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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.

Nationals, Astros lineups for World Series Game 2

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The Nationals, believed by oddsmakers to be big underdogs in the World Series against the Astros, won arguably their toughest matchup last night by plating five runs against Gerrit Cole in a 5-4 win in Houston. They’ll take a 1-0 series lead into Wednesday night’s action featuring a duel between Stephen Strasburg and Justin Verlander. Here are the lineups for the two sides.

Nationals

SS Trea Turner
RF Adam Eaton
3B Anthony Rendon
LF Juan Soto
DH Howie Kendrick
2B Asdrúbal Cabrera
1B Ryan Zimmerman
C Kurt Suzuki
CF Victor Robles

SP Stephen Strasburg

No changes here. Manager Dave Martinez is rolling out the same exact lineup as he had in Game 1.

Astros

CF George Springer
2B José Altuve
LF Michael Brantley
3B Alex Bregman
1B Yuli Gurriel
DH Yordan Álvarez
SS Carlos Correa
C Robinson Chirinos
RF Josh Reddick

SP Justin Verlander

Likewise, Astros skipper A.J. Hinch has hardly changed his lineup. The only difference is Chirinos is doing the catching tonight as opposed to Martín Maldonado.

Springer notably did not give maximum effort on an RBI double he hit off of the wall in right-center field, thinking it was a home run. He could’ve had a triple. Springer and Hinch discussed it over the phone late last night, Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller reports. Hinch didn’t seem too concerned about it.