Every general manager knows that one terrible trade can sink his career.
Except Billy Beane.
Even though he has fewer resources to spend on players, he might hold the biggest resource in terms of his own contract – part ownership of the team, around 10%.
You can almost see him driving around Danville with a smile on his face, dreaming about how amazing the A’s will be in 2010, secure in knowing he will still be in charge of the team when they’re finally good again.
In the past two weeks he hasn’t just made sure the A’s would be a losing team next year and probably the year after. Now they will be the most nondescript major league team in any sport as well, after trading their best pitcher (All-Star Dan Haren) and most exciting position player (Nick Swisher, traded earlier this morning).
Not only does Beane benefit from an extremely quiet fan base, partly because they have no real voice in the Bay Area, as part owner he doesn’t feel the general paranoia that almost every other general manager faces.
He probably gives himself his own employee reviews:
(Beane, looking in the mirror): “Billy, what were you thinking when you traded your best pitcher and hitter this past winter, the only durable talent the big league club had in 2007?”
“Well Beany, we got a lot of sweet prospects, and who cares, I’m known as a super genius and I…I mean we…will never get fired.”
“Good point Double-B, why don’t you go trade Huston Street for a 14-year-old catcher from Cuba?”
“Sure thing Billy, right after I go cash this revenue sharing check!”
The only comparison to Beane’s situation is Jerry Jones, who owns a higher percentage of the Cowboys but makes all the important personnel decisions. Billy’s a better looking guy than Jerry though, so hopefully he won’t inject enough botox into his face to kill Teri Hatcher as the years go by and the A’s get even younger.