February 8, 2007
BASEBALL: Beane Interviewed
Blez at Athletics Nation's latest 3-part interview with Billy Beane here, here and here seems more canned and less informative than past interviews, but Beane does offer a few insights. On the rumors that he was trying to deal a starting pitcher to the Mets for Lastings Milledge:
Blez: There's obviously been a lot of speculation about the A's trading for Lastings Milledge. The rumor has been for a starter like Joe Blanton. I know you can't comment on another team's player, but how comfortable are you with the depth of the A's rotation if you lose another starter, either via a trade or injury? For example, you just traded Saarloos yesterday.
Beane: Wow, you're getting really good, Tyler. You just answered yourself by saying I can't comment on another team's player. We've made progress in the last few years (laughs). One of the reasons we would be concerned about our depth is because I got a call from a friend when I was over in Europe who is an East Coast writer saying the blogs are going nuts saying you're going to trade Haren. I was like, goodness gracious, I've been touring the Colosseum all day and I'm more worried about what Augustus Caesar was up to 2,000 years ago as opposed to trading Haren. A lot of that was more blogosphere talk. We've got something that we value highly which is good young pitching. It would be extremely risky to consider moving any of that.
On how and more specifically when the A's new stadium in Fremont will affect their ability to pay more for players:
Blez: The stadium announcement was obviously huge news and while there is still a ton to get done, you referenced the A's being able to keep more of their homegrown stars finally. Assuming everything goes well and we're looking at a stadium possibly opening in 2011, when can fans anticipate the team starting to keep its stars?
Beane: Very good question because you don't necessarily have to be playing in that stadium to start anticipating. My personal feeling is once you start laying bricks and it's a matter of when it gets done, that's when your business plan gets more based around that stadium. That's why you really want to start building the thing so you can start planning for that. The clock is ticking on some guys here that you would probably like to keep around. But until you start to see bricks and mortar, you have to be careful in spending what you don't have yet.
Blez: Just because it can still potentially fall through?
Beane: Yeah, right. The date that will be important for me is when I see Lew (Wolff) with a hard hat and a shovel for the contrived photos and when they put that first brick in. That's when I'll say all right we can start planning long term here.
Read the whole thing. Beane definitely conveys a sense of calm almost approaching indifference when dealing with the A's postseason struggles. He's optimistic about Daric Barton, more cautious about the returning-from-injury Dan Meyer.