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View Full Version : Billy Beane's a dirty GM and screwed us


SoxFan56
07-07-2003, 08:07 PM
I'm hearing all this talk about how much Billy Koch sucks now and how we got screwed with the Foulke trade. Obviously Koch dosen't have his upper 90's to 100 heat, witch led me to think....couldn't Koch be hurt and having a big arm problem? I think so and i am puzzled why a lot of people aren't talking about this. Koch might have had this arm problem right after the season ended last year. He wasn't throwing his usual heat all year and in Spring Training also. Could it be Billy Beane gave us damaged goods knowing he could easily get Keith Foulke and know he would get the better end of the deal knowing Koch's Problem with his arm. I hear a lot of rumours that many GM's around the league don't trust Beane and don't trade with him. Maybe that book written about how Beane is supposed to be a genius messing around with other Gm's and making good trades isn't so true. I think he's a dirty Gm. At that time didn't you think "WOW what a deal. We got the relief man of the year(and a pretty good Minor leaguer named Neal Cotts) for Keith Foulke and Mark Johnson. Beane has to be crazy." Maybe not, maybe he just gave us a raw deal.

What do u guys think? Thanks :?:

Daver
07-07-2003, 08:08 PM
Originally posted by SoxFan56
I'm hearing all this talk about how much Billy Koch sucks now and how we got screwed with the Foulke trade. Obviously Koch dosen't have his upper 90's to 100 heat, witch led me to think....couldn't Koch be hurt and having a big arm problem? I think so and i am puzzled why a lot of people aren't talking about this. Koch might have had this arm problem right after the season ended last year. He wasn't throwing his usual heat all year and in Spring Training also. Could it be Billy Beane gave us damaged goods knowing he could easily get Keith Foulke and know he would get the better end of the deal knowing Koch's Problem with his arm. I hear a lot of rumours that many GM's around the league don't trust Beane and don't trade with him. Maybe that book written about how Beane is supposed to be a genius messing around with other Gm's and making good trades isn't so true. I think he's a dirty Gm. At that time didn't you think "WOW what a deal. We got the relief man of the year(and a pretty good Minor leaguer named Neal Cotts) for Keith Foulke and Mark Johnson. Beane has to be crazy." Maybe not, maybe he just gave us a raw deal.

What do u guys think? Thanks :?:

Hey welcome aboard! :redneck

TheRockinMT
07-07-2003, 08:49 PM
I think that Billy Beane knew something about Koch, either through direct observation or he was warned by his coaches, and he then tried to deal Koch. He found a willing buyer in KW, who along with manuel had given up on Foulke. Beane then dumped his tired armed Koch on the Sox and took arguably one of the best in the game from the Sox. I don't care at this point about Cotts. He is a great prospect, but not ready for the majors and we lost our team closer.

MarkV
07-07-2003, 09:38 PM
Kenny should have known better than to make that trade. It was obvious by the end of last year that Koch had lost a lot of velocity. Besides, he's never really been a good closer anyway.

Lip Man 1
07-07-2003, 09:42 PM
Is this the same Kenny Williams who may or may not have known about Mike Sirotka's injury before shipping him to the Blue Jays?

In the immortal words of Proud To Be Your Bud Selig: "Let The Buyer Beware!"

Lip

1951Campbell
07-07-2003, 09:48 PM
Three words:

karma for Sirotka.

calebhatesyou
07-07-2003, 09:53 PM
i recently saw mr. koch at the ballpark and i told hime to "put 'em down 1, 2, 3". his reply: "ha!! that never happens" and he proptly gave up a 3-run game ending homer the same day.

he knows that he has the ability to get touched up, but for the sake of his career he needs to his talent, i.e. 95+ heater, is gone and learn how to be crafty up on the bump.

