Getty Images

Billy Beane named Executive of the Year

12 Comments

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.

Larry Walker to wear a Rockies cap on his Hall of Fame plaque

Getty Images
1 Comment

I guess this came out the day he was elected but I missed it somehow: Larry Walker is going to have a Rockies cap on his Fall of Fame plaque.

While it was once solely the choice of the inductee, for the past couple of decades the Hall of Fame has had final say on the caps, though the request of the inductee is noted. This is done to prevent a situation in which a cap truly misrepresents history. This issue arose around the time Wade Boggs was inducted, as he reportedly had a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to pick their cap on his plaque which, to say the least, would’ve been unrepresentative.

There have been some mildly controversial picks in the past, and some guys who would seem to have a clear choice have gone with blank caps to avoid upsetting the fan base of one of his other teams, but Walker’s doesn’t seem all that controversial to me.

Walker played ten years in Colorado to six years in Montreal and two years in St. Louis. His numbers in Colorado were substantial better than in Montreal. His MVP Award, most of his Gold Gloves, most of his All-Star appearances, and all of his black ink with the exception of the NL doubles title in 1994 came with the Rockies too. Walker requested the Rockies cap, noting correctly that he “did more damage” in a Rockies uniform than anyplace else. And, of course, that damage is what got him elected to the Hall of Fame.

Still, I imagine fans of the old Expos will take at least some issue here. Those folks tend to be pretty possessive of their team’s old stars. It’s understandable, I suppose, given that they’ve not gotten any new ones in a decade or two. Add in the fact that Walker played for the 1994 Expos team onto which people love to project things both reasonable and unreasonable, and you can expect that the Expos dead-enders might feel a bit slighted.

Welp, sorry. A Rockies cap is the right choice.  And that’s Walker’s cap will feature.