Outside of the Yankees, no one in baseball evokes the love/hate feeling like Billy Beane does. Is he the shrewd genius GM or a self-promoting arrogant hack? As Giants fans we may be too close to be objective but in light of the Harden trade and accompanying media I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.
Personally, I'm not a huge Beane fan but I'm not a hater either. I like that he has pushed statistical analysis and other forms of analyzing players but he was not the first to push this concept. I like that he has run a small market team with precision but his trade ledger is not the slam dunk in his favor that everyone would make it out to be. His draft record has gems and busts as all GM's drafts do. He's had some brilliant pickups (Big Hurt) and he's had some poor pickups (Piazza). He's traded some guys at their peak value but some of the young players he locked up for big money instead of trading have not worked out (see Eric Chavez and Bobby Crosby).
My real problem with Beane is that he's essentially a fantasy GM - constantly trading and reloading almost for the sake of trading and reloading. Is this a Beane problem or a small market/competitive standpoint problem? Many will legitimately claim that he has never won a World Series which is not entirely fair but his teams have not performed well in the playoffs where they have largely been the home team in every series.
I guess I just detest the constant fawning and adoration he receives in the media. (The ESPN radio guys were saying that other GM's shouldn't even pick up the phone with Beane because he'll fleece them so bad and that just seems ridiculous).
Beane - brilliant, hack or somewhere in between?