Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane recently stated during an end of season address to the media that he has no plans to leave Oakland. It has been long rumored that Beane, who was recently portrayed by Brad Pitt in the movie “Moneyball,” could begin pursuing other posts outside of Oakland.
Given the team’s recent stadium and payroll constraints, Beane could very well walk away from the job that helped establish him as one of the best GMs in the game.
The A’s, currently mired in a playoff drought, are facing a ton of questions regarding their future in the city of Oakland. Lew Wolff, who purchased the team back in 2005, has repeatedly stated that all stadium plans in Oakland have been “exhausted,” and that the team’s only real viable destination is in San Jose.
Unfortunately for Wolff and Beane, however, the San Francisco Giants claim that San Jose falls under their club’s territorial rights. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig appointed a special committee to help analyze all of Oakland’s viable stadium options.
The formation of that “special” committee took place over two years ago. Selig vowed to assist the Oakland organization in their stadium pursuits, but Selig and MLB haven’t lived up to their words. Two years later, and the A’s still have no clear solution to their stadium situation.
As the San Francisco Chronicles reports, however, the Athletics may be getting closer to some kind of answer. Beane, who has an ownership stake in the franchise, expects to get an answer soon, but I wouldn’t suggest anyone to hold their breathe while waiting to hear from Selig’s office. Beane and the A’s have waited long enough, and the franchise is desperately awaiting a response from Selig and MLB.
The longer the A’s wait, the more unclear their future becomes. Without a clear solution to their stadium woes, the A’s front office won’t be able to adequately prepare for next season and beyond. Beane noted several times during this season that the team can’t layout any long term plans or deals with players due to the uncertainty surrounding the team’s stadium situation.
Personally, if I were Beane, I’d probably get fed up with MLB and leave for greener pasture. Beane’s still regarded as one of the best minds in baseball, but his current situation in Oakland has been, in my mind, at least, holding him back a bit. The A’s exploited some of baseball’s inefficiencies during the “Moneyball” era, but that advantage is now gone, with presumably every team in baseball (including the richer clubs) embracing the same statistics that helped the A’s during the early 2000’s.
Oakland is really playing in an unfair game. Their “art” of winning in an unfair game has been bought and sold throughout baseball; commercialized, if you will, and the A’s are left searching for other inefficiencies in the game. In addition to the pressures of producing a winning ball-club in these harsh conditions, the A’s are also facing a ton of question marks regarding their future in Oakland.
The pressure has got be getting to Billy Beane. It has to. It’s only a matter of time before he says, “I’m done. Time to move on.”