straw for Billy Beane. Along with the pot bust, the non-slide in the playoffs, and the fact that there were decent backups in Piatt and Byrnes, there weren't a lot of reasons to keep putting up with Giambi, apparently. Another source (not reported in the story) says that the A's felt there were too many young and impressionable players for a semi-bad influence like Giambi, "and even a weak magnet exerts a pull." Check out http://www.sfgate.com/ on Friday for the details (not much, though).

Posted 3:44 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#515) - Jonathan
  Hey Flynn. I only mentioned the Babe once as a candidate in the worst trades of all time competition. Now that I've been so kindly told to "shut up" I will revisit the issue :-)

++It shouldn't count as a bad deal as Frazee fully knew the implications, but just did it for financial reasons.++

Most bad trades are done for defensible reasons. Humans always have a rationale for their actions (part of what makes us so darn interesting.)

As it turns out, getting rid of the Babe was a financial mistake (which he may not have been able to know at the time), as well as a massive loss on the diamond.

By the same logic, Giambi for Mabry shouldn't count as a bad deal because Beane is fully aware of the implications. He has just decided that he'd rather have the starting slot plus the $350.000 plus a below-replacement level LH pinch-hitter than Jeremy Giambi. If that's what maximizes his marginal utility, more power to him.

Of course, Allan Baird never made a bad trade either...

Posted 3:46 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#516) - Jonathan
  Hey Flynn. I only mentioned the Babe once as a candidate in the worst trades of all time competition. Now that you've been so kindly told me to shut up, I will revisit the issue :-)

++It shouldn't count as a bad deal as Frazee fully knew the implications, but just did it for financial reasons.++

Most bad trades are done for defensible reasons. Humans always have a rationale for their actions (part of what makes us so darn interesting.)

As it turns out, getting rid of the Babe was a financial mistake (which he may not have been able to know at the time), as well as a massive loss on the diamond.

By the same logic, Giambi for Mabry shouldn't count as a bad deal because Beane is fully aware of the implications. He has just decided that he'd rather have the starting slot plus the $350.000 plus a below-replacement level LH pinch-hitter than Jeremy Giambi. If that's what maximizes his marginal utility, more power to him.

Of course, Allan Baird never made a bad trade either...

Posted 7:44 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#517) - Bernal Diaz
  Maybe someone can come up with a Baseball Primer Thread Win Shares formula to see who was the most valuable poster in a given thread.

Posted 8:53 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#518) - MikeC
  #515, #516, #517, ... feels a little like the nightly Barry Bonds watch.

Posted 9:39 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#519) - Vlad
  Yeah, Bernal, but what do you do about marginal Post Share contributions? And since the whole theory imply the existence of Troll Shares; how could you structure the formula so that Voros and Robert and scruff don't wind up with negative Troll Shares?

Brown for Lieber looked really bad from the start because Cam Bonifay was all over the newspapers in town talking about what a great little defensive outfielder Brown was (a few months after the infamous error). After about a week of actual games, it was pretty apparent that Brown in center was the second coming of Lonnie Smith, and it was hard for fans to understand how a team could so completely blow its scouting of a player. It would be like talking up Russ Branyan as a superb contact hitter, or Nick Neugebauer as a crafty lefty.

Posted 9:39 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#520) - Jon Daly (e-mail)
  Post 514 sparked some memories for me. This whole situation with Jason Giambi, Frank Menecchino, and the other erstwhile A's housemates reminds me of the "Buffaloheads" on the Red Sox during the late 70's. These included Fergie Jenkins, Rick Wise, Bernie Carbo, and Bill Lee. The Buffaloheads were constantly at war with Don Zimmer and management in general. The Bosox wound up letting these guy go for nothing, or, in the case of Bill Lee, Stan Papi. This didn't help the Sox, and this move won't help the A's.

Posted 9:42 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#521) - Brian
  Next up, Ted Williams and Willie McCovey at 521

Posted 10:22 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#522) - Schmidt
  Man, this numbering thing adds a new layer of tension. You know I'm gonna want to post again at 548! (But I doubt I'll get the chance.)

Neyer's column on the trade is lame, but I do feel a little bad for him. I'm sure he'd have preferred to write nothing about this, given his apparent friendship with Beane and the indefensible nature of the 'crime', but he had to know he'd be lambasted even worse (and reprimanded by his bosses) for ignoring it ...

Posted 10:37 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#523) - Nate Silver
  Dullatron,

Thanks for the link. This isn't an ordinary sort of transaction. Normally, we eaglerly await Neyer and Prospectus and the rest of our favorites to analyze the deal; this time, we've been waiting for them to explain it.

But if what Ratto says is true, that Beane dumped Giambi because of a relatively minor incident that tipped his temper over the edge, well, it's still a stupid move. It's stupid because it's irresponsible: Giambi was a scapegoat for the team's recent poor play. The trade would never have happened had the A's been winning. If Beane really believed that discipline problems were the cause of the team's downfall, Art Howe should have been the object of his wrath.

It's also stupid because it could backfire. If one of my friends at work was fired overnight because he was 'bad for morale', you can bet I'd be taking a long lunch that day.

Posted 10:47 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#524) - Toby
  Bernal (#517),

alas, in order for there to be a Win Share, the thread has to actually produce a victory. No win --> no win share. So I think we're all at zero.

Posted 10:58 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#525) - Steve Cameron
  How about "Opinion Shares"? This is all about sharing one's opinion. :)

Posted 11:00 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#526) - Sean Forman (e-mail)
  To go along with the new numbering system, I have added internal links to the comments as well. It adds a few bits, but nothing too severe.

So I can now link to post 400 very easily.

In order to do that you need to just use the pound sign '#' followed by the post number in the HREF tag. The above was produced using

400

Posted 11:01 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#527) - Chris Dial (e-mail)
  I've seen several comments that "Jeremy isn't Jason", but nothing to support that. The stats look eerily similar.

AGE/PRO+

Jeremy: 23/89 24/90 25/96 26/126 27/~127
Jason : 23/-- 24/107 25/114 26/124 27/129 28/148 29/188 30/202

Maybe Dan Szymborski can show me some MLEs, but I don't see any reason to think Jeremy can't become Jason. I'd be surprised if he didn't move to the 150 range. He might not peak as high for a single season (202), but 188 is certainly within his skill set.

Jeremy's defense at first would be at least as good as Mo Vaughn. If the Mets had traded Mo Vaughn for John Mabry, you'd hear similar outcry, and Giambi is better than Vaughn.

And Neyer's reaction is precisely why I don't read his stuff religiously (actually, it's usually when my attention is called to it). I have no doubt something off-field is the source of this trade, but to say Giambi isn't that good is absurd - it's shameless; it's quoting his RBI totals and saying they are low. There's "benefit of doubt", then there's defending the trade by saying Giambi's not that good.

Based on how the team is playing, I like the Phils chances alot better now. Travis Lee is posting a 690 OPS. What's 180 points of PRO+ worth in runs? I figure about 40 runs. The Phillies just picked up 3 wins (assuming Giambi plays 1B defense 10 runs worse than Lee - which is pushing the envelope). That's a *huge* trade.

Posted 11:02 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#528) - Jim Rice
  On the actual subject of the Giambi deal, Josh T posted this on antoher thread:

From Ray Ratto today on SF Gate:

-- Besides, Giambi's on-field performance was not sufficient to forgive what the A's thought were disturbing off-field trends, the last of which was a "drunken, obnoxious" performance on the team flight back from Toronto Sunday. One insider said as a reason for trading him, it rated "about a one, but was probably the last straw."

I think this is the closest I've seen to a decent explanation for this trade. I'm still amazed Beane couldn't get more.

Posted 11:04 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#529) - Sean Forman (e-mail)
  Sorry, grey matter switched my less than and greater than symbols. What you need is

[A HREF="#400"]400[/A]

where the [ is replaced by a less-than sign and the ] is replaced by the greater than sign. (Those appear above the period and comma on your keyboards.)

Posted 11:35 a.m., May 24, 2002 (#530) - Darren
  Jonathon and Flynn:

P.S. Jonathan, shut up about the Babe. :( although it was done because Frazee was losing money on the Sox and needed dough for his plays as well. (he needed the plays to work to finance the sox, and vice versa, which is very shaky finanical ground, needless to say he I doubt would be voted in as an owner today)

This is bogus. Please read Red Sox century for the real story. Frazee was not in financial trouble when he sold the Babe. He had plenty of money to finance his plays, which were most often a success.

Posted 12:03 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#531) - RP
  Sorry if someone posted this already, but this is what J. Morgan had to say about the trade in his ESPN chat:

"I don't know what it does for the A's. Going to the Phillies, he at least adds a bat. He has produced as a part-time player for the A's off the bench and can do the same for the Phillies. Travis Lee hasn't been as consistent as he was expected to be, so Giambi could be a good fill-in for the Phillies. It was a good deal for them. I'm still not sure for the A's. Maybe they wanted to bring in more speed (not Mabry, but other players like German from the minors)."

The first sentence pretty much sums it up.

Posted 12:14 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#532) - scruff (e-mail)
  I know what it does for the A's. Absolutely nothin' . . . say it again . . . what is it good for? . . . absolutely nothin'!

Posted 12:14 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#533) - Rapscallion Jones
  "I'm still amazed Beane couldn't get more."

It would be interesting to know how (and to what extent) major league front offices collect "off-the-field" information about players. Is there a formal way of doing so? Is it part of the file each team keeps on other players? For instance, if I as GM was offered Player X in a trade, could I go to Player X's file to discover whether he has had emotional problems, or is an alcoholic, or some such thing? If every major league team has extensive off-the-field information about other players, and that information is constantly updated, it might be more difficult to trade a "problem" player (unless of course you can prevent the player's problems from becoming common knowledge).

Posted 12:22 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#534) - John Mabry
  I'm gonna need some serious therapy after reading this thread. Show me some love people!

Well, I think I'm going to take some valium, listen to my Jan Arden collection, enjoy a good cry, and blow my brains out.

*Gulp* "Perhaps you might have some advice to give, on how to be insensitive," boo hoo BLAM!

Posted 12:28 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#535) - scruff (e-mail)
  I'm pretty sure that isn't real John Mabry at #534, but . . .

I really do feel bad about blasting you John. As I said earlier, I'm friends (not good friends, but we drink beer every few months with people we know) with one of your roommates from West Chester. I'm sure you are a very nice guy.

But honestly, you have to realize you are hanging on by a thread at this point, right? Does anything said here really surprise you? I wish you all the best, and hopefully you've saved your money, you made 4.65 million dollars from 1998-2000. I think that would make up for any emotional abuse you've suffered here. At the very least it'll get you a good shrink.

Seriously, I do realize these guys are people and not just stat lines. But you can't let that get in the way of objective analysis.

Posted 12:36 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#536) - Steve Treder
  "Is there a formal way of doing so? Is it part of the file each team keeps on other players? For instance, if I as GM was offered Player X in a trade, could I go to Player X's file to discover whether he has had emotional problems, or is an alcoholic, or some such thing?"

Speaking from my experience as a Human Resources manager, such a file would be a legal nightmare. Of course such gossipy info is "known" in the business -- in what business isn't it? -- but anybody who started to keep a formal filing system of it would give their legal staff a heart attack.

