Moneyball isn’t dead…it just has frosted tips and a porn-star goatee

December 7th, 2006 → 3:16 pm @

For my money, the most interesting, insightful, and incisive baseball writer to emerge over the last several years is ESPN’s Keith Law. Law’s acuity shouldn’t be all that surprising; he spent four years in baseball ops with the Blue Jays…and not every former front office type that ends up at ESPN can be a total dolt.

At the bottom of Law’s piece today analyzing the Freddy Garcia trade, Law makes a quick point about the A’s pickup of Mike Piazza, who’s by far the most metrosexual member of the 400-home run club, as well as an 11-time All-Star and two-time MVP runner up. Piazza — who threw up respectable offensive numbers in San Diego to the tune of .283/.342/.501 with 22 home runs — won’t equal the production of Frank Thomas, Oakland’s last scrap-heap DH (Thomas’s ’06 numbers: .270/.381/.545, 39 HRs, 114 RBIs.) … or will he? As Law points out, Piazza was playing in “Death to All Flying Balls Park in San Diego”; he was also catching. It’s true that Piazza’s one-year, $8.5 million deal is only $4.5 less than the Jays paid Thomas for the next three years, but that was practically in a different era (the pre-batshit insane Pierre/Matthews era). I recently asked why Moneyball execs like Billy B. were able to keep on working the smart angles in a post Moneyball world (the answer: because there are a lot of stupid people out there). Whatever the reason, it’s hard not to root for Beane when he keeps pulling rabbits like this out of his baseball cap.

Post Categories: 2006 Hot Stove Season & Billy Beane & Keith Law & Mike Piazza & Moneyball