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Thursday, June 24, 2010
Billy Beane: Don't blame Bob Geren


With the Athletics in free fall (and Daric Barton bunting like it's 1899), there have naturally been a few calls in Oakland for Bob Geren's head. Billy Beane is having none of it:



On a related note, this recently showed up in the mailbag:



Let's see who the A's got in exchange for all those guys:

Ethier: Milton Bradley
Ludwick (and Gerald Laird): Carlos Pena and Mike Venafro
Carlos Gonzalez (and Huston Street): Matt Holliday
Carlos Pena (and Jeremy Bonderman): Ted Lilly
Cruz: Keith Ginter

Continuing the chains, the A's traded Matt Holliday for Brett Wallace, who was traded for Michael Taylor (Wallace is younger than Taylor, and has played better this season); they traded Ted Lilly for Bobby Kielty.

I've left out some details -- payroll considerations, pennant-race machinations, minor leaguers who never made it, etc. -- but I think you get the general gist of the thing: Beane has had his hands on some talented hitters with power, and he's let practically all of them get away without much in return. Does this mean Beane "cannot evaluate young power hitters"?

I wouldn't go that far. This is a selective grouping; how many young power hitters has Beane traded, who never reached the heights of these fellows? Still, this will probably mark the fifth straight season in which the A's don't rank in the upper half of the American League in run production. And it's mostly because they continue to people their lineups with hitters who are both power-starved and injury-prone. And with Taylor and Carter both struggling in Triple-A, this doesn't seem likely to change anytime soon.