the a's definately had the first hand observation of his decreasing velocity and dealing him was just good baseball sence made brilliant by the fact they got an all-star in exchange. but the sox higher-ups collective mind was made early in the season last year in regards to faulke, and i think he was gone weather we got anybody of worth for him or not. hopefully they will make up up their mind on koch soon, but we definately got shafted on the deal at the end of the day

jeremyb1
07-07-2003, 11:04 PM
i don't think you have to have special information to realize a guy with koch's workload last season is at high risk for arm troubles. its common sense and kenny decided to overlook it thinking he could simply keep koch on a shorter leash this season and he'd be perfectly healthy. never underestimate the stupidity of baseball general managers. just because they were hired doesn't mean they always think things through. it wasn't hard to read a lot of trade analysis at the time that commented on koch's workload.

kermittheefrog
07-07-2003, 11:36 PM
Or maybe Billy just realized Koch was overrated and was just as likely to pitch like he did in 2001 (4.80 ERA) as he was to repeat his 2002 performance (3.27 ERA).

TornLabrum
07-08-2003, 12:08 AM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Or maybe Billy just realized Koch was overrated and was just as likely to pitch like he did in 2001 (4.80 ERA) as he was to repeat his 2002 performance (3.27 ERA).

I haven't read the book, but I've heard the author of "Moneyball" interviewed, and he discussed the fact that Billy Beane is of the philosophy that closers are overrated, and that he will let a closer (like Koch?) build up great save totals so he can dump them on poor unsuspecting GMs (like Prof. Chaos?) to get someone of talent that he actually can use (like Valentine?)

kermittheefrog
07-08-2003, 12:31 AM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
I haven't read the book, but I've heard the author of "Moneyball" interviewed, and he discussed the fact that Billy Beane is of the philosophy that closers are overrated, and that he will let a closer (like Koch?) build up great save totals so he can dump them on poor unsuspecting GMs (like Prof. Chaos?) to get someone of talent that he actually can use (like Valentine?)

I'm willing to bet Beane genuinely likes Foulke a lot as a closer. He is a lot better at keeping runners off base than Koch is and thats first and foremost in Beane's philosophy. A lot of people who are of the sabermetric way of thinking consider Foulke to be among the games elite relievers, like Mariano Rivera caliber.

Beane also really likes Mark Johnson. In fact I read an article on Beane possibly moving to Boston and Beane's plan included replacing Jason Varitek with Mark Johnson. Sounds pretty ridiculous to me but apparently Beane likes Johnson that much. Or at least did before Johnson went to the A's. Beane also told Edgardo Alfonzo's agent that if Beane went to the Red Sox he wants Alfonzo. Guess it proves the man isn't perfect?

SouthBendSox
07-08-2003, 12:42 AM
He was dumped too soon by JM and the Sox

his numbers have always been better

last year was embarrassing the way they demoted him to mop-up after about 3 bad innings

FJA
07-08-2003, 12:48 AM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
I haven't read the book, but I've heard the author of "Moneyball" interviewed, and he discussed the fact that Billy Beane is of the philosophy that closers are overrated, and that he will let a closer (like Koch?) build up great save totals so he can dump them on poor unsuspecting GMs (like Prof. Chaos?) to get someone of talent that he actually can use (like Valentine?)

It's storytime, boys and girls, with my favorite passage from "Moneyball":

"Finding pitchers who could become successful closers wasn't all that difficult. To fill the hole at the back of his bullpen Billy [Beane] had traded to the Toronto Blue Jays a minor league third baseman, Eric Hinske, for Billy Koch, another crude fireballer. He knew that Hinske was very good--he'd wind up being voted 2002 Rookie of the Year in the American League--but the Oakland A's already had an even better third baseman, Eric Chavez. Plus, Billy [Beane] knew that, barring some disaster, Koch, too, would gain a lot of value as an asset. Koch would get his saves and be perceived by other teams to be a much more critical piece of a successful team than he actually was, whereupon the A's would trade him for something cheaper, younger, and possibly even better."

We all know what has happened since "Moneyball" was written.

I wouldn't say Beane is dirty, though.

