I've found all the Billy Beane/Ken Macha drama recently to be really interesting. If you're not up to date, here you go:
Macha cited two postseason incidents involving what he perceived as a dispute with Beane.
-- According to Macha, Beane wanted Bobby Kielty to start against left-handers, as had been the case in the final weeks of the regular season. But Macha started Kotsay against Johan Santana of Minnesota and Nate Robertson and Kenny Rogers of Detroit.
-- Macha said he wanted 14-game winner Dan Haren to start Game 3 against the Tigers in the American League Championship Series and be available for a possible Game 7. But Rich Harden, who was injured most of the season, was picked to start Game 3. It was Beane's call, said Macha, who went along with the decision.
Macha was fired because of what Beane described as a "disconnect on several levels," and five players -- Kotsay, Haren, Jason Kendall, Eric Chavez and Barry Zito -- made unfavorable comments about Macha in Tuesday's Chronicle. Kotsay said he felt "disrespected" that Macha seemingly questioned why he wasn't playing a road game when the team was off the day before.
Kotsay, who battled a bad back during the season, also said the A's "didn't play" for Macha and rallied among themselves, adding Macha "didn't have my back."
I guess the reason I find this so interesting is because this is what I believe a manager / general manager relationship should be like. The general manager puts together a team at every step of the way, from the draft, to signing free agents, to making trades, and it seems ridiculous to let the manager use the players that the GM has acquired in ways the GM wouldn't approve.
Wouldn't it have been smart of Wayne Krivsky to have told Narron "hey you know, Franklin wasn't really brought in for high leverage situations. He's more of a mop up, innings eater type, so let's use him like that, ok?"
I mean, alright maybe Krivsky would have used him the same way that Narron did, but I think the argument stands because Krivsky seems to involve Narron in planning at an alarming level. It doesn't make sense to me at all, and I think Beane does things the correct way. The man has a plan, and he wants the plan carried out.
I'm not sure Wayne Krivsky even has a plan for the players he acquires, other than to pray that they do well. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.
I also found this interesting:
Where did we go for the talk? Billy zipped right into Macha's office, which was empty for the time being, plopped down and started eating.
Looked at me, said, "Go ahead, ask." Usually, everybody stays out of the manager's office, by the way, unless the manager is there and is fine with it. Not the A's way, though.
I started asking, but a few minutes later Macha and Curt Young came back, with plates of food and just in their underwear, obviously looking to eat, change clothes and relax.
They stared at us, I stared at them, Billy just kept eating and talking.
Macha tenatively sat down behind his desk for a few seconds. Very uncomfortable. Shot another glance at Beane. Glared at me. I shrugged, said to Beane, "Umm, maybe we should do this somewhere else."
Beane looked up like this was the first he'd noticed Macha was there-or cared that he was there-dropped his plate, then just waved at Macha, pointing him out the door. Remember, this was Macha's own office. After winning for something like the 33rd time in 40 games.
"Ken, you can let us do this, right?" Beane said as he waved.
Beane turned back to me and never looked at Macha again as Macha and Young sighed, got up, and moved out.
That was the relationship. Right there. Beane is the man. Macha always knew it, even when he was in his own office.
And that's the way it oughta be. The GM should be the center of the franchise. Not the damn manager.