Monday, January 26, 2009

The Most Dated Book About Sports?


Now, I'm not one to lay claim to the deity of the scrapper. I am one who looks at OPS when I look at hitters as well as the control and dominance stats when I look at a pitcher. But that doesn't mean that scouting doesn't have its place.

Especially after you read a chapter where three pages of debate and mocking tones of the scouting world in reference to Jeremy Brown, who never developed any sort of quality defensive skill, and who never really achieved offensive success until he stopped caring about the walk and opened his swing up. It just goes to show you that when you are talking about an expiriment, you need to keep your tones neutral. Jeremy Bonderman turned out to be 10 times the player of that ol' Badger.

One in ten drafted players actually end up spending time in the major leagues. So, in that respect? The A's had some success, signing 8 players who spent time in the bigs. (Funny note: One of their unsigned draft choices was a flamethrowing high schooler named Jonathan Papelbon.)

But in terms of real success? Not so much. Nick Swisher's bat never fully developed an ability to hit .260, Mark Teahen needs to be able to play second to have his offense become a true positive. Joe Blanton has been mediocre at best. And four others have been of the September brief visit to the show variety. And they let the other one go in the Rule 5 draft (do become a solid middle reliever in the Great American Ballpark) Hollar at your boys Jared Burton.

Now listen. I don't blame Billy Beane for any of this. He had a puff piece written in book form, and the Baseball Gods had him go into the wilderness. It happens. But the fact of the matter is, Michael Lewis damaged his repuation by writing a book like this.

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