Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2003-09-19 13:23
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Mike Mussina, Joe Torre, George Steinbrenner and Gene Orza all had cherce words for MLB after yesterday's game. The game officially ended in a 1-1 tie and will be made up if needed.

Meanwhile the Sox beat the D-Rays and the Mariners lost to the Rangers. Boston trails the Yanks by five games, but leads Seattle by two and a half; the Yankees magic number for clinching the division remains at six.

With the M's starting a weekend series against the A's it may be time to say goodnight. Incidentally, there is an article out of Seattle today which pits Pat Gillick vs. Billy Beane.

Dig this:

"You have to give them credit, but the test is going to be how they maintain it," Gillick said. "It's difficult, with that payroll, to maintain. We'll have to wait and see. Initially, they've gotten it done, but once Tejada and Chavez are eligible (for free agency), if they can't pay them, you'll probably see a decline in their won-loss record."

Said Beane: "Time will tell. Listen, at some point, yeah, there will be a dip in the performance level. You don't have to be Nostradamus to predict that. But you know what? That's the case with every sports franchise. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out."

Gillick further took shots at Oakland's "Moneyball" approach:

"I think from the Double-A level up, statistical information is more pertinent than from Single-A down," he said. "At least when you get to Double-A, Triple-A and the major leagues, you have something to compare the statistics against. I'm not sure what the level of competition is at Class A, rookie or amateur level.

"I don't want to limit myself in one area. If we think the best player is from college, we'll take him; if we think the best player is a high-school player, we'll select that player. If we think we want to get a player from China, Japan or the Dominican Republic, those are all areas you have to investigate."

"Why limit yourself to one area? Why say you have to draft college guys and you have to fit this criteria? I think you're limiting yourself and not looking at the big picture. Baseball is full of exceptions and opinions. Last year, anyone could have had Esteban Loaiza for nothing, and now he has a chance for the Cy Young.

"They have a theory what they do, but I think what they're doing is limiting themselves, maybe because of economics. They think high-school kids are too much of a longshot, too much uncertainty. But the old saying is, if you want to hit it big, you'd better take a risk."

Said Beane, "When you have an unlimited payroll, you can take that approach. When you have a limited payroll, there's certain things you can and can't do. We're in that situation in Oakland, unlike some other people."

Added Beane, "We'll continue to try to compete in our situation. We're not asking anyone to either validate us or mimic us. Our responsibility is to our fans and ownership, and to the players in this organization."

Gillick has taken much heat for not improving his team when he's had the chance. It appears as if the Mariners will win 90+ games again this year and miss the playoffs. Still, he's got an impressive track record, and has been one of the best GM's of the past 25 years. But he comes across as petty and spiteful here. Think chasing the A's once again has anything to do with it?

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