A’s In 2011: In Billy We Trust?
By Joseph Lopez
In 2009, the A’s made several offseason splashes (Matt Holliday, Jason Giambi, Orlando Cabrera, and Nomar Garciaparra) and still fell to a 75-87 record. It marked their third-straight losing season, and while the team was stock-piling on young talent, many fans (including myself) began questioning GM Billy Beane and his management direction.
Beane, who will be portrayed by Hollywood A-lister Brad Pitt in the upcoming movie adaptation of Michael Lewis’ Moneyball, has made his share of mistakes during his tenure as A’s GM: Tim Hudson trade, Matt Holliday trade, among others. But, he’s also been hailed as a ‘genius’ in the past too. So, with the 2011 campaign quickly approaching us, will the A’s creative GM put the team in a position to win in 2011?
Well, based on the team’s performance in 2010, I’d say yes. Beane’s group of young, talented studs finished 81-81 in ’10, despite having a depleted offensive attack. In 2011, Beane’s A’s are in position to make a run at the division, and that’s definitely good news for A’s fans. The “re-building” process that saw the departures of Dan Haren, and Nick Swisher (both traded), seems to finally be finished, and the team has put together a nice young rotation that’s considered one of the top rotations in baseball.
Yes, Beane has the A’s in a position to win again. Sure, the team missed out on big-names this offseason (Lance Berkman, Adam Dunn, Adrian Beltre), but the A’s were very aggressive this offseason. The team added pitching depth with Brandon McCarthy and Rich Harden, and added to their offense with Hideki Matsui, Josh Willingham, and David DeJesus. I definitely like Beane’s aggressive approach, and heading into the season, I think the A’s are improved enough to handle the Rangers and the rest of the division in 2011.
The A’s will have to stay healthy, however, in order for all of Beane’s continued efforts to retool the offense to really make a difference in 2011. Based on Beane’s aggressive behavior this offseason, it’s clear that the A’s are aiming for the division crown in 2011. In Billy We Trust!