Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com sat down with Steve Stone and Hawk Harrelson to talk to them about “Moneyball.” You can probably expect some criticism of the overall concept form them, particularly Harrelson, but I was rather surprised at how sharp their comments were.
- Harrleson on Beane and his approach: “It’s bull—-, and he’s proven it’s bull—- by the moves that he’s made and the deals he’s made, and the games that he’s lost. How long has he been there?”
- Stone on the A’s success: “I’m sure there are other teams that have won 20, but how did that season work out for them? Did they win anything. See because they don’t give trophies to teams with 20-game winning streaks. What they do is they give you a World Series trophy if you win the World Series. They even give you a smaller ring if you get in the World Series, but don’t win it. Billy? That’s right, he never did that.”
- Stone asking if they included certain things in the movie: “Do they have Billy running through all those managers he ran through when he fired them and hired them? Does it end with him hiring his best man at his wedding (Bob Geren) and then having to fire him because none of his players listen to him anymore?”
- And of course there is all manner of “the computers are ruining the game” rebop from both of them. And an admission that they have neither read the book nor seen the movie, so they’re not even clear about what they’re ripping.
I get not being a fan of “Moneyball” or sabermetrics. But the venom from those two was rather shocking.
Marc Carig of Newsday took Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon to the woodshed over the weekend. He, quite justifiably, lambasted them for their inexplicable frugality, their seeming indifference to wanting to put a winning team on the field and, above all else, their unwillingness to level with the fans or the press about the team’s plans or priorities.
Mets ownership is unaccountable, Carig argues, asking everything of fans and giving nothing in the way of a plan or even hope in return:
Mets fans ought to know where their money is going, because it’s clear that much of it isn’t ending up on the field . . . They never talk about money. Whether it’s arrogance or simply negligence, they have no problem asking fans to pony up the cash and never show the willingness to reciprocate.
And they’re not just failing to be forthcoming with the fans. Even the front office is in the dark about the direction of the team at any given time:
According to sources, the front office has only a fuzzy idea of what they actually have to spend in any given offseason. They’re often flying blind, forced to navigate the winter under the weight of an invisible salary cap. This is not the behavior of a franchise that wants to win.
Carig is not a hot take artist and is not usually one to rip a team or its ownership like this. As such, it should not be read as a columnist just looking to bash the Wilpons on a slow news day. To the contrary, this reads like something well-considered and a long time in the works. It has the added benefit of being 100% true and justified. The Mets have been run like a third rate operation for years. Even when the product on the field is good, fans have no confidence that ownership will do what it takes to maintain that success.
All that seems to matter to the Wilpons is the bottom line and everything flows from there. They may as well be making sewing machines or selling furniture.