All of which is consistent with the theory that Beane and Howe wanted to get rid of Jeremy for some kind of off-the-field behavior, but took pains to do so in way that scrupulously avoided having them say so.

None of which justifies the transaction, but I think is probably the explanation for it. And it could certainly be the case that Jeremy has a reputation (deserved or not) as a problem child, and this could very well have the effect of depressing his trade market value. There certainly have been players in the past whose bad reps effectively got them blackballed right out of the majors: Joe Foy, Joe Pepitone, Rich Coggins.

Posted 12:51 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#537) - David Nieporent (e-mail)
  Steve, what's the Rich Coggins story? I'm not familiar with it.

Posted 12:58 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#538) - Billy Beane
  I'm not saying Jeremy was a wild child, but I'm signing Jose Canseco to settle things down a bit.

If Canseco proves to be effective, I figure I can flip him for Brian Hunter. That man can flat out field and run.

I'm sure we can teach him to hit--or at least teach him to stick his melon out over the plate.

Posted 12:59 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#539) - Crispix Attacks
  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Jann Arden.

I think Ed Wade made this trade for on-the-field reasons.

Posted 1:22 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#540) - Dayn Perry
  Dullatron ... That's an awesome name.

Posted 1:28 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#541) - Chris J.
  Looking over the entire thread (Yes I've read it all. Yes I need a life), I stand by my original post up at #107 that this trade was an attempt to send a message. Based on what's come to light, the message isn't Say No to Drugs or Say No to Bestiality or Don't Boing Billy's Daughters or what-not, but the message being sent is: Give a Crap About the Team's Performance & Record. The A's are floundering, and apparently several players including Giambi the Lesser didn't seem to be concerned. I guess Beane just felt the team needed a kick in the ass. So why trade for John Freakin' Mabry? To make the kick in the ass that much stronger: we'd rather have a non-entity who tries than a lackadesical (I know, I badly misspelled that word, oh well) talented player. I can only assume that the purpose of this trade is pyschological: Get the other 24 players on the team to bear down and focus that much more, but making this One Big Statement.

In forums like this people (myself including) tend to downplay & mock the whole Baylor-Bowa-Muser approach - grit your teeth & shout "GGGGRRRR!" like you're auditioning for a part in a Frosted Flakes commercial & the team will be good. This approach overlooks the fact that a team full of players with actual talent can usually beat a team full of Tony-the-Tigers. That being said, a team full of talented players acting like Tony the Tigers will generally beat a team full of talented players who are apathetic. You want players who not only have the talent, but also fully utilize their talent. If you feel they're not utilizing their talent, you make a move to show that what they're doing isn't acceptable. It's accepting a short-term loss in talent in hopes of getting a long-term improvement in play. One can argue the trade is a sign of the limits of the SABR-approach to baseball.

If that's true, I can at least understand it. That being said, I still think it's a bad trade - better to sell him off for cash, or for a minimum wage player, or just a player to be named later.

Posted 1:28 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#542) - Steve Treder
  Rich Coggins ...

By definition, of course, nothing was ever formally stated about Coggins. But at the age of 22 in 1973, he had a terrific year for the Orioles, hitting well over .300, with a bit of power, great speed, good defense. The guy looked like a major star in the making.

The next year his hitting declined; not the most unsual thing for a young player to have a sophomore slump. However, the Orioles decided not to be patient with him, they traded him to the Expos. He struggled there, and failed to last the season with them, was shipped around to two or three other teams within the space of a year or two, and never played another game in the majors past the age of 25.

As a young reader of The Sporting News, I was baffled as to why this kid with such obvious potential was (a) dramatically failing to deliver on it, and (b) being given no kind of a sustained opportunity by anyone; teams seemed to be eager to get rid of him. But reading between the lines of the very limited coverage of his situation, you could see the pattern of disparaging remarks about his "desire," or his "hustle," that he just wasn't fitting the mold of "team player."

I can't prove it, of course, but my theory is that Coggins probably had some kind of substance abuse issues and/or a surly or disruptive attitude, and his teams quickly decided his upside was not worth his maintenance costs. I find it hard to believe that a guy who could hit .319 at the age of 22 would have flamed out and been discarded as Coggins was unless there were something more to the story.

Posted 2:02 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#543) - Schatzeder
  Speaking of worst trades ever:

Winter meetings 1974: Montreal sends Ken Singleton and Mike Torrez to the Orioles for Dave McNally (soon to sue for free agency), Rich Coggins (see 542) and Bill Kirkpatrick (never made the show).
Word in Montreal in 1975 was that Coggins had developed a "mysterious nervous ailment". He was gone by June.

Posted 2:29 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#544) - DTS
  Rich Coggins had a thyroid condition that forced him out of baseball. Whether this affected his performance efore he was diagnosed with it in 1975, I have no idea.

Posted 2:31 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#545) - Seppo (homepage)
  From the above link:
In 1973 the Orioles had the AL Rookie of the Year, Al Bumbry, and the runner-up, the short, slim, deceptively powerful Coggins, who hit .319 to Bumbry's .337. After a less impressive sophomore season and an 0-for-11 in the 1974 LCS, Coggins was traded with Dave McNally to Montreal for Ken Singleton and Mike Torrez. He developed a thyroid condition in the spring of 1975 and played his last ML season at age 25.

Posted 2:56 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#546) - Voros McCracken (e-mail)
  "And since the whole theory imply the existence of Troll Shares; how could you structure the formula so that Voros and Robert and scruff don't wind up with negative Troll Shares?"

Why don't you put the calculator down and _watch_ a game!

There, that should put me back up into positive Troll Shares.

Posted 2:59 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#547) - Max
  >

Omigod...I'm dyin' here, too funny.

Posted 3:29 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#548) - Andy James
  So now Gary Huckabay, like Rob Neyer, tells us that we should just trust that Billy Beane knows what he's doing.

No!

Posted 3:55 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#549) - Dreaderick Tatum
  Eric Chavez is having a chat session on espn.com at 5 PM EST. I wonder what the most asked question will be...

http://dynamic.espn.go.com/espn/chat/chatESPN?event_id=1841

Posted 4:03 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#550) - Tom
  This is a fairly strong claim by Sheehan in today's Prospectus. Giambi's numbers in a thirteen team NL-only league would probably be an upgrade for a number of people.

Posted 4:19 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#551) - Shredder
  Tom,

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure Sheehan was kidding. It sounded to me like he was referring to the LABR league in which BP has a team. I believe he was tongue in cheek trying to throw other owners off the trail.

Posted 4:19 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#552) - Dean Carrano (e-mail) (homepage)
  From Earl Weaver's first bio, "It's What You Learn After You Know It All That Counts" (p. 223 of my copy):

"I felt Bumbry had more potential than Coggins, who was a nice polite fellow but a very different drummer [sic]. He liked to dress in pink suits, big straw hats, and knickers that he tucked into high boots. Every day he went to a florist and bought a boutonniere. Rich didn't last in the majors very long. I was surprised when I heard he had joined the FBI. Weren't they all plainclothesmen?"

Sooooooo... maybe Jeremy is just a fancy lad?

Posted 4:43 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#553) - A Person Who is Obviously Impersonating Joe Sheehan
  So what gave me away, Shredder? It was the "emerging superstar Travis Lee" line, wasn't it? I thought that was a little over the top.

Posted 5:16 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#554) - Frank
  NOT Joe,

It was the "emerging superstar Travis Lee" line, wasn't it?

Yes, it had to have been...Does anybody out there have any way to contact Travis...this will be the only time he will ever get to see superstar next to his name. (outside of something like this..."come to the Vet to see the Cubs and Sammy Sosa, their superstar. Travis Lee has all the makings of looking like he's finally going to break out of that slump."

Posted 10:06 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#555) - Srul Itza
  Baseball Prospectus's Chris Kahrl echoes the Neyer/Sheehan Party Line:

Trust Billy. He knows what he's doing.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20020524trans.shtml#OAK

Posted 10:31 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#556) - Shredder
  Hey, I'm not claiming to be a genius. If Tom was responding to sarcasm with sarcasm, then Tom's sarcasm was lost on me. Tom, forgive me if I underestimated you.

Posted 11:07 p.m., May 24, 2002 (#557) - Tom
  I was responding to sarcasm with understatement.

Posted 12:14 a.m., May 25, 2002 (#558) - Srul Itza
  Not that I'm looking to continue stirring the pot or anything, but:

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/25/sports/baseball/25SHEA.html

"The Mets talked about trading Jay Payton to Oakland for Jeremy Giambi a few days ago, a proposition that must have sounded good as a short-term solution."

Posted 12:49 a.m., May 25, 2002 (#559) - Devin McCullen
  Okay, first of all, I can't believe somebody actually got me to register with the New York Times - I swore I was never going to do that.

Second, if this is true, it seems Beane was actually shopping Giambi around and Mabry was the best he could get. If that's true, then I'm willing to accept the trade a little more because I'll buy the "I just want to get him out of here" portion.

Third, STEVE PHILLIPS IS A FREAKING MORON. Look, you don't need Jay Payton and Timo Perez on the same team, and it is clear that Perez has played better this year, and his ceiling would seem to be higher. (I also never thought I'd advocate keeping Timo over anybody.) But they didn't want to get Giambi...because they didn't have a place to play him??? We're talking about your backup outfielder here. Giambi's better than Payton, that's the issue. Then again, these are the same guys who couldn't figure out how to play Bubba Trammell.

Fourth...hey, new Transaction Analysis! Gotta go.

Posted 1:42 a.m., May 25, 2002 (#560) - Dayn Perry
  Wow. I'm shocked so many intelligent and insightful analysts are giving Beane a pass on this one. That's frustrating. Many are pointing out that Giambi is an overrated and replaceable talent. Even if that's true, it doesn't justify the trade, not by a longshot. Some are saying Beane couldn't find a better deal. To that, I would say: I question your definition of a "better deal" when we're talking about Jason Giambi for John Mabry. Few other GMs would be given a pass like this. And even if Beane couldn't find a better deal (which I don't believe for one nanosecond), then why aren't these analysts praising Ed Wade for pulling the trigger instead of running spin control for Beane? I thoroughly enjoy Prospectus, I thoroughly enjoy Rob's work, but the just-trust-Billy tack is weak and intellectually dishonest.

Posted 2:00 a.m., May 25, 2002 (#561) - Dan Contilli
  I figured I'd throw my two cents in, since everybody else seems to have already.

If one looks at the history of the A's franchise, the one major theme that sticks out has always been financial straits derailing their best teams. It happened in 1915, then again in the early 1930s, then again in 1976, and now it seems to be happening again. In fact this time, they have one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, and they still can't hang on to talent(The Giambi bros., Damon, Isringhausen, etc.). Jeremy Giambi may only be making $1.5 million now, but he'd surely be due for massive raises over the next few years based on his performance, and that's something Beane wasn't willing to do, so he decided to cut bait on him now for a guy(Mabry) that is about as expendable as they come, and will certainly not demand any raises any time soon.

Just think about how much ammo a guy like Giambi would have in an arbitration hearing against Beane and the A's, with their admitted philosophy of an OBP based offense. Giambi's representatives would be able to claim their client as the exemplar of that philosophy, and with the stats to back it up, the A's would wind up paying through the nose.

