Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Monday, December 17, 2007

Nightly Notes

Just a couple of quick hits, mostly related to things other than baseball tonight:

1.) First, Seth has posted a lengthy (and very interesting) Q&A over at Seth Speaks. I strongly encourage you to check it out if you haven't done so yet.

2.) Ok, so the Vikings didn't look all that good tonight in beating the Bears 20-13. The point is, they still won the ballgame, and they're still in the drivers seat for a playoff spot. In fact, I think they're actually in the drivers seat for 5th place in the Conference. The Vikings remaining games are at home against Washington and at Denver. The Giants, currently in 5th, play at Buffalo and then finish the season off against New England. The Vikings hold the tiebreaker over the Giants thanks to the beatdown earlier this year when the Vikings won head-to-head, so if the Vikings go 0-2 the Vikings need just 1 more win to finish 5th, and if the Giants pick up one win the Vikings can still get fifth by winning out. I suspect that there's a very good chance of that happening.

3.) The Vikings obviously can't look past Washington next week, but they'll be in decent shape even if they lose to the Redskins. If Washington wins, both teams will be 8-7, and obviously the Redskins would be in control of their own destiny thanks to the head-to-head win. However, in Week 17 the Redskins have to face the Cowboys, while the Vikings will be facing the Broncos. Depending on how the games go next week, the Cowboys could be fighting for home field advantage in that game, while the Broncos will have nothing but pride to play for. To me, that would swing as advantage Vikings. Still, a win next week would be much more desirable -- so let's hope the offense plays a bit better next week than it did this week against the Bears.

4.) I can't understand why Billy Beane isn't facing more criticism for the imminent self-destruction of his team. I'm going to try to write up a post on this later this week, but here's how I see things -- it's one thing to talk about trading an ace for young players if, like the Twins, you have just one year left on said ace's deal and aren't going to be able to re-sign him. It's quite another to trade the ace (Haren) and more than likely another very good pitcher (Blanton) for prospects when they are nowhere near free agency. I realize that Beane felt it was time to restock the farm system, and also that the team wasn't going to be competitive even with Haren and Blanton this year. Nonetheless, this strikes me as a bad move. The Twins get criticized for not retaining their players, but at least the Twins let those guys walk away when they become too expensive, or trade them when their departure is imminent. The A's seem infatuated by the idea of acquiring prospects, and I think the Haren trade was an overreaction to the situation that the team faced. Sorry, but I just don't get it.



  • At Tue Dec 18, 08:32:00 AM , Anonymous SethSpeaks said...

    I see both sides of the A's situation. First, Billy Beane gets so much credit for everything he does. In reality, his success percentage is likely right around wehre all the other GMs are.

    Second though, you have to get rid of somethign to stockpile an organization. yeah, Haren's got three more years, but what else do the A's have to trade that would bring in the types of players that they need to succeed again. They just got five decent prospects for one guy. That's a pretty good haul. Especially for a guy with maybe two full good seasons.

    Blanton is an innings guy, but he's certainly not someone to build around. If the market for starting pitchign is what it is right now, looking to deal him for 2-4 prospects makes a lot of sense!

    I agree with what they're saying. You're either competing for 1st place in the division or you might as well be in last place. Third place makes no sense.

    That said, Beane was touted so much over the A's run of success. Some of it was deserved, but some deserves criticism. His Moneyball draft doesn't look so great now, does it? Swisher is solid, but he was a guy everyone wanted. Same with Blanton. he was glorified for taking Jeremy Brown, but he could have taken him 10 rounds later. Teahen was pretty good, but he got traded.

    Beane also traded Andre Ethier to get Milton Bradley and a utility infielder. Makes no sense!

    He traded for Jason Kendall. The Mulder trade turned out great, but the Hudson deal didn't work. He traded Bonderman. He signed Chavez long-term.

    So, I loved the Moneyball book, but it's simply an organizational philosophy, which is good, but it isnt' the only way, and in reality, it's no more successful or poor than the Twins or other good organizations.

  • At Tue Dec 18, 09:39:00 AM , Blogger JST said...

    I understand what you're saying Seth, and I recognize that there's a possibility that this could turn out well for the A's and for Beane if each of the prospects turns out well. I just think that the A's need to find a better way to go about business. Prospects are inherently risky, and I think the odds are that they won't get the value out of the Haren trade that they're hoping for. I think that if you have to trade a player like Haren when you could have him for three more years, rather than rebuilding in some other way, that something went very wrong very quickly. I'm certainly willing to admit that I might be wrong about this, but for now I just don't see this as a good deal.

    Thanks for the comment! It provided a lot more insight on Beane than I did in the notes.

  • At Tue Dec 18, 12:08:00 PM , Anonymous Marty said...

    Billy Beane lifetime winning percentage as a GM...


    Terry Ryan...

    Look it up.

  • At Tue Dec 18, 12:44:00 PM , Blogger JST said...

    Marty, whether Beane has a higher lifetime winning percentage than Terry Ryan isn't the point -- my comment was a criticism of the Haren trade. Even if Beane is a good GM (and I admit that I've been critical of him in the past), I still think his approach with Haren was a mistake. TR didn't factor into my analysis, and I'm not sure why he would have. As I think you mentioned before, past success in certain areas (like Ryan swinging the A.J. for Nathan, Liriano, and Bonser deal) doesn't indicate that a guy still has it, or that every move made is golden. The Haren trade, to me, was not a good move -- and Beane's lifetime winning percentage as a GM doesn't affect that discussion.

  • At Wed Dec 19, 08:57:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Silva is gone


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