WhiteSox = Life
07-08-2003, 01:04 AM
Originally posted by FJA
It's storytime, boys and girls, with my favorite passage from "Moneyball":

"Finding pitchers who could become successful closers wasn't all that difficult. To fill the hole at the back of his bullpen Billy [Beane] had traded to the Toronto Blue Jays a minor league third baseman, Eric Hinske, for Billy Koch, another crude fireballer. He knew that Hinske was very good--he'd wind up being voted 2002 Rookie of the Year in the American League--but the Oakland A's already had an even better third baseman, Eric Chavez. Plus, Billy [Beane] knew that, barring some disaster, Koch, too, would gain a lot of value as an asset. Koch would get his saves and be perceived by other teams to be a much more critical piece of a successful team than he actually was, whereupon the A's would trade him for something cheaper, younger, and possibly even better."

We all know what has happened since "Moneyball" was written.

I wouldn't say Beane is dirty, though.

If he knew Koch was injured to a good extent, then yes, he was dirty to an extent. In the same respect, it was also an incredibly shrewd move and that passage is rather ingenious.

By the way, we need a Billy Beane tag!

:smile:

ma-gaga
07-08-2003, 01:31 AM
I heard, here, message #12 (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=19477) , that the W.Sox 'corrected' Billy Koch's throwing mechanics.

Take it for what it's worth...

DrCrawdad
07-08-2003, 06:10 AM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
...Beane also really likes Mark Johnson. In fact I read an article on Beane possibly moving to Boston and Beane's plan included replacing Jason Varitek with Mark Johnson. Sounds pretty ridiculous to me but apparently Beane likes Johnson that much. Or at least did before Johnson went to the A's. Beane also told Edgardo Alfonzo's agent that if Beane went to the Red Sox he wants Alfonzo. Guess it proves the man isn't perfect?

Mark Johnson hit an anemic .115 with the A's this season. So they've sent Johnson to the Sacramento River Cats (AAA) where he's hitting .246.

FJA
07-08-2003, 07:59 AM
Originally posted by WhiteSox = Life
If he knew Koch was injured to a good extent, then yes, he was dirty to an extent. In the same respect, it was also an incredibly shrewd move and that passage is rather ingenious.

By the way, we need a Billy Beane tag!

:smile:

Agreed ... But I have no reason to believe that Beane knew Koch was injured, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt (because it is so ingenious).

SpringfldFan
07-08-2003, 08:42 AM
This has been undeniably a terrible deal for the Sox. However, I think some may be missing the point on the basic reasons behind the trade from KW's perspecitve. Yes, they gave away just as much, if not more, closer talent in the deal. The best KW could have hoped for was a wash, whereby Koch would have had somewhere near the success Foulke has had this year. So what was KW's reasoning behind the trade? Well, if you don't remember, it was contract length. In trading for Koch, KW/JR had a qualified closer locked up for a few years. Of course the reasoning has backfired completely: the fact we have him tied up is now a burden rather than a security.

I am not saying KW was astute in judging the talent when he made this deal, but there was a method to his madness. I just wanted to reitereate this point for anyone who was at a loss for words on why KW even felt the need to make the trade in the first place.

jortafan
07-08-2003, 09:36 AM
You might want to be careful about using the word 'dirty' to describe Billy Beane in this case.

There are those who think the only dirty GM is KW for the way he unloaded an injured Mike Sirotka onto Toronto. It would be as legitimate a charge as trying to accuse Beane of pulling a fast one.

The real headline on this thread ought to be "KW's an idiot GM."
But then again, who'd read that. We already know that to be fact.

34 Inch Stick
07-08-2003, 09:50 AM
The book passage that was quoted stated the genius would unload Koch for someone who is younger, cheaper and possibly better.

Foulke is not younger nor cheaper and with the year he is having, will probably not be an A next year. He also took on a below average backup catcher and gave up a starting pitching prospect.

Beane won the trade but not because of his genius. The success did not follow his reasoning. If future events turn out favorable but not based on logic I do not call that reason, I call that luck.

By the way, does the book consider the Olivo trade a win for Beane?