Yes, Beane could have gotten more for him looking at the trade with all current knowledge(meaning:we don't know for example if he has a monster of a heroin habit). Sometimes though less is more, and considering that he is pretty one-dimensional, Beane probably figured that he'd just dump him for a guy he could cut tomorrow. You can be sure of one thing, Mabry won't be wearing the green and gold in 2003.

Still, when I heard the trade announced on the radio, for some reason I had a mental block and told myself that John Mabry was a middle reliever. I know he isn't and I've seen him play in person at least 5 or 6 times, but my mind would not allow me to actually believe that Beane would make that trade. It wasn't until I heard it a third time and the announcer said "utility man John Mabry" that I awoke from my self imposed denial and had to face the reality that Billy Beane made this bad a deal. After three days of reflecting though, it has to be a salary dump. Not neccessarily the salary Giambi's earning now, but the salary he's going to earn in the future.

That's the best I can come up with.

Posted 2:27 a.m., May 25, 2002 (#562) - Tom
  I think the difference between Kahrl/Sheehan tack and that of Neyer is neither of the BP guys tried to justify this move in terms of talent. Neyer seems to suggest that Giambi's defense and base-running are so bad that he might not worth having around. Neither BP writer points to Giambi's weaknesses. Although they both call the trade bizarre, Kahrl and Sheehan assume that it pertains to an off-field issue and that Beane is not going to go on an Eric Chavez for Lenny Harris, Miguel Tejada for Jeff Reboulet type binge. To some extent, they're right, whatever the next move Beane makes, it'll probably be a decent one. At the very least it'll be better than this one. Of course, I'm biased in that I think the BP guys are better than Neyer.

Posted 2:56 a.m., May 25, 2002 (#563) - Joel Barrett
  "I've seen several comments that "Jeremy isn't Jason", but nothing to support that. The stats look eerily similar.

I'd be surprised if he didn't move to the 150 range. He might not peak as high for a single season (202), but 188 is certainly within his skill set."

Jason Giambi's development from 28-30 is as freakish as Sosa's development, so expecting it of anyone else (even his own brother) isn't very realistic in my opinion. Most players with track records like Jeremy don't come even close to Jason Giambi's peak. In fact, there are plenty of players with similar but better stats who never came close to the Jason Giambi stratosphere.

OPS+ in the 120-130 range with perhaps a 1-year peak of 150-160 would be a much more likely expectation for a player with Jeremy's career-to-date. There are lots of similar players (though age 26) who never further improved at all...

Posted 3:49 a.m., May 25, 2002 (#564) - Robert Dudek
  I'm sorry, but Giambi might have been the best hitter on the team (if not he was pretty close). A near .400 OBP in Oakland (which deflates batting average and thus OBP) with good power (which is an old player's skill so we would expect a good doubles hitter to develop it as he aged). In his prime and cheap at the moment (you can cut him after the season if you're worried about arbitration).

You have to be able to get something of value in exchange for that package; at the very least you wait until Justice is ready to come back. The indications are that Giambi off-field problems were not all that bad. This trade suggests that the A's are not interested in contending this year.

There's no conclusion I can reach other than Beane was not doing his job properly in this instance.

Posted 10:02 a.m., May 25, 2002 (#565) - steve cox (e-mail)
  I think those attacking Neyer and the Prospectus guys are missing the point to some extent. Yes, they'd likely castigate the trade if Baird made it instead of Beane. That doesn't necessarily make them hypocrites. They're not judging the trade in isolation; they're judging it in the context of their knowledge about Beane and Baird. There is a lot of evidence, both in direct quotes and in deeds, that Beane has a grasp of the basic sabrmetric truths (OBP good, BA overrated, cheap young players can be as good as or better than "proven veterans", etc.). It's frankly much easier to believe that Beane is fully aware that the trade is a disaster from a baseball standpoint than it is to believe that he's forgotten everything he ever knew. If Baird made the deal, it would just be in character with other dumb moves he's made.

This isn't to say Beane gets a free pass, and that every decision of his is accepted. It's more analogous to a Get Out Of Jail Free card. He gets one of them, not an infinite supply. Any future dumb decisions will likely lead to a reevaluation of Beane.

Posted 10:18 a.m., May 25, 2002 (#566) - Rapscallion Jones
  "Yes, they'd likely castigate the trade if Baird made it instead of Beane. That doesn't necessarily make them hypocrites."

I'd say it does. It's like you've got your "cool kids" (Beane, Ricciardi) and your "uncool kids" (Baird, Thrift, Kenny Williams, etc.). When the uncool kids make good moves (getting Paul Byrd, or Jay Gibbons, or Geronimo Gil), we ignore them in favor of another Marty Cordova joke. When the cool kids make a stupid move, all is forgiven.

By the way, didn't Beane use up his "get out of jail free" cards when he gave long-term deals to Terrence Long and Ramon Hernandez?

Posted 11:42 a.m., May 25, 2002 (#567) - steve cox (e-mail)
  Still disagree. We all correctly use prior knowledge of people when we judge their decisions. If I read that Warren Buffett has sold all his stock because he's very concerned that a worldwide economic crisis is coming, I take it more seriously than if Miss Cleo says the same thing. That's not hypocrisy, and it's not an arbitrary cool kids/uncool kids popularity distinction. Buffett is sane, and his track record proves that he's a good investor, not given to hyperbole. Miss Cleo is a nut (or more likely, just a fraud).

Obviously the Beane-Baird difference isn't as great as the Buffett-Cleo difference.

Posted 11:52 a.m., May 25, 2002 (#568) - Hu Aryoo
  Robert Dudek wrote:

>>There's no conclusion I can reach other than Beane was not doing his job properly in this instance.

I'm sure he'd be devastated to hear that.

Given that no one on this board seems to know all the information behind the deal, the best conclusion to reach would be that you could reach *no* conclusion. It's like trying to evaluate a hitter based on AVG/HR/RBI and Joe Morgan's opinion on him.

Posted 12:17 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#569) - RP
  Hu -- I don't think that's completely fair. If you all you knew about a hitter was that his AVG/HR/RBI last year was .320/52/125, I think you'd be justified in concluding that he's pretty good. Similarly, we don't have *all* of the facts about this deal, but we have enough to conclude that it's a pretty bad one from the A's perspective. It's possible that there's some behind the scenes info that would fully justify the deal, but I find it unlikely.

Posted 12:26 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#570) - Joe Morgan
  You want justification? Jeremy Giambi doesn't agree that Dave Concepcion is a Hall of Famer!

Posted 1:26 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#571) - Joe Morgan
  ...and Cesar Geronimo

Posted 1:27 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#572) - Joe Morgan
  ...and Don Gullett...

Posted 1:29 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#573) - Joe Morgan
  ...and Merv Rettumund...

Posted 1:30 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#574) - Joe Morgan
  ...and Darrell Chaney...

Posted 1:33 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#575) - Joe Morgan
  Plus, I should be elected again for the broadcasting and writing wing of the Hall.

Posted 1:39 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#576) - Hu Aryoo
  >> Hu -- I don't think that's completely fair

But dudek isn't saying that 'Beane made a bad deal.' He said that 'Beane was not doing his job properly.' The first one would be reasonable. The second is slanderous.

Posted 1:41 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#577) - Vlad
  Re: Rapscallion Jones

Of the three moves you mention, I'm only convinced that one is actually a good one. Byrd and Gil are performing well this year, it's true, but their performance so far is out of line with the rest of their careers, and I think it's premature to judge either trade a success before we know whether it's a sample-size thing or not.

Picking up Gibbons in the Rule V draft was inarguably a good move, and virtually everyone on this site congratulated him when he made it. It's often trotted out as the best move of Thrift's time with the Orioles. Thrift takes criticism because there aren't _more_ moves like that one, and he deserves every harsh word.

Posted 2:03 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#578) - David Nieporent (e-mail)
  Dan, Giambi is not making $1.5 million now, and he's not "due for" anything in the future. He's not under contract in the future. They could simply nontender him after the season, and owe him nothing. They could trade him after the season, and owe him nothing. Either one makes them better off this year.

As for arbitration, you don't understand the process. It's based on comparisons. Solely comparisons. It doesn't matter what Giambi's agents claim about Beane's philosophy. It only matters what similar players are making in the majors.

Finally, (not directed at Dan), I wish the people who keep harping on the Long deal would tell me what was so wrong with it. He's not a star; he's mediocre. But he was signed through his peak seasons (26-29) for $3M/year. Hardly extravagant. Similarly for Hernandez. Signed for ages 26-29, for $2.5M/year.

Posted 2:23 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#579) - RossyW
  Entirely offtopic, but since this is the marquee thread - does anyone know a site that ranks team sac bunts for the 2002 season?

Posted 2:23 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#580) - Chris J.
  "But dudek isn't saying that 'Beane made a bad deal.' He said that 'Beane was not doing his
job properly.' The first one would be reasonable. The second is slanderous."

But Beane's job is to make good deals. If one can argue it's a bad deal, one can argue Beane didn't do his job properly.

Posted 2:25 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#581) - RossyW
  David, because both of those deals represent Money and Commitment to Replaceable talents. They severely hamper Beane's ability to play the "freely available talent" game, which is arguably what sets him apart from the rest of the GMs of the world.

Posted 2:32 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#582) - Robert Dudek
  The Athletics didn't get anything like fair value for Giambi, yet they made the trade anyway. That means that in this particular instance, Beane was not doing his job (properly).

If two GMs make a similar move, and one is taken to task for it (Blalock demotion) while the other is given a pass (Pena demotion) - that's hypocrisy. If anything, you should come down HARDER on Beane because of his track record (he should be held to higher standards).

Posted 3:18 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#583) - Mark McGwire
  Congratulations, guys. You caught me.

Posted 3:55 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#584) - Tom
  At ESPN's stat section you can sort the teams by number of SH. This doesn't sort out pitchers, so for position players in the NL, you'd have to go to the individual team page. Here's the link:
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/statisticsstat=teambat&league=mlb&season=2

Posted 4:58 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#585) - Bernal Diaz
  This has nothing to do with this particular thread, but it was something that just dawned on me a few minutes ago. In the Bill James ESPN chat a couple of weeks ago James mentioned some people doing baseball research. Of all the people he mentioned he just said "Voros" with no last name given. Does this mean that Voros! has reached the same level of recognition is sabermetrics as Ichiro! has in baseball so that no last name is needed? Will se see a Free Voros! movement. Viva Voros!

Posted 6:49 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#586) - Newt
  Too much to comment on, several very good posts, and much potential for wise-ass commentary that usually flows in one direction. I'll try to avoid the latter.

The Doctor's comments above -- around #500 -- were pertinent, because for all the rationality of the statistical posters, most of it is egostatistical -- a hot rationality that's something of a religion, and certainly not limited to discussions of baseball statistics. It's why "smart boys" have a hard time of it in mainstream social settings, and why it's not just jealousy or envy. And I speak as one of the smart boys myself.

Beane's move seems to have resulted in a crisis among the faithful, though I don't agree with Mr. Jones harsh assessment -- what looks like hypocrisy to smart boys is usually just common sense. And in the real world, a little common sense usually goes much further than all the rational analysis in the world.

