Siberian Baseball

Thursday, January 03, 2008

White Sox add Swisher

The White Sox have added switch-hitting Nick Swisher to the lineup as the always rebuilding Oakland A's prepare to rebuild yet again.

I think it's a pretty strange quote from Oakland GM Billy Beane that was used in the San Francisco Chronicle article on the subject of team building:

"The best chance for long-term success is to have pitching you've developed and have a chance to hold onto," Beane said. "Personally, this (move) was very difficult, but as we said with Dan Haren, we need as many good young players as we can get, so we can be good for a long time."

With the addition of prospects in this deal and six more players by moving Dan Haren to the Diamondbacks, the A's have made a pretty clear signal that they're not planning to contend this season.

I can't think of a worse fan base to be a part of than Oakland's, which seems destined to hit the ceiling with a solid C-plus to B-minus ballclub every few years. Then, the team is blown up as young stars are starting to come into their own and the whole process begins again.

One of the head-scratchers in recent MLB history was the star power that was amassed in Montreal and then allowed to leave, even before the league was set to sell off the team. It's beyond me how the Moneyball A's are allowed to continue along this course without the fan base throwing up their hands and walking away from the franchise.

Sure, they've taken to covering the upper deck of the stadium to make it appear less empty, but there's still people at the games for the most part.

At what point does the team stand pat and try to make an extended run? I know much of the Moneyball philosophy is predicated on turning huge profits on manufactured statistics (like saves) but with players constantly leaving Oakland, the whole process seems self-defeating.

While the point had been made that the process was a result of a small payroll, there has to be some point where the front office is confident in their lineup and decides to open the purse strings a bit to hold the team together for a few seasons at least.

Off the top of my head, Miguel Tejada, Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon and Barry Zito have all left town, which reminds me of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 90s, when they lost their fan base.

In the meantime, the White Sox pick up a versatile outfielder who can hit for average and from both sides of the plate. He reminds me a bit of another South Side favorite, Aaron Rowland, from what I've seen from him so far.

Say what you will about the Cubs, but at least they make it look like they're trying.

(Image from the Associated Press)

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home