Irishsox1
07-08-2003, 10:01 AM
Foulke keep on mouthing off about wanting to start. I wonder if he's keep that stuff up in Oakland? I was very tired of his change up and how he couldn't find his release point.

As for Koch, I have no idea why he throws 93 and not 98, but maybe a trip to the set up might role might help. As for Billy Beane, he should keep his mouth shut as to how he rips off or takes advantage of other GM's. If he keeps this up, he'll find out the hard way why its better to keep your ears open and mouth shut.

Gumshoe
07-08-2003, 10:11 AM
34 inch stick, how can you say that the success didn't follow his reasoning? Maybe he didn't get an "all-in-one" closer (younger, cheaper, better), but he got a pitcher that was CLEARLY dominant in all statistical categories for one that was lacking in control and overrated. Here is the kicker. Koch, besides his 93 innings pitched last year, averaged 17 pitches per inning. Not only was his workload high, it was exacerbated by a abnormally high pitch count PER inning! We can't say Beane knew he was hurt anyhow, but it's clear that any objective viewer of stats would see that the potential for Koch to have arm troubles of any kind was easily visible.

Valentine was the younger part of that. He also makes the deal cheaper since he might give him a shot and drop Foulke after this year (5 MIL + 275,000) [Foulke + potential Valentine] is much less than (2 x 4.3 MIL) [Koch] .... + he'll get a draft pick for losing Foulke, another point of moneyball.

Beane DEFINITELY won the trade by reason. If you get a much better closer for someone who won't even pitch effectively, a young closer, and a backup catcher, it's easy to give up potentially damaged goods and a starting pitcher when you have 3 studs in your rotation already.

As for the book, I would say there are only 3 times where they say a quick statement and overrate Beane and his story. One of those times is when they deal with a chapter dedicated to Chad Bradford (great story). They never mention Olivo's name, but before Lewis gets into the Bradford story full steam, he says they got Bradford for "virtually nothing"

Obviously, the Sox made out WAY better on that deal in that a catcher is harder to find .... although I do admit we could use Bradford. It just seems like KW gets into a spiral and deals, keeps dealin', etc.

My main beef with the Sox with KW and JM is that they treated Foulke like horseSH*T and he was arguably the best closer in the game from 1999 to 2002! He had one bad month and people acted like he didn't have it anymore. Crazy. The solace we have is that whenever someone else comes in as relief we know that KW must feel SO dumb.

The best thing is that if we don't win this year, KW and JM are GONE. Good riddance. It's a win-win situation for us. BTW guys, all this talk, and we're not above .500. Everyone is acting like we're a great team with all these acquisitions. I'm not sure about us with Manuel still, and why should I be when the JM - KW team hasn't produced for 3 f'n years!

Gumshoe

B. Diddy
07-08-2003, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
i don't think you have to have special information to realize a guy with koch's workload last season is at high risk for arm troubles. its common sense and kenny decided to overlook it thinking he could simply keep koch on a shorter leash this season and he'd be perfectly healthy. never underestimate the stupidity of baseball general managers. just because they were hired doesn't mean they always think things through. it wasn't hard to read a lot of trade analysis at the time that commented on koch's workload.

I completely agree. I would never trade for a reliever who threw over 90 innings the previous season. Just look what happened to Kelly Wunsch...

D'Angelo F Death
07-08-2003, 10:52 AM
From Moneyball
Koch would get his saves and be perceived by other teams to be a much more critical piece of a successful team than he actually was, whereupon the A's would trade him for something cheaper, younger, and possibly even better.



This is insane. The A's have been a 100 win team for the past three years, and supposedly Beane intentionally plagues them with what he thinks is a subpar closer? ***? In order to make a trade in the 02/03 offseason? The A's were probably good enough to win the Series each of the past three seasons. It doesn't wash that Beane would sabotage their Series chances with Koch. I don't buy this at all.

Beane was not "stuck" with Koch. That's his spin on it now.

And this nonsense about Beane's genius in getting Chad Bradford (oh you should've heard Michael Lewis go on & on about this on NPR) is crap. Olivo's gonna be great. Bradford is a 60-innings-a-year guy. How can that compare to a gold-glove catcher who will be a good hitter someday soon?

