When people mention the name of Oakland A's general manager, Billy Beane, many adjectives follow: Overrated, brilliant, shrewd and ring-less are a few. And while there are those who may never give Beane the credit he deserves for having built a solid small-market playoff contender during the 2000s, the job he has done in 2012 simply cannot be overstated.
Understand, the A's were simply supposed to be a bad rebuilding team working towards a new stadium in Oakland or elsewhere. It was expected that their nucleus would not be solidified until at least 2014, and this was supposed to be the year when the bottom finally fell out completely to allow the A's to reload through the MLB Draft like the Washington Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays.
Instead, the Oakland A's sit on top of the American League Wild Card and a mere four games from the top of the AL West standings. Much has been made of this story, but considering that Beane made moves that all seemed to shake in Oakland's favor, it is high time he is given the credit due for turning this team into a mostly unlikely playoff contender.
The moves Beane made have turned a middling franchise into the talk of baseball. And here are his best of 2012 and why he should be Executive of the Year.