There will probably always be a real divide between the field generals and their troops and those of us in the stathead community because when the s--t goes down in the world, rationality used to prepare one in advance is a very good thing, but won't do you a helluva lot of good when immediate reaction is required. Smarts are required, but rational smarts are just one aspect of overall smarts.

Sorry for the long-winded, smart boy observations that are perhaps a little pompous, but it's an attempt to describe a deeper divide, one that's not accurately described as smart boy statheads vs. conventional dolts.

Posted 7:14 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#587) - Newt
  Scuff -- No, in the abstract, Giambi for Mabry doesn't make sense, even if you think Giambi a one-dimensional players who's a partyboy and a bad influence. Beane could have made a better deal if he'd tried harder, even considering his all-day sucker Baird wasn't likely to take a bite of a piece of candy he (or his org) already spit out.

I liked Chris Kahrl's take -- it's a move made for non-baseball reasons. Addition by subtraction, as someone said above. Maybe Beane is just putting the NoCal Indian tradition of potlatch into practice. (I'm smart boy faking -- I have no idea if NoCal Indians practiced potlatch, but I stated it anyway.)

---

>>>"Just as Hamlet's murder of Polonius foreshadowed his own untimely death in the final act, so too may the Jeremy Giambi trade, spelling the beginning of the end for the golden touch of Beane and the A's."

James Newberg's conclusion from his baseballjunkie piece wins my award for the most gradiose conclusion of the thread.

Killing Jason Giambi may have been the beginning of the end. Killing Jeremy Giambi is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.

Posted 7:21 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#588) - Newt
  Just to note -- If Jeremy is there when my precious fourth-position waiver wire spot in my 14-team NL league can be used, I'm going to grab him. My excuse is that I have no other options to replace Danny Bautista beyond Joe McEwing.

So much for holding it 'til Brett Myers is called up.

Posted 7:22 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#589) - Newt
  Just to note -- If Jeremy is there when my precious fourth-position waiver wire spot in my 14-team NL league can be used, I'm going to grab him. My excuse is that I have no other options to replace Danny Bautista beyond Joe McEwing, and fielding doesn't count in the rotoworld.

So much for holding it 'til Brett Myers is called up.

Posted 7:41 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#590) - Robert Dudek
  Newt: "The trade was made for non-baseball reasons".

What's a non-baseball reason?

The question I ask is: does the trade improve the team, in any conceivable way? Unless you believe that the subtraction of Giambi for NOTHING will 'significantly' improve the performance of the other players, the answer would seem to be NO.

If you do take that 'psychology first' stance, then literally every trade can be justified. Jermaine Dye for Neifi Perez? Intangible/Dye didn't mesh with the others in the clubhouse/Neifi keep everyone loose etc . A million such foggy notions could be offered up because nobody knows to what extent these thing are true or false - not even the players and managers themselves.

What I do know is that Prospectus and Neyer have NEVER taken a 'psychology first' approach in their writings. Their unwillingness to state flat out that this was a stupid trade no matter what the extenuating circumstances adds just another baffling layer to this story.

It is not a 'crisis of faith' on my part. I respect the work that Beane and co. have done, but I felt that (before last year) he was focusing a little too much on offense and not enough on putting together a good defense. That changed last year with the acquisitions of Damon and Dye.

Beane's 'legendary' ability to fleece Baird was only the icing, not the cake of success. Oakland's tremendous scouting produced 5 (seemingly) high-quality talents (Hudson, Mulder, Zito, Chavez and Tejada) within a short space of time.

Posted 7:44 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#591) - Repoz
  Giambi goes deep in 1st Philly AB.

Phils up 2-0

Posted 8:20 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#592) - Jonathan
  Who cares about the HR's? We'll know JeGiambi is on a vendetta breakout when he starts making sliding catches in the outfield (or at 1B)

In the interest of completeness: Mabry drove in a run today and Piatt went 2-3 with a double in Oakland's win.

Posted 8:24 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#593) - Max
  Mabry also made a pretty sensational catch in RF today. Maybe the change in scenery was good for him...

Posted 8:25 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#594) - Repoz
  Start caring.....Giambi solo bomb...2nd of game...

Posted 8:30 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#595) - Phils Phan
  whooo-hoooo Two homers for Giambi so far!

I still can't believe Ed Wade pulled this out. This is probably the first deal we've got the better of on the surface. We came out of the Kevin Stocker for Bobby Abreu deal well, but it took some time for the true value of that trade to be seen.

Posted 8:40 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#596) - Crispix Attacks
  The Ashby for Chen and Jimmy Osting trade was seen as the high point of George Will's career at the time....however, Osting immediately disappeared and Chen ended up being engaged in a very similar trade. Phils end up with nothing for Ashby.

Next on the agenda: Giambi to White Sox for Royce Clayton and Hall of Famer Kelly Wunsch.

Posted 9:53 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#597) - Newt
  The Ashby-Chen comment reminds me I forgot to respond to something upthread --

>>I'd wager that there's no one posting on this site who believes baseball can be measured by stats alone. Fashionable thing to say, though.

Fashionable is an interesting putdown, fashion being something considered frivolous to smart boys. I do engage in hyperbole at times, but I wasn't exagerating in this instance. Some of the more intelligent stat guys who post here -- most of those running the site or affiliated with it -- deserve the term "sabermatrician", and don't think baseball can be measured by stats alone. But I haven't imagined the many discussions, let alone the many, many comments posted here, which casually dismiss anything about baseball that can't be measured or enumerated.

Read Robert's response above -- he pretty much dismisses any psychological/personality issue as irrelevant extenuating circumstances -- things that don't have a number, that can't be answered as true/false, that are subjective to some extent. That aren't hard, unambiguous, and irrefutable. "Non-baseball" issues, by which I meant off-the-field interpersonal relationships and personal habits -- messy things that can't be easily quantified. You know, like off-line relationships where certain words with strangers will get you knuckles (not that I feel violently towards anyone here), where crazy comments made by friends are put into the context of those friendships, where interrelations with one's spouse can't really be judged well by outsiders.

I'm going to hit a little below the belt (again) and say that maybe Neyer and the Prospectus guys' perspectives are maturing (maybe "maturing" is a way of softening the blows of aging -- a few years ago I could get carded, but today a young woman referred to me as middle-aged) in their criticisms, understanding that baseball, like life, is not all hard lines like .321/.389/.548 or 937.

Believe me, I'm not particularly foggy about life as I was when I was younger. We're blood and guts and brain and sinew that's destined for disintegration, with nothing left but other people's memories. Perhaps that's why I'm a little more impatient now with the idea that certain abstractions within the subdural matter are the only relevant points of reference and discussion.

Enough. Let the discussion veer back to baseball.

Posted 10:37 p.m., May 25, 2002 (#598) - Near Sighted
  Is it just me or did the font for this site shrink (presumably to accommodate this gigantic thread)?

Posted 12:06 a.m., May 26, 2002 (#599) - Vlad
  New post in the old Giles/Chen thread, Newt. Took me a couple of days to get the time together to run the numbers, and it dropped off the front page, but it's there.

Posted 12:48 a.m., May 26, 2002 (#600) - Devin McCullen
  I just wanted to be poster 600.

Seriously, though, Newt, while you do make a reasonable point about some of the analysis on this site, I don't think it's that warranted. What Robert said was that non-statistical reasoning can be used to justify any trade if you wanted to. Trade Barry Bonds for Craig Counsell because the Giants need a more peaceful clubhouse. I would tend to agree that statistics should be considered more important than psychological factors. That doesn't mean the latter can't be considered, but they can be overemphasized, and often are by mainstream analysts.

In this case, you have such a large statistical edge on one side that you would need an equally large psychological advantage to make the trade worthwhile. I think most posters on this site would say that they don't think there could be a psychological advantage large enough to make up for it.

I'll ask a question: can you think of any trades in which the statistical advantage pointed to one side, but which wound up helping the team that "lost" the trade from that view?

As for Neyer, Kahrl, et al., I'll believe their views have "matured" when they make this kind of statement about a bad trade by somebody else. Right now it looks like they're just trying to cover Beane's backside.

Maybe he couldn't get anyone better, and just wanted to get him out of town. There do seem to be reports that some shopping went on (the Mets, maybe the Braves). Hey, maybe the A's turn their season around now. I'm guessing not. And as bad a trade as this was for the A's, in my opinion it was a worse job for the Mets not to trade Payton for Giambi if that was on the table. (Hey, if you've been watching my posts you knew that was coming.) Beane may still be the best GM in baseball, but I think he blew this one.

Posted 1:21 a.m., May 26, 2002 (#601) - David Nieporent (e-mail)
  Robert,

What's a non-baseball reason?

It means an "intangibles" reason. (Of course, the very choice of the phrase "non-baseball" to equate to "non-statistical" betrays the bias of the speaker, but that's another issue.)

If you do take that 'psychology first' stance, then literally every trade can be justified.

Nobody is justifying the trade. People are trying to explain it. There's a difference. Look, there are only three possibilities:

(1) Beane thinks this will hurt the team.
(2) Beane believes Mabry will outproduce Giambi, offense+defense.
(3) Beane doesn't believe that, but believes it will help the team in some other way, perhaps because Giambi is such a bad clubhouse presence or the like.

To sum it up: dishonesty, stupidity, or a third unknown factor.

I don't think anybody really believes that Beane is trying to throw games, so we'll ignore the first possibility. Beane's track record makes it less likely that he could miscalculate production so badly, so that makes the second option improbable. That leaves the third option. By coming to this conclusion, it doesn't mean that we're admitting that Beane is correct in his belief, but only that he holds this belief.

Posted 2:13 a.m., May 26, 2002 (#602) - Scott Lange
  (1) Beane thinks this will hurt the team.
(2) Beane believes Mabry will outproduce Giambi, offense+defense.
(3) Beane doesn't believe that, but believes it will help the team in some other way, perhaps because Giambi is such a bad clubhouse presence or the like.

True enough as far as it goes, but I think you need something more to explain why the trade was made. No matter how bad a clubhouse influence or whatnot Giambi was, the opportunity cost of giving him up for Mabry is the value of the best alternative forgone. I don't know what alternatives Beane had, but its very hard for me to believe he didn't have better alternatives than Mabry. I would love to know the explanation for selecting Mabry over whatever other alternatives there were.

Posted 5:24 a.m., May 26, 2002 (#603) - Robert Dudek
  David...

I understand that #3 is the most likely reason Beane made the trade. My point is that Prospectus/Neyer would broil most GMs who made a deal for that reason. Their soft-pedalling of this trade shows (in my mind) clear bias.

Giambi just sounds like an immature self-centered ballplayer, and frankly there are dozens of players like that around the major leagues. They don't, however, get traded for John Mabry types every week.

Here's what I think happened: Giambi's supposed drunken episode on the plane was the last straw for Beane. Beane got angry. Decided he was going to get Giambi out of Oakland in a hurry. He made a few calls and when Wade offered Mabry, Beane said to himself "good enough".

If this is roughly what transpired, then it was an example of a man making decisions in the heat of the moment, not taking a step back and confronting the problem rationally. To me that says he's wasn't doing his job properly.

Let's be honest and say that Beane's performance since Ricciardi and Fuson left has been lukewarm. The signing of Hatteberg and Justice in the same off-season, and the presence of Giambi, Saenz and (in AAA) Piatt and Valdez created a glut of marginal defensive types.