Dadawg_77
07-08-2003, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by Gumshoe

My main beef with the Sox with KW and JM is that they treated Foulke like horseSH*T and he was arguably the best closer in the game from 1999 to 2002! He had one bad month and people acted like he didn't have it anymore. Crazy. The solace we have is that whenever someone else comes in as relief we know that KW must feel SO dumb.
Gumshoe

They bench Foulke after losing a game to the Expos by Vlad homer, but they year after the mighty Carl Crawford beats Koch he is still in the pitcher for being a closer. That is horsecrap and an great example of bad evaluation of a player's skills.

34 Inch Stick
07-08-2003, 11:29 AM
Gumshoe, I admit it appears Beane won the trade (I would like to see what Cotts/Valentine do though). However it wasn't because of his genius. If it was his genius he would have gotten somebody younger, cheaper and with more potential.

You call someone like Einstein a genius because builds upon existing information to theorize something like the existence of black holes. At a later date, when more information is available, it is proven that they do exist and that Einstein's formulae for why they exist is correct.

Beane's success in this case is equated more to someone like me theorizing black holes exist because the world is like one big toilet bowl. I might end up being correct but it is not really based on genius.

I have found very few people I consider to be genius' who aspire to a career in professional sports.

Gumshoe
07-08-2003, 11:39 AM
I'm not a Beane advocate. I think he is overrated. He is a solid GM though, and as far as they go, one of the best. Look at it SIMPLY.
Did the trade help the White Sox? NO.

Did it help the A's? YES

If you reverse the roles, the Sox have probably 6-7 more wins and the A's have 4-5 more losses. That's a 10 game swing.

What's more, how did we know that Olivo would be dependable defensively? That's just as lucky, big stick. If Olivo looks like he's still developing (and not ready --- there's not way they could have known for sure he'd be as good as he is this year), we're REALLY screwed.

So we took on HUGE risk at C, we lost a way better closer, AND we swapped two minor league pitchers. Sounds like we got duped BIG time.

Foulke You
07-08-2003, 12:04 PM
From the Sun-Times Sox notes section:

"While there are plenty of theories floating around on what it would take to get Billy Koch back on track, everybody with the White Sox agrees the right-hander is not injured.

''Usually when you see a drop in velocity like that, it's a red flag thinking that there might be something physically wrong,'' pitching coach Don Cooper said. ''But in my conversations with him, he's not. He's feeling OK, and he's fine.''

Watching Koch, it is obvious that since losing up to 8 mph on his fastball from last season, he is relying more on breaking balls. Cooper said he is doing all he can to make the fastball a mainstay in Koch's arsenal.

''He knows he's down a little bit, but maybe sometimes he's trying to do too much and who knows,'' Cooper said. ''Maybe he's tensing up, gripping the ball too tight, overthrowing, jumping out there to try to produce more right now, and more is not always better.

''It's not something that we're resting on and saying, 'That's it, we can't do anything here.' As a coach and players, you're determined to try and get it better.''

Here is the link to the whole article:

Koch's velocity (http://www.suntimes.com/output/sox/cst-spt-doug072.html)

I'm of the opinion that when the White Sox i.e. Cooper "corrected" Billy Koch's mechanics they messed up his ability to throw that 99 mph heater that we are used to seeing from Billy over the years. It is obvious that Koch isn't comfortable throwing this new way, can't get any gas behind his fastball, and is struggling mightily with the new style. I remember reading a quote from Cooper earlier in the year that said that "correcting" Koch's mechanics will preserve his career and prevent injury. It is ironic because Koch isn't going to have much of a career left if he doesn't find that velocity and get that E.R.A. under 5.50. Let the guy pitch the way he has always pitched and get your money's worth out of him. If he goes down with an injury at some point, so be it. At least he will be effective until that time.

Tragg
07-08-2003, 12:38 PM
We could use Mark Johnson now, too.

