Could Billy Beane bust up the A’s?


My favorite thing from after last night’s game was watching old dinosaur newspaper columnists dropping “Moneyball” zingers. They were great because they showed that (a) those guys never, ever read the book or at the very least didn’t understand it; and (b) they were so confident in the power of their zingers they didn’t think it necessary to explain how a book that provided a snapshot of the Oakland A’s from 12 years ago was even remotely relevant to 2014.

Never mind, boys, just go with it. You sure stuck it to that Billy Beane good! Or Brad Pitt. Or whoever. Doesn’t matter probably.

A more relevant observation about Beane comes from Ken Rosenthal: Beane rarely stands pat. And after last night’s loss — made all the more crushing by the fact that the A’s simply went for it this year, trading prospects and bats for arms specifically sought for the postseason — Rosenthal is hearing that Beane could do some radical things. Like trade Jeff Samardzija. Or even Josh Donaldson.

Late in the column he suggests that he could stand pat for a couple of months and see where the team is before unloading either or both of those guys. That may be more reasonable. Still, there’s no escaping the fact that Beane went all-in and eschewed the idea of stockpiling prospects and holding on to offense at all costs because he smelled a pennant, that didn’t work and now he has some long-term challenges facing him as a result.

Which ain’t exactly “Moneyball” as the dinosaurs think of it, but we’ll give them a decade or so to catch up to that.

No lease extension, but Orioles and governor tout partnership

orioles camden yards
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

The Baltimore Orioles and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced a joint commitment to what they called a “multi-decade, public-private partnership” to revitalize the Camden Yards sports complex.

The statement from the team and the state’s new governor came Wednesday, the deadline for the Orioles to exercise a one-time, five-year extension to their lease at Camden Yards. The team was not planning to exercise that option, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club hadn’t announced its decision.

With no extension, the lease is set to expire at the end of this year, but the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority can keep negotiating. Wednesday’s joint release seemed to be an attempt to calm any nerves in Baltimore about the team’s future.

“I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with Governor Moore, his administration, and the Maryland Stadium Authority in order to bring to Baltimore the modern, sustainable, and electrifying sports and entertainment destination the state of Maryland deserves,” Orioles CEO John Angelos said.

“We greatly appreciate Governor Moore’s vision and commitment as we seize the tremendous opportunity to redefine the paradigm of what a Major League Baseball venue represents and thereby revitalize downtown Baltimore. It is my hope and expectation that, together with Governor Moore and the new members and new chairman of the MSA board, we can again fully realize the potential of Camden Yards to serve as a catalyst for Baltimore’s second renaissance.”

Republican Larry Hogan, the state’s previous governor, signed a bill last year increasing bond authorization for M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, and Camden Yards. The measure allowed borrowing of up to $600 million for each stadium.

“When Camden Yards opened 30 years ago, the Baltimore Orioles revolutionized baseball and set the bar for the fan experience,” Moore, a Democrat, said Wednesday. “We share the commitment of the Orioles organization to ensuring that the team is playing in a world-class facility at Camden Yards for decades to come and are excited to advance our public-private partnership.”

Angelos recently reaffirmed that the Orioles would stay in Baltimore, although he dressed down a reporter who asked for more clarity on the future of the team’s ownership situation. Angelos was sued last year by his brother Lou, who claimed John Angelos seized control of the Orioles at his expense.