The idea was that Justice and Giambi would see time in the outfield, allowing Hatteberg, Saenz and eventually one of the minor leaguers to DH. Apparently, that was a spectacular failure, as Justice predictably hurt himself and Giambi was deemed to be "the worst defensive outfielder known to man".

Signing TLong to a long-term deal, even at moderate cash isn't a bad move, but it isn't the type of move that earned Beane his reputation. Long can't really handle CF and he hits like an average corner outfielder at best. I have no problem with the Hernandez deal because he has been an average to above average catcher (offensively at least) and those are not easy to find.

His best move was Pena of course, but he also traded away his top centerfield prospect (Ludwick) for another 1B/DH type (albeit one who is excellent defensively). Taking that deal in isolation it's a good trade because Pena is the best prospect involved, but given the composition of the club (lots of 1b/DH/LF types, not many CF types) it wasn't the most efficient allocation of resources.

Signing Dye to big money doesn't make a whole lot of sense if it means they have to run a much tighter budget in other areas.

Hinske and JMiller for Koch certainly looked reasonable at the time, but Hinske would be a huge asset as a DH/1B with this team right now(young and cheap too). Koch has a great fastball, but has often struggled with his command. The Beane/stathead philosophy states that you shouldn't overpay for relievers. Koch is a closer, which means he's going to earn far more money than an average reliever should (which is basically what he is).

The Beane/stathead thing would have been to make someone like Mecir or Bradford the closer and save their cash and prospects.

It has become increasingly apparent that Beane minus Ricicardi and Fuson is not the "genius" he used to be.

Posted 10:08 a.m., May 26, 2002 (#604) - David Jones
  Look, there may be some valid reasoning behind this trade that cannot be reflected in the statistics.

If Neyer and the Baseball Prospectus guys have decided that they want to take a step back and not analyze every trade on a purely statistical level, good for them. I would say that WOULD be a sign of maturation.

But frankly I think it stinks that they would do this at the precise moment that Billy Beane, their hero, executes a trade that seems to operate against every governing principle of sound baseball management that they have been touting as gospel for the past five years. In short, Neyer is guilty of playing favorites in his analysis. Perhaps he feels that he has invested too much excess ink into promoting Billy Beane as the greatest general manager since Branch Rickey (a fairly absurd bit of praise, in my opinion) in order to back off from that stance now just because he happened to trade a one-dimensional player for a ham sandwich.

In truth, the trade is not that important. I don't think it seriously alters the A's outlook for the future in any meaningful way. It is by and large, as Beane himself said, a "fringe move."

But as an observer of some of the slanted commentary on GMs on this site and other sabermetric venues, I find the excuse-making going on for Beane sickening. Apparently some in this field aren't so much interested in providing objective analysis as they are in promoting their favorites into cult status, accompanied with all the blind loyalty that that term implies.

If Syd Thrift made this deal, we would have had 50 posts ridiculing him and the Orioles, and none defending him. And we all would have thought ourselves clever for having done so. And all the while, we would like to think that our guru Billy Beane was watching our analysis at his own computer station with a fatherly, benevolent smile, so proud of "his boys."

Posted 11:37 a.m., May 26, 2002 (#605) - David Gee
  David - Some people deserve the benefit of the doubt more than others. Beane is one of those people. Syd Thrift isn't. A reasonable analysis of the trade is to point out its inequity in terms of talent and value, and then state the assumption that there must be more there than meets the eye.

If Beane has lost it - and there HAVE been many posts here saying just that - I think we will have to wait for more evidence than a set of transactions on one day can provide.

That said, managers evolve over time. Beane is not only a favorite of stat types, he is now highly regarded in the industry as the GM who built a fine organization with fairly meager resources. These sorts of things can go to one's head, and who knows, Beane may have turn into an irrational egotist. Again, time will tell.

Posted 12:08 p.m., May 26, 2002 (#606) - David Gee
  People also have to realize that a VERY important aspect of Beane's job is having the respect and trust of his fellow GMs. If Beane believes that Giambi is a staph infection, he is right to feel obligated to disclose that information to his fellow GMs before dumping him on them. If he fails to disclose that information, he is not only dishonest, but he will lose the respect of his colleagues, which will make Beane a less effective GM. With the disclosure that Giambi brings whatever baggage it is that he brings, decent return offers are far less likely. This is why I propose that this trade may simply have been a you-take-my-burden-and-I'll-take-yours.

If this is correct, we can't really evaluate whether Beane made the right decision without knowledge of what the baggage is. We have only a few inadequate puzzle pieces pointing to some personal problems for Giambi. If this was merely a matter of Giambi being too much a link with the past that Beane wanted to cut away, then perhaps those who criticize Beane are correct and he overdid it. If Giambi was doing bong hits in the clubhouse or boinking his teammates' wives, then maybe Beane did the right thing. The fact is, we are not privy to these details and thus can't evaluate it one way or the other.

Posted 12:47 p.m., May 26, 2002 (#607) - Jonathan
  ++the presence of Giambi, Saenz and (in AAA) Piatt and Valdez created a glut of marginal defensive types.++

Which would be the Beane Athletics' ongoing achilles heel.

I feel it's hard to criticize him 3 lines later for trading away Hinske - another 1B/DH/marginal 3B. Hinske wasn't obviously better than Valdez, Piatt, Saenz et al. Unlike the Giambi trade, Hinske yielded value in return.

Criticizing the acquisition of Hatteberg and Justice? Definitely! It seems a poor allocation of resources for this team.
(though if you accept the premises that Long is a CF and Ramon Hernandez is an average or above catcher and Velarde/Menechino/German cover the 2B situation, where should the resources go? Middle relief?)

Harang notwithstanding, the biggest unaddressed need of this team in spring training must have been a swingman/emergency starter.

Posted 1:08 p.m., May 26, 2002 (#608) - Robert Dudek
  Well, I do not believe that Long is or was the answer in center and I would have concentrated on precisely this position.

Posted 1:16 p.m., May 26, 2002 (#609) - Newt
  >>>can you think of any trades in which the statistical advantage pointed to one side, but which wound up helping the team that "lost" the trade from that view?

Looked like it hurt the team statistically, but ended up helping them statistically? Or helping them psychologically? Or just resulting in more wins?

Brad Ausmus is no great shakes as a hitter, but getting him, Brocail and Nelson Cruz for Cedeno, Meluskey and Chris Holt arguably was a better deal for the 'Stros than the stats would indicate. Cedeno and Meluskey were both, at the time, liked by statheads, and the fact that Cedeno is a bad fielder (and maybe bad clubhouse guy) and Meluskey injury-prone and a bad clubhouse guy were dismissed as irrelevant.

Brocail's been hurt, and Cruz terrible, and Ausmus no good offensively, but the Astros were better after the trade, the Tigers are no better and probably worse. Besides looking at the mere talent swap, you have to consider that trading Cedeno and Holt opened up roster spots for Berkman and Oswalt.

I'd mention Byrd and Santiago, but I think that's a case of a blind squirrel finding an occasional nut.

The Astros-Tigers trade also illustrates why it's not necessarily hypocritical to give one GM the benefit of the doubt over another GM, and why trades can't be immediately assessed as a win or loss.

Nobody thinks that Mabry is anywhere close to Giambi as far as talent and statistical contribution goes, but dealing Giambi opened up regular PT for Piatt, and Mabry can be used in a part-time role. Giambi doesn't fit that role. And contrary to some of the wilder speculation, Beane didn't make the move thinking the season was over, but that the move will salvage THIS season. Waiting two or three more weeks for a better deal would have been to wait too long.

I'll agree that long-term, Giambi is likely to make a greater contribution than Mabry, and that the A's are likely to "lose" the trade on the individual level.

Finally, I'd give more weight to stats over psychology, but there are exceptions to every rule.

Posted 1:19 p.m., May 26, 2002 (#610) - Jonathan
  I wonder if Beane is just waiting until the inevitable KC dump of Carlos Beltran?

Posted 1:42 p.m., May 26, 2002 (#611) - Steve Treder
  "... Mabry can be used in a part-time role. Giambi doesn't fit that role."

Huh? Why would Mabry perform any better off the bench than Giambi would?

There was no NEED to trade Giambi if all Beane wanted to do was get more playing time for Piatt. All the A's would need to do is instruct Howe to start Piatt, and bench Giambi. (Why he would want to do this is another very good question.)

Searching for on-field performance reasons to justify this transaction is completely fruitless. There are none to be found. If indeed the difference between short-term on-field performance between Giambi and Mabry was Beane's motivation for the deal, then it was a bad, bad deal. I can't fathom why this should even be debatable.

The only way the move can conceivably make sense is if it was done to address some other issue, presumably Giambi's off-field behavior, and Beane's/Howe's judgment that this behavior was creating, or likely to create, larger discipline/behavior problems on what is still a young team. On that basis, one can certainly see some logic (not necessaril compelling logic, but logic) in wanting to trade Giambi. The issue then becomes, trade him for what, and there are so many other types of players he might reasonably have been traded for (some defensive help in the OF, some pitching help, some kid prospects and/or $$) that would have made more sense for the A's then yet ANOTHER 1B/LF/DH type, and a grossly inferior one at that -- that is what leads one to conclude that this was just, any way you look at it, a bad transaction for the A's.

I believe this point has been made now about 400 times by about 300 different posters. I, for one, am done with it.

Posted 1:57 p.m., May 26, 2002 (#612) - Newt
  A few odds and ends --

>>Of course, the very choice of the phrase "non-baseball" to equate to "non-statistical" betrays the bias of the speaker...

By "non-baseball", I meant "off-the-field", not "non-statistical". Not a great word choice, but equating "baseball" and "statisitics" is certainly a bias.

On the Meluskey trade -- some interesting CERA analysis here.

Robert -- Beane could have kept Hinske, not signed either Justice or Hatteberg, and not made the deal for Pena, but Hinske wasn't a sure thing in the majors this season, let alone as a first baseman, Pena is an eventual replacement for Giambi, and Ludwick is not a sure center fielder. Letting both Giambi and Izzy go and not bringing in any outside talent, and even fewer people show up to watch the A's this season, and off-the-field factor that must be considered. Letting Dye walk would have left them with no power at all in the outfield... unless you count Giambi.

While going with "proven vets" over "young talent" just based upon those facts is a bias, so is the opposite.

I don't think Beane, or the men he works for, were content to just rebuild this season.

Posted 2:05 p.m., May 26, 2002 (#613) - David Nieporent (e-mail)
  Robert

Well, I do not believe that Long is or was the answer in center and I would have concentrated on precisely this position.

Yeah, he should have traded for Chris Singleton.

Posted 2:09 p.m., May 26, 2002 (#614) - Newt
  >>>Why would Mabry perform any better off the bench than Giambi would?

You think Giambi would have accepted a benching amicably? The evidence is that he was creating problems in the clubhouse as a starter. A bench player creating problems isn't worth the trouble.

As the Red Sox proved last season, having a lot of players on the bench who think they should be starting doesn't work.

>...any way you look at it, a bad transaction for the A's. I believe this point has been made now about 400 times by about 300 different posters.

It certainly doesn't compute from the stathead viewpoint, that's certainly clear.

Time to load some of you on the transporter and beam you into deep space before the whole website blows up.