I don't like Beane because I don't like the way he operates. Good, quality sales people make win-win deals.
Beane tries to put one over on people - he tries to screw them and is then proud of himself when he does. Repeating that behavior USAUALLY often means that people won't do business with you anymore.

I guess baseball has a never-ending supply of sucker-gms. Personally, I wouldn't do business with they guy no matter what he had to offer, period, end of story.

JasonC23
07-08-2003, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by Tragg
I don't like Beane because I don't like the way he operates. Good, quality sales people make win-win deals.
Beane tries to put one over on people - he tries to screw them and is then proud of himself when he does.

Just for the record, this isn't completely true. To get Koch, Beane traded Eric Hinske, who would go on to become Rookie of the Year (and would really help the A's offense right about now). To get Jermaine Dye, he traded Angel Berrora, I believe, who is now the Royals' starting SS. Despite the fact that I loathe calling an AA pitcher a great prospect, people here are really excited about Neil Cotts, who came over in the Koch-Foulke trade. Even though Chad Bradford has been lights-out for the A's, he gave the Sox Miguel Olivo, from whom some people on here see great things in the future (although he's hitting like crap now and is disappointing me so far). So he has been known to give up talent.

What he's great at (and should rightfully be proud with himself about) is that he always gets talent in return, and more often than not, it's superior talent. That's something most GMs haven't been able to master...when they make a bad deal, it's crippling to their team (see Ritchie for Wells & Fogg). Beane doesn't do that (at least not yet he hasn't).

Tragg
07-08-2003, 09:15 PM
Specifically I refer to a few episodes in his infobook whereby he brags about putting one over on people. For most ball players, the info is out there - if he evaluates the pubic info more shrewdely than the next guy, fine; but when he lies about players to other GMS, it's unethical and I want nothing to do with him.

JasonC23
07-09-2003, 08:28 AM
Originally posted by Tragg
Specifically I refer to a few episodes in his infobook whereby he brags about putting one over on people. For most ball players, the info is out there - if he evaluates the pubic info more shrewdely than the next guy, fine; but when he lies about players to other GMS, it's unethical and I want nothing to do with him.

Where does he lie about players? And I mean flat-out lie, not just omit the fact that the GM is not properly evaluating the player. Billy Beane may do what all GMs do (emphasize the bad stuff about the player[s] they're trying to obtain while emphasizing the good stuff about the player[s] they're giving up, all to lower the acquisition price), but that's not lying. If Kenny (for example) is too dumb to realize that Beane is mis-emphasizing the value of the players in question, that's his problem, not Beane's.

kempsted
07-09-2003, 10:57 AM
Actually other than save totals if you look at Koch and Foulke last year - the year Koch was supposed to be great and Foulke awful he had better numbers. Certainly in the Sabr type stats. Here was something posted back in December or Januaury from the Baseball Perspective

This from the Baseball Prospectus

by Derek Zumsteg

Billy Beane rides again: Billy Koch, Proven Closer, has been wrapped
up with two minor leaguers we haven't heard about yet and traded to
the White Sox for Keith Foulke, Mark Johnson, Joe Valentine, and cash.

Keith Foulke rules. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise -- the line
that he "was a closer who lost his job for most of the year" overlooks
entirely the fact that he was taken out of the role not because he
sucked, but because he had a couple of bad outings in a row and his
manager was stupid. He's been one of baseball's best relievers since
1999 (and he threw 105 innings that year!). Koch... Koch hasn't.


Here were the stats

Pitcher G IP R ARA APR IRnr/G EIRs/G IRP BRS RRA ARP

Foulke,K 65 77.7 26 2.83 15.8 0.32 0.11 3.3 0.4 2.63 17.5
Koch,B 84 93.7 38 3.50 12.1 0.13 0.04 0.6 0.8 3.47 12.4


Here are the links to the tools and the report cards from last year

Tools 1 (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/other/rreglossary.html)

Tools 2 (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/19990312wolverton.html)

Report card (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/current/rrereport02.html#teamtot)