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Billy Beane named Executive of the Year

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Oakland Athletics executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane was voted Major League Baseball Executive of the Year yesterday. It was the inaugural vote for this newly-created award.

Each team got one vote, which had to be submitted before the end of the regular season. I’d be curious to hear from the voters what criteria they used, but I doubt they’ll say so. Given Beane’s win, one might suspect that it is a lot like the Manager of the Year Award, which is usually based on expectations. No one expected the A’s to win, they did, they did it with a low payroll and, voila.

Heck, now that I think about it, I wonder if MLB executives awarding someone who had success with a low payroll doesn’t carry with it a whole other bag of insights regarding what, exactly, MLB executives value, but I suppose we’ll leave that for another rant.

Beane, 56, has headed baseball operations for the A’s since after the 1997 season, first as general manager, and in his current role since the end of the 2015 season.

Oakland Athletics reverse course: will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.