Wanna Buy Billy Beane’s house?

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It’s in Danville, California. I assume that he’s selling it so he can buy a place in Santa Clara County, what with the lawsuit and all. I also assume any sale will be contingent on a thorough plumbing inspection:

Located roughly 40 minutes east of the O.co Coliseum, Beane’s home offers 4,836 square feet of living space and has an office and a bonus room to go along with the five en suites. Inside, cherrywood and travertine flooring can be found throughout, while other luxe touches include crown molding, custom draperies and silhouettes. Outside, the more than half-acre grounds feature a sparkling pool and an elevated spa.

Based on the photos of the place, I assume bland, model home-style suburban McMansion furnishings are the new inefficiency.

Beane and his wife bought it in 2002, as “Moneyball” was being researched and written. They purchased it for $1.735 million. It’s listing for $1.895 million. Which means he got way more value out of Scott Hatteberg than he did this particular real estate investment.

[Beane throws a chair, reduces listing price by the value of the chair and the damage to the wall]

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