As Aaron noted, yesterday Susan Slusser wrote that A’s owner Lew Wolff would probably allow Billy Beane to interview with the Cubs if they come calling about their vacant GM guy, despite the fact that Beane is under contract through 2014. Today John Shea reports, after an interview with Wolff, that there is no probably about it, saying “I would never inhibit anybody from bettering themselves because of a contract.”
As soon as he said that, Gio Gonzalez packed his bag, hopped a flight and signed a six-year deal with the Yankees.
Seriously, though, Wolff is being realistic here. He says that he promised Beane and others in the organization that they’d get a new ballpark and the expanded resources that come with it. That hasn’t happened because Bud Selig apparently lacks the will to challenge the Giants’ claim to a chunk of the Bay Area that, though the Giants own it now, stood as Athletics’ territory for most of their history. A chunk the A’s gave to San Francisco in an effort to help them get out of their own untenable stadium problems.
It’s always a bit deceiving to see offseason workout photos of players who are said to be getting into great shape because guys in those pics are wearing compression shirts and crap and we’re used to seeing them in baseball uniforms. I remember pics of Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz in the offseason looking svelte, only to see them in uniform come spring as their familiar beefy selves. Uniforms are often loose and billowy and the players wear a couple of layers when they’re suited up, so at least visually speaking it’s better to compare apples to apples.