Billy Beane: the A’s are “burdened by our venue”

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“Burdened by our venue” sounds like the name of a late period Morrissey album, yes? Anyway, here’s the A’s GM talking to CSNBayArea.com about the A’s payroll:

“At the end of the day, having more money to invest is good. I mean, our situation is somewhat burdened by our venue. We still share a stadium with the Raiders. We’re trying to secure a new venue some way, some how. But until that point comes, we have to operate very much like a business, where we spend what we have, and no more.”

I think the saddest thing ever would be seeing Billy Beane go his whole career never having had a real payroll to work with. Not that we should actually shed a tear for him.  He could have gone to Boston and probably a bunch of other places if he wanted to. But it would be nice to see what he could do with real money to spend. It could be a disaster — maybe he was put on this Earth to make smart bargain moves and would be Jim Hendry, Part Deux, if he had a payroll — but it would be interesting to see.

Oh well. I guess we just have to wait a few more years while the committee working on the A’s situation finishes what is apparently a ten thousand page report.

 

Kirk Gibson home run happened 30 years ago

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With the Dodgers trying to make it back to the World Series for the second year in a row — and trying to win it for the first time in 30 years — it’s worth looking back at the last time they won it. More specifically, it’s worth looking back at the signature moment from the last time they won it. Which, really, was one of baseball’s all-time signature moments.

Yep, I’m talking about Kirk Gibson’s famous game-winning home run off of Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, which happened 30 years ago tonight.

All playoff magic for anyone too young to remember Bill Mazeroski’s homer in 1960 is measured against Gibson taking Dennis Eckersley downtown to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 win. Heck, even if you were around in 1960, it’s far less likely that you saw Mazeroski’s homer than it was for you to have seen Gibson’s. Nationally broadcast in prime time to a nation of millions who had not yet fragmented into viewers of hundreds of obscure cable channels and various forms of streaming entertainments, it was a moment that sent shockwaves through the world of sports.

For my part, I was fifteen years-old, sitting in my living room in Beckley, West Virginia watching it as it happened. Like most of the rest of the country, I was convinced that the Dodgers had no chance to beat the mighty Bash Brothers and the 104-win Oakland A’s. Especially given that the Dodgers’ leader, MVP-to-be Gibson, was hobbled and not starting. Even when he was called on to pinch hit, I had no faith that he’d be able to touch Eckersley, the best relief pitcher on the planet, let alone hit the ball with any kind of authority.

But, as Vin said when he called it, the Dodgers’ year was so improbable that, in hindsight, it made perfect sense for Gibson to have done the impossible: