The SF Chronicle’s Bruce Jenkins correctly reminds his readers that former Denver Post columnist Tracy Ringolsby has long stranding animosity against “Moneyball” — if not for the book’s author, Michael Lewis, than certainly for protagonist / A’s GM Billy Beane. As such, the man with the cowboy remains an ardent critic of Beane’s, with last week’s shipment of Matt Holliday to the Cardinals providing yet another opportunity to take a shot or 3. (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
On Monday, Ringolsby (above) addressed the Holliday trade in his FoxSports.com column. The issue we’re all trying to evaluate is the matter of (a) acquiring Holliday for Huston Street, Carlos Gonzalez and Greg Smith; and (b) unloading Holliday for Brett Wallace, Shane Peterson and Clayton Mortensen. Some, including FoxSports’ own Ken Rosenthal, have called this exchange the latest measure of Beane’s genius.
Ringolsby, who has always been known for his extensive knowledge of the minor leagues, begs to differ. Of the three prospects acquired from the Cardinals, “none showed promise of having an impact in St. Louis,” he wrote. “It’s a gamble that backfired on Beane. His hope was that a strong first half by Holliday would perk the interest of contenders, but instead left him without a strong bidding war. Beane had to cut his losses and take what he could get for Holliday, even if it also required the tight-budgeted A’s to include $1.5 million to help offset what remains on Holliday’s $13.5 million salary in 2009.
“Beane went 0-for-3. Wallace is a DH-in-waiting, nothing more, and had only 35 RBIs this year in 94 games combined between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Louisville. Mortensen, like Wallace, has been rushed in the minors, where he is a combined 16-19 with a 4.31 ERA. Peterson is considered a “tweener” among scouts, which means he projects as a possible backup outfielder, not having the speed to be a center fielder on a contender nor the power to play a corner position on a daily basis.”
Ringolsby went on to note Street’s value to the Rockies (“he has regained his late-inning magic) and adds that Wallace “is not in the same area code as Gonzalez in any category beyond power.” The truth is that nobody really has a clue how this will all turn out in the end. We certainly know, however, how Mr. Ringolsby feels about it.