A's win is a triumph for Beane and Melvin, and the A's scouts (yes, they have scouts)
General manager Billy Beane and manager Bob Melvin both deserve huge credit for the A's incredible run to the American League West title. And, despite what you may have learned in Moneyball, the A's scouts deserve a ton of credit, too.
The amazing A's did it.
Give credit to Billy Beane. Give credit to Bob Melvin.
Give credit to the A's scouts.
The A's have scouts?
"Billy does a great job, but we don't have a machine that comes up with players," owner Lew Wolff told me a couple of weeks back. "It's too bad that the movie didn't show the respect and dependence we put on our scouting staff."
Moneyball told a story, but it wasn't the whole story of the 2002 A's, and it's definitely not the story of the 2012 A's who just shocked the Rangers (and the baseball world) and won the American League West.
So here's another story, a story that fits 2012:
The A's liked Yoenis Cespedes. They liked him because their scouts had traveled all over the world to see him play for Cuba. They liked him enough that they wanted to gamble $36 million out of their small budget to sign him.
And Wolff agreed to do it because he had confidence in his scouts.
Not in his computers. In his scouts.
"The people who saw him play," Wolff said.
Now we've all seen him play. We've seen the A's go 82-46 with him in the lineup, the best record any American League team has with any player.
The A's don't win the West without Cespedes. They don't win the West without the trio of big, bold trades Beane made last winter, moving three successful major-league pitchers (Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill and Andrew Bailey) for packages of players that included Josh Reddick, Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker.
They don't win the West without Melvin, who understood that the team he inherited from Bob Geren needed to add some toughness. By the end of last year, the A's were already starting to show it.
With the A's winning the West, Melvin may now beat out Buck Showalter in what should be a close race for AL Manager of the Year. Beane will get great support for Executive of the Year, as he should.
And the A's scouts?
Just don't forget that they exist.