Posted 2:26 p.m., May 26, 2002 (#615) - Steve Treder
  Look, Newt, nothing of what you have said refutes the following:

"The only way the move can conceivably make sense is if it was done to address some other issue, presumably Giambi's off-field behavior, and Beane's/Howe's judgment that this behavior was creating, or likely to create, larger discipline/behavior problems on what is still a young team. On that basis, one can certainly see some logic (not necessarily compelling logic, but logic) in wanting to trade Giambi. The issue then becomes, trade him for what, and there are so many other types of players he might reasonably have been traded for (some defensive help in the OF, some pitching help, some kid prospects and/or $$) that would have made more sense for the A's then yet ANOTHER 1B/LF/DH type, and a grossly inferior one at that -- that is what leads one to conclude that this was just, any way you look at it, a bad transaction for the A's."

Labeling those who disagree with you with pejoratives such as "stathead" or "smart boy" does not make your defense of the trade any more persuasive; it is an ad hominem argument that adds no value whatsoever to the discussion.

Posted 2:43 p.m., May 26, 2002 (#616) - The Energizer Bunny
  Geez, are you guys STILL going?

I'm impressed.

Posted 7:42 a.m., May 28, 2002 (#617) - RecordChaser
  This thread has really gone into decline. According to the favorite toy, this thread has less than a 5% chance of getting to 756. So it looks like Hammerin' Hank's record is safe for now...

Posted 10:58 a.m., May 28, 2002 (#618) - Kurt
  (from #604)
But as an observer of some of the slanted commentary on GMs on this site and other sabermetric venues, I find the excuse-making going on for Beane sickening. Apparently some in this field aren't so much interested in providing objective analysis as they are in promoting their favorites into cult status, accompanied with all the blind loyalty that that term implies.

I haven't read all 600+ posts on this thread, but I haven't seen any "blind loyalty" to Beane on this board. The only blind loyalty I've seen on this trade was from Neyer, and I haven't seen anyone defend Neyer here.

I also wouldn't say it's "slanted" to say that Beane has been a better GM than Thrift. I'd say that's the objective truth.

If Syd Thrift made this deal, we would have had 50 posts ridiculing him and the Orioles, and none defending him. And we all would have thought ourselves clever for having done so. And all the while, we would like to think that our guru Billy Beane was watching our analysis at his own computer station with a fatherly, benevolent smile, so proud of "his boys."

I havne't seen one post defending this trade, or arguing it was a good one. So instead of 50 posts, we have 600 criticizing the trade. Okay, maybe Newt, but somehow I don't think he speaks for the sabermetric/stathead community. Maybe the criticism isn't so clever this time (have we had a single "Billy Beane" post? I don't know, but Thrift has posted twice) but at least we now have clever criticism of the people on this board.

Posted 11:41 a.m., May 28, 2002 (#619) - David Nieporent (e-mail)
  Newt, I think what the Red Sox proved last season was that losing Nomar and Pedro to injuries hurts a team.

Posted 1:35 p.m., May 28, 2002 (#620) - Head of the Department of Reduncancy Department
  Is this the longest thread ever?

Posted 1:43 p.m., May 28, 2002 (#621) - Jack Collins
  Yes this is the longest thread ever and to Homer Simpson...are you trying to say that he sucks?

Posted 3:02 p.m., May 28, 2002 (#622) - Homer Simpson
  D'oh! I don't suck! I took a lump to win the game!

Posted 3:39 p.m., May 28, 2002 (#623) - Assistant to the Head of the Department of Redundancy Department
  Hey, is this the longest thread ever?

Posted 5:41 p.m., May 28, 2002 (#624) - Oblivious
  Jeremy Giambi was traded?

Posted 5:53 p.m., May 28, 2002 (#625) - Really Oblivious
  Man, Jason's going to be ticked that his brother's not on his team anymore.

Posted 6:01 p.m., May 28, 2002 (#626) - Michael Strahan
  I don't think it's right to pad the thread's stats by adding meaningless one-line posts about how long the thread is.

Posted 6:27 p.m., May 28, 2002 (#627) - Also Oblivious
  They were teammates? I didn't know Jason was a Royal.

Posted 6:31 p.m., May 28, 2002 (#628) - Shameless
  This space intentionally left blank
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Posted 12:16 p.m., May 29, 2002 (#629) - Dying Thread
  Must... stay... on... Hot... Topics... list....

Posted 9:33 p.m., May 29, 2002 (#630) - Alan
  Rey Ordonez sucks.

Posted 10:07 p.m., May 29, 2002 (#631) - Chris Truby
  35 more...just 35 more...

Posted 10:47 p.m., May 29, 2002 (#632) - Devin McCullen
  In addition to all its other distinctions, I think this earns the title of "Most Self-Reflexive Thread"

Posted 11:11 p.m., May 29, 2002 (#633) - scruff (e-mail)
  Laughing out loud, especially at posts 626, 629 and 631. As my Nets are in the middle of turning yet another 20 point lead into a 1-point game (10:40 left right now), I needed this.

Posted 11:16 p.m., May 29, 2002 (#634) - Nora Kuzma
  Should we stop at 666 or 756?

Posted 11:17 p.m., May 29, 2002 (#635) - scruff (e-mail)
  Laughing out loud, especially at posts 626, 629 and 631. As my Nets are in the middle of turning yet another 20 point lead into a 1-point game (10:40 left right now), I needed this.

Posted 11:21 p.m., May 29, 2002 (#636) - Nora Kuzma
  Should we stop at 666 or 756?

Posted 11:47 p.m., May 29, 2002 (#637) - Cross Scouting
  Why John Mabry??

Could it be that the A's feel that this will help them sign John Mabry Jr. to a cheaper deal after they draft him? When this happens remember that you heard it here first. Of course, it still wasn't worth trading Giambi.
J. Cross

Posted 12:28 a.m., May 30, 2002 (#638) - Saduharu Oh
  I thinnk we should stop at right about number 867.

Posted 1:29 a.m., May 30, 2002 (#639) - John Mabry's therapist
  I hope you geeks are all proud of yourselves. Now anytime anyone mentions you stat-head types to my client he starts involuntarily weeping. He's having nightmares where he gets stoned to death with calculaters and pocket protectors. If this keeps up, it may affect his play for the worse, assuming that's possible.

Posted 2:00 a.m., May 30, 2002 (#640) - Cal Ripken
  Weaklings! I didn't stop until I got to 2632.

Posted 3:03 a.m., May 30, 2002 (#641) - Pete Rose
  And I didn't stop until 4256. Anyone want to bet on the line of this thread?

Posted 3:03 a.m., May 30, 2002 (#642) - Pete Rose
  And I didn't stop until 4256. Anyone want to bet on the line of this thread?

Posted 3:22 a.m., May 30, 2002 (#643) - Dean Carrano (e-mail) (homepage)
  I dunno if these nuggets from McWeekly are truly helpful, but here they are.

Bob Nightengale (who has a Scud missile-like accuracy rate): "The Phillies still can't believe that it took only utilityman John Mabry to land first baseman Jeremy Giambi from the A's, considering they were planning to release Mabry."

Anonymous A's reporter: "There are indications that non-baseball issues contributed to the A's trading Jeremy Giambi on May 22 for bench player John Mabry. Team management apparently wasn't happy with Giambi's behavior on the charter flight home two nights earlier. According to two team sources, Giambi was drinking and grew boisterous late in the flight. That didn't sit well after Oakland had been swept out of Toronto to complete a 1-5 road trip. Even more important was the A's need to free up money for the amateur draft. They have seven of the first 39 picks, and they are expecting to have to shell out roughly $10 million to sign them all. That means saving $700,000 in the Giambi deal may not be the last money-saving move they're forced to make."

Posted 4:48 a.m., May 30, 2002 (#644) - Joel Barrett
  "There was no NEED to trade Giambi if all Beane wanted to do was get more playing time for Piatt. All the A's would need to do is instruct Howe to start Piatt, and bench Giambi. (Why he would want to do this is another very good question.)"

Granted, wanting to play Piatt is no reason to just give Jeremy away.

But there are plenty of reasons for a team preferring Piatt over Jeremy. Piatt is younger, cheaper, better defensively, seems less injury prone, and arguably projects to be as good or better offensively. As long as Piatt avoids contracting viral meningitis every season, he should do fine. Why do you think that Jeremy is a slam-dunk choice over Piatt (ignoring "off-field" issues)?

Posted 5:12 a.m., May 30, 2002 (#645) - Christopher Langan (homepage)
  None of the principals in this trade has an IQ that's even close to 180, so I don't see why anybody cares to discuss this trade in the first place. Unless of course everyone who has posted in this thread also has a similarly unimpressive IQ, in which case it's just a case of small minds occupying themselves with small things...

Posted 8:10 a.m., May 30, 2002 (#646) - Harry Frazee
  'Whew!' Finally off the hook after 80 years.

Posted 10:22 a.m., May 30, 2002 (#647) - Small Sample Size Guy
  Since the trade:

Jeremy Giambi
GP AB R H TB 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SF SH OBP SLG OPS AVG
4 9 3 4 10 0 0 2 4 2 2 0 0 0 1 .545 1.111 1.657 .444

John Mabry
1 4 0 1 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 .500 .750 .250

Posted 12:43 p.m., May 30, 2002 (#648) - I'm not quite dead...
  MORTICIAN:Bring out your dead!
Bring out your dead!
[clang] Bring out your dead!
[clang] Bring out your dead!
[clang] Bring out your dead!
[clang] Bring out your dead!

CUSTOMER: Here's one -- nine pence.

DEAD PERSON: I'm not dead!

MORTICIAN: What?

CUSTOMER: Nothing -- here's your nine pence.

DEAD PERSON: I'm not dead!

MORTICIAN: Here -- he says he's not dead!

CUSTOMER: Yes, he is.

DEAD PERSON: I'm not!

MORTICIAN: He isn't?

CUSTOMER: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.

DEAD PERSON: I'm getting better!

CUSTOMER: No, you're not -- you'll be stone dead in a moment.

MORTICIAN: Oh, I can't take him like that -- it's against regulations.

DEAD PERSON: I don't want to go in the cart!

CUSTOMER: Oh, don't be such a baby.

MORTICIAN: I can't take him...

DEAD PERSON: I feel fine!

CUSTOMER: Oh, do us a favor...

MORTICIAN: I can't.

CUSTOMER: Well, can you hang around a couple of minutes? He won't be long.

MORTICIAN: Naaah, I got to go on to Robinson's -- they've lost nine today.

CUSTOMER: Well, when is your next round?

MORTICIAN: Thursday.

DEAD PERSON: I think I'll go for a walk.

CUSTOMER: You're not fooling anyone y'know. Look, isn't there something you can do?

DEAD PERSON: I feel happy... I feel happy. [whop]

Posted 5:54 p.m., June 1, 2002 (#649) - ralph
  By the way, last week on KNBR I heard an interview with Beane. Unfortunately, the interviewers never asked "Why John Mabry?!", however they did ask about the necessity of ridding themselves from Giambi. Beane actually used some of Voros's work, saying that the A's Ball-in-Play rate from the defensive perspective was the second-worst in the league, meaning that their defense was, in fact, atrocious...

Like anyone will read this... And those that do, take it as you will...

Posted 7:15 p.m., June 1, 2002 (#650) - John Brattain (e-mail)
  Anybody got a mallet and wooden stake? (:-o

Best Regards

John

Posted 8:04 p.m., June 1, 2002 (#651) - Count Threadula
  I vant to drink your comments.

Posted 8:36 p.m., June 1, 2002 (#652) - Chris Dial (e-mail)
  ralph,
1-HBIP is not a good way to judge defense. Joe Sheehan wrote a column on it and Beane read it and decided to dump Giambi (Okay not quite). Anyway, most hits are line drives and fly balls. Those tend to not be catchable and still go for hits. That is to say - most hits couldn't be prevented by a defense playing normal positions.

I am working on some hit chart analysis, but crudely, hits are mostly the hitter's skill. The fielders can't do much about most of them.

I would think it is easy enough for a MLB team to get STATS raw data and draw their own zones, based on their typical positioning, and then decide whether or not a player can field.

Posted 8:43 p.m., June 1, 2002 (#653) - Chris Dial (e-mail)
  ralph,
1-HBIP is not a good way to judge defense. Joe Sheehan wrote a column on it and Beane read it and decided to dump Giambi (Okay not quite). Anyway, most hits are line drives and fly balls. Those tend to not be catchable and still go for hits. That is to say - most hits couldn't be prevented by a defense playing normal positions.

I am working on some hit chart analysis, but crudely, hits are mostly the hitter's skill. The fielders can't do much about most of them.

I would think it is easy enough for a MLB team to get STATS raw data and draw their own zones, based on their typical positioning, and then decide whether or not a player can field.

Posted 8:48 p.m., June 1, 2002 (#654) - Say Hey Kid
  Man, y'all are makin' me nervous!

Posted 9:06 p.m., June 1, 2002 (#655) - Darren
  I'd like to float a conspiracy theory if I may: Neyer and the BP guys have seen Keith Law get hired by the Blue Jays. They think, "Hey, it'd be cool to work for an actual baseball team and have a hand in the decision making of said team."

Then along comes Beane with his bad trade. And it occurs to these guys that A) there have been a couple openings in Beane's organization since Riccardi and Fuson left, and B) if anyone's going to hire a stathead, it would be Beane. So they think, it wouldn't look too bad if we gave him the benefit of the doubt, and it wouldn't hurt my chances of getting hired.

I know it's far-fetched but it's still got to rank in the top 200 posts of this thread.

Posted 9:43 p.m., June 1, 2002 (#656) - Nell Carter
  Remember me?

Posted 11:29 p.m., June 1, 2002 (#657) - Joey Lawrence
  Woah.

Posted 3:48 a.m., June 2, 2002 (#658) - A Customer
  Are your shakes real or are they made from shake mix?

Posted 3:52 a.m., June 2, 2002 (#659) - Beavis
  Yeah, heh heh hmmh heh heh...

Posted 3:58 a.m., June 2, 2002 (#660) - A Customer
  I asked you a question, are they real or shake mix?

Posted 4:05 a.m., June 2, 2002 (#661) - Beavis
  Yeah, heh heh hmmh heh heh...

Posted 4:09 a.m., June 2, 2002 (#662) - A Customer
  Look, where's your manager?

Posted 4:12 a.m., June 2, 2002 (#663) - Butthead
  Uh, huh huh, I'm an assistant manager.

Posted 4:17 a.m., June 2, 2002 (#664) - A Customer
  I asked a simple quesiton, are your shakes real or made from shake mix?

Posted 4:18 a.m., June 2, 2002 (#665) - Butthead
  Uh, we have vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.

Posted 4:30 a.m., June 2, 2002 (#666) - Satan
  Harry Caray sends his regards, folks. By the way, the only baseball games shown in hell are Cubs games, and we have Harry do the commentary. Those of you who aren't being very holy have an eternity of Harry ahead of you. He's having all kinds of trouble pronouncing Cesar Izturis's name so far this year.

Posted 5:36 a.m., June 2, 2002 (#667) - Miroslav Satan
  I like very much being nationwide hockey player. Is to be my dream growing up as poor boy in Slovakia.

Posted 11:32 p.m., June 2, 2002 (#668) - Craig B
  1-HBIP is not a good way to judge defense... Anyway, most hits are line drives and fly balls. Those tend to not be catchable and still go for hits. That is to say - most hits couldn't be prevented by a defense playing normal positions.

I am working on some hit chart analysis, but crudely, hits are mostly the hitter's skill. The fielders can't do much about most of them.

Chris, even if it is true (clearly it must be true... the predicatble variation displayed by hitters in their ability to gather H-HR/BIP, and the lack of variation in pitchers' ability to prevent H-HR/BIP mandates that it must be so) that the hitters are responsible for most hits, this does not in any way mean that H-HR/BIP is a bad measure of defense. Clearly, not all hits are the product of line drives or tweeners... there are other hits which defenses can do something about, and it is those hits which the hits per balls in play stat measures. (The fact that a defense can't do much is implied by the narrow range of these rates... as I recall they usually seem to be between .630 and .730 with very few outliers)

I'm sorry if I misunderstood you, but in fact I think it's more than a little bizarre to suggest that H-HR/BIP (or my preferred variation, H-HR/Outs on BIP) isn't a measure of a good defense. That's all that a good defense can do, is turn balls in play into outs. There are two additional things they can do, I guess : gather "baserunning outs" like CS or Baserunner Kills; and they can turn double plays. That's it. To suggest otherwise is to turn all defense into double plays and caught stealing.

Posted 11:49 p.m., June 2, 2002 (#669) - Peter Gammons
  I hear Mike Hampton's on the trading block.

Posted 11:49 p.m., June 2, 2002 (#670) - Chris Truby
  Satan, buddy, ya beat me to it! How you doin'?

Posted 11:51 p.m., June 2, 2002 (#671) - Mike Hampton
  Peter, what do you have against my children getting a good education?

Posted 11:54 p.m., June 2, 2002 (#672) - Denny Neagle
  I can impersonate a train! Choo! Choo!

Posted 12:20 a.m., June 3, 2002 (#673) - Freddy Krueger
  Jez! Even I didn't stick around as long after death as this thread. This died, what 200 posts ago? And it's still here. I didn't last this like. Micheal Myers didn't last this long after death. Jason didn't last this long. Haray Caray didn't la-well, OK, maybe Haray, but that's it.

Posted 12:49 a.m., June 3, 2002 (#674) - Al Gore
  This kind of dialogue was exactly what I had in mind when I invented the Internet. I propose we take this thread and safeguard it in what I like to call a "lockbox".

Posted 10:23 a.m., June 3, 2002 (#675) - Yoda
  When 900 comments you reach, look as good you will not...

Posted 11:14 a.m., June 3, 2002 (#676) - Jar Jar Binks
  Meesa think Denny Neagle no good at train noises.

Posted 11:40 a.m., June 3, 2002 (#677) - C3PO
  I'm dating Mike Piazza.

Posted 1:15 p.m., June 3, 2002 (#678) - George W. Bush
  Hey, Jar-Jar, I didn't see enough of you in that new Star Wars movie. Tell Lucas the Commander-in-Chief wants to see more of Jar-Jar in Episodes III and IV!

Posted 1:35 p.m., June 3, 2002 (#679) - Hate to break it to you...
  Episode IV came out back in 1977...

Posted 2:24 p.m., June 3, 2002 (#680) - George Lucas
  Yes, but I plan to redo Episode IV by using CGI to randomly insert Jar Jar Binks and Nathalie Portman throughout. It's just to screw with people who think what little creativity and intelligence I had is long gone.

Posted 3:07 p.m., June 3, 2002 (#681) - Mark Hamill
  How was I conceived from Natalie Portman and Hayden Christiansen? I mean, they're so *pretty*, and I'm so *not*.

Posted 3:12 p.m., June 3, 2002 (#682) - Mark Hamill
  How was I conceived from Natalie Portman and Hayden Christiansen? I mean, they're so *pretty*, and I'm so *not*.

Posted 3:19 p.m., June 3, 2002 (#683) - The Grim Reaper
  Even I can't kill this thread.

Posted 3:20 p.m., June 3, 2002 (#684) - Anakin Skywalker
  Why do I end up looking like Jonathan Winters in Return of the Jedi?

Posted 3:30 p.m., June 3, 2002 (#685) - Memnoch
  Grimmy

You may not want to. It has degenerated into much ado about nothing. But it wasn't any more than that when it started.

Posted 9:08 p.m., June 4, 2002 (#686) - Chris Dial (e-mail)
  Craig,
I have no actual data to back it up on a research basis. Cursory looks lead me to my position. I'll run a huge chunk of numbers and let you know -

Posted 7:14 a.m., June 5, 2002 (#687) - Hypocritical...
  Chris,

Your comments obviously don't belong on this thread. Please stay on topic... :)

H

Posted 7:44 a.m., June 5, 2002 (#688) - cricketing baseballer
  Perhaps this is a better place to celebrate the USA’s World Cup victory over Portugal.

Posted 10:23 a.m., June 5, 2002 (#689) - Fun with anagrams
  "Billy Beanes trade" = "Its been really bad"

Posted 10:32 a.m., June 5, 2002 (#690) - Euthanasia Police
  I know I'm only adding to the thread, but I think someone at Primer should step in and remove our ability to post to this thread.

Posted 11:37 a.m., June 5, 2002 (#691) - No way, man!
  Not when Hammerin' Hank is on the horizon ...

Posted 11:59 a.m., June 5, 2002 (#692) - David Duke
  I insist that only a white person should be allowed to make posts 714 and 715.

Posted 1:54 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#693) - Question
  What's the most posts ever on one thread here?

Posted 1:56 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#694) - Answer
  694 (and counting)...

Posted 2:22 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#695) - Anagram Police
  Fun with anagrams, you forgot the apostrophes.

"Billy Beane's trade" = "It's been really bad"

Posted 2:32 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#696) - Frank
  Anagram Police - I fear you have not done your job your apostrophe help is misguided...It's is the contraction of it is not of the possessive plural "its" therefore your helpful suggestion isn't to be effective try this...

"Billy Beane's trade" = "'Tis been really bad"

Posted 2:32 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#697) - Jason
  And folks think I won't stay dead.

--Jason

Posted 4:39 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#698) - Dumpster Diver
  Frank:

I think he was using "it's" for "it has".

Posted 5:11 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#699) - 2 more to 700
  1 more with this one.

Posted 5:20 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#700) - The thread joins Ruth and Aaron!!!!!!
  the barrier is broken

Posted 6:34 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#701) - Anagram Police
  I think he was using "it's" for "it has".

Our evil plot has been detected.

Posted 6:38 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#702) - The Gay Baseball Player
  I just decided to make an appearance to push this thread over 755.

Posted 7:04 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#703) - 13 Days?
  This thread is now almost as long as the summer olympics. . . and is now about as exciting as equestrian. (It's so bad, no one is willing to post on this thread with their real user name anymore - yeeessshh!)

Posted 7:40 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#704) - David Nieporent (e-mail)
  Anybody want to invoke Godwin's law here? Only the Nazis would make a thread go more than 705 posts.

Posted 8:06 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#705) - Bernal Diaz
  Can we waive the 5-year waiting period and put this thread into the Primer Hall of Fame now?

Posted 8:07 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#706) - George W. Bush (e-mail) (homepage)
  What?

Posted 8:20 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#707) - Lyndon Baines Johnson
  Goddamn!

Posted 9:16 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#708) - Jeremy Giambi
  I am touched by this heartfelt outpouring of support for my abilities, but please, you're embarassing me.

Posted 10:12 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#709) - Tangent Police
  What's Godwin's law?

Posted 10:18 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#710) - Craig Calcaterra
  Ha! I use my real name!

And:

What is Godwin's Law?

Godwin's Law
As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

Corollary of Practicality
There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, the thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. Godwin's Law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups.

Gordon's Restatement of Newman's Corollary to Godwin's Law
Libertarianism (pro, con, and internal faction fights) is the primordial netnews discussion topic. Anytime the debate shifts somewhere else, it must eventually return to this fuel source.

Morgan's Corollary to Godwin's Law
As soon as such a comparison occurs, someone will start a Nazi-discussion spinoff thread on alt.censorship.

Sircar's Corollary
If the online discussion touches on homosexuality or Heinlein, Nazis or Hitler are mentioned within three days.

Van der Leun's Corollary
As global connectivity improves, the probability of actual Nazis being on the Net approaches one.

Miller's Paradox
As a network evolves, the number of Nazi comparisons not forestalled by citation to Godwin's Law converges to zero.

Posted 10:20 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#711) - Greg Franklin (e-mail) (homepage)
  Let's go to the leaderboard. June 4 results with new club:

G, AB R H, TB 2B 3B HR RBI, BB SO, SB CS SF SH
8, 21 5 8, 18 1 0 3 9, 10 5, 0 0 0 1 JeGiambi
6, 15 1 4, 10 3 0 1 5, 0 3, 0 0 0 0 JMabry

G, OBP SLG OPS BA
8, .581 .857 1.438 .381 JeGiambi
6, .267 .667 0.933 .267 JMabry

Who doesn't love 2-1 BB/SO ratios? Who thought John had a homer left in his bat?

Posted 10:26 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#712) - Craig Calcaterra
  And, for the record, homsexuality was first invoked at post # 25, and Libertarianism (by yours truly) at post # 157. Given that there was no mention of either Hitler or Nazi's until 704, both Gordon's Restatement of Newman's Corollary to Godwin's Law and Sircar's Corollary were violated, and given that I posted this thing, Godwin's law itself was violated.

And I think I just went back in time.

Posted 10:46 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#713) - Shredder
  Lookout, Babe, here we come.

Posted 11:41 p.m., June 5, 2002 (#714) - Al Downing
  I need to serve another one up.

Posted 1:22 a.m., June 6, 2002 (#715) - Syd Barrett
  Let's serve up another one!

Posted 10:14 a.m., June 6, 2002 (#716) - Jose Canseco
  This is how many I would have hit if I wasn't blackballed...

Posted 11:05 a.m., June 6, 2002 (#717) - The Use/Mention Distinction
  Even though Nazis and Hitler were mentioned in post 704, they have still not been used. As of yet, no one or nothing has been compared to Hitler or Nazis.

Some possible suggestions for those who want to proceed to "use."

"A low revenue team like the A's needs to expand its market to get more Liebensraum."

"That no-lock-out pledge is about as comforting as a non-aggression pact with Stalin."

"Poland is still a largely untapped market for baseball talent."

"You can't spell 'SS' with John Mabry, Jeremy Giambi, Billy Beane, and Ed Wade combined. Heck, you can't even spell 'S'."

"That's no youth movement! That's a Hitler Youth movement!"

Posted 2:28 p.m., June 6, 2002 (#718) - Godwin
  Jeremy Giambi was traded to the Phillies because he's a Nazi.

Posted 4:37 p.m., June 6, 2002 (#719) - Shredder
  Its been a while since I've brushed up on my Deutsch, but I think you mean "Lebensraum." Unless they really love extra space.

Posted 4:39 p.m., June 6, 2002 (#720) - Tony Hawk
  720s suck. Let me know when you get to 900.

Posted 4:58 p.m., June 6, 2002 (#721) - Chris Dial (e-mail)
  I can't believe the A's are even playing Mabry. I suppose that's Beane attempting to save face.

Hmmmm, Giambi is looking for a 950+ OPS this season.

1-HBIP: Looking at the calculation, for a brief study (which will theoretically be written up as a front page article), I am looking at subtracting DPs from estimated BIP. This makes a pretty good size average. I'm looking at (H-HR)/Outs for 2001. Naturally, Seattle rocked at .356. When I subtract DPs (because they are 2 outs for 1 BIP), that number jumps to .372. The DP swing is 90-200, resulting in a good chunk of HBIP difference. I must admit, initial sampling doesn't look good for my position. Either way, I'll publish the results - ufortunately, due to the girth of sample-gathering, I'll be making a basic assessment on the number on a single season. I'll follow up with 2000 if I can.

Posted 5:09 p.m., June 6, 2002 (#722) - Shredder
  Chris, this thread left the topic of the Giambi trade long ago. Please try to keep your comments in this thread off topic in the future.

Posted 5:38 p.m., June 6, 2002 (#723) - Bowie Kuhn
  I declare post #715 invalid and improper. It was not posted by a baseball fan or even a Baseball Primer regular, but by an impostor claiming to be one of America's best known baseball men. I am outraged that someone perpetrated this sham. He or she was probably put up to it by the MLBPA.

I hereby order the thread reset to #714, all subsequent posts being declared illegitimate.

Posted 5:41 p.m., June 6, 2002 (#724) - Nora Kuzma
  You must admit, this thread makes more sense than contracting two teams.

Posted 9:07 p.m., June 6, 2002 (#725) - Billy Beane
  "You can't spell 'SS' with John Mabry, Jeremy Giambi, Billy Beane, and Ed Wade combined."

Well, of course not! And why should I even try to? You want to know how I spell "SS"? T-E-J-A-D-A!

Posted 6:50 a.m., June 7, 2002 (#726) - JH
  I think we might need a special corollary to Godwin's Law just for baseball discussions.

As an online baseball discussion grows longer, the probability approaches one that someone will 1) make a Pete Rose reference that leads the ever-popular Pete Rose/HOF discussions, 2) make a reference to the negro leagues and the validity of the statistics and anecdotal evidence we have, or 3) impersonate Peter Gammons, Syd Thrift, of Bud Selig.

That said, this discussion has, much like Pete Rose, hung on way past the point of relevance.

Posted 7:52 a.m., June 7, 2002 (#727) - No way, man! (redux)
  I'd say the possibility of dethroning Hammerin' Hank is pretty damned relevant. Keep the faith, kids!

Posted 8:49 a.m., June 7, 2002 (#728) - SG
  Don't you think Oakland could've gotten a decent starter for Giambi? Maybe someone like Omar Daal? L.A. could've platooned him Jeremy at first with Karros, and spotted him in left field.

Posted 9:52 a.m., June 7, 2002 (#729) - Bud Selig
  The sad truth is, No Way Man, that for fans in small markets there is no faith, or hope either for that matter. To solve this problem, we need revenue sharing and a salary cap. And new stadiums for every team. And an automatic World Series berth for the Brewers. Until then, this thread will never dethrone Hammerin' Hank.

Posted 12:26 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#730) - Question
  Is there a thread HOF? If so, this one has to go in on purely on longevity.

Posted 12:53 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#731) - Bip Roberts
  No one's even mentioned me yet. How can a thread go over 700 posts without a discussion of me for the HOF?

Posted 12:56 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#732) - Bip Roberts
  No one's even mentioned me yet. How can a thread go over 700 posts without a discussion of me for the HOF?

Posted 1:45 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#733) - Post-Reference.com
  I wonder what the most similar posts were through posts 100, 200, and so on?

Posted 1:58 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#734) - Quick!
  Someone really oughta count the number of double-posts (like Bip's) and subtract them from the total, before we pass Aaron and Bud asterisks us ...

Posted 2:00 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#735) - Quick!
  Someone really oughta count the number of double-posts (like Bip's) and subtract them from the total, before we pass Aaron and Bud asterisks us ...

Posted 2:01 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#736) - Not so quick after all
  Mmmm ... irony.

Posted 2:07 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#737) - Ralph Wiggum
  I'm an airplane!!!

Posted 2:10 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#738) - Ralph Wiggum
  I'm an airplane!!!

Posted 2:46 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#739) - Sharkbyte
  A HOF thread to be sure...but is it a first-ballot thread? That depends where you set the replacement level for content, since the last 200 posts or so have been AAAA-level at best.

Posted 3:40 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#740) - What about Bonds or Sosa?
  We may eventually pass Hammerin' Hank, but should we be concerned about Bonds or Sosa? We may need to put this one out of reach. What's a reasonable high-end guess for either of those 2?

Posted 3:57 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#741) - Didn't Work....
  Was it really necessary, anyway?

Posted 4:17 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#742) - Buffy The Thread Slayer
  Well, I ran outta vampires and a girl's gotta eat.

Posted 4:20 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#743) - Bruce Campell
  I think you got it wrong, Buffy. You needed to type "Clatto Verata Nicto" to make it go away.

Remember, folks: Shop Smart, Shop S-Mart.

Posted 5:22 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#744) - Multi-Post Guy
  We're almost there boys.....

Posted 5:22 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#745) - Multi-Post Guy
  We're almost there boys.....

Posted 5:22 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#746) - Multi-Post Guy
  We're almost there boys.....

Posted 5:22 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#747) - Multi-Post Guy
  We're almost there boys.....

Posted 5:22 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#748) - Multi-Post Guy
  We're almost there boys.....

Posted 5:22 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#749) - Multi-Post Guy
  We're almost there boys.....

Posted 5:29 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#750) - Annoying kid in back seat
  Are we there yet?

Posted 5:30 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#751) - Annoying kid in back seat
  Are we there yet?

Posted 5:30 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#752) - Annoying kid in back seat
  Are we there yet?

Posted 5:51 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#753) - Craig Calcaterra (e-mail) (homepage)
  I am the Home Run King

Posted 5:53 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#754) - Craig Calcaterra (e-mail) (homepage)
  No backsies.

Posted 6:02 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#755) - Buffy The Thread Slayer
  Dang. 100,000 didn't kill it. This proves one thing. I just wish I knew what it was.

Posted 6:51 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#756) - Self Referential (homepage)
  http://www.baseballprimer.com/clutch/archives/00003291.shtml#759

Posted 7:01 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#757) - Bernal Diaz
  Ya know, instead of typing that 10,000 times you could have been out stuffing the All-Star ballot box with all Twins and Expos.

Posted 7:18 p.m., June 7, 2002 (#758) - Sideshow Bob
  That post said 'The Thread, The'


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Archive

Baseball Primer Reviews: Baseball and Philosophy: Thinking Outside the Batter's Box
 Jon reviews the hardball offering from the people that brought us The D'oh of Homer.

Breaking the Law of Averages
 Jim outlines how we can improve on statistics based on averages.

February 12, 2004
 Bruce kicks off the Cooperstown Confidential season and tackles the Red Sox, Scott Erickson, and Gene Clines.

February 7, 2004
 What effect will the change in defense have on Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte?

The 2003 Baseball Primer Primeys
 Vote early, but not often for the premier on-line baseball awards.

January 26, 2004
 Just how useful is Defensive Efficiency Record?





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