Per CSN Bay Area's staff, Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane won his second Sporting News Major League Baseball Executive of the Year award for his job in molding the 2012 A's into the American League West champions.
Beane won the award with 31 out of 50 possible votes to finish ahead of the Washington Nationals’ Mike Rizzo (13) and the Texas Rangers’ Jon Daniels (6). It is Beane's second time winning the award, the first being in 1999 when the A's won 87 games and had their first winning record since 1992.
This was an award I personally said Beane should win and stumped for a few weeks ago. Despite losing his best starting pitcher in Gio Gonzalez, a more than serviceable starter in Trevor Cahill and dealing his All-Star closer in Andrew Bailey, the returns more than made up for the expenditures. Beane was a small-budget Midas in 2012, getting production out of quiet signings like Jonny Gomes and big ones like Yoenis Cespedes.
He was great with bringing up talent, getting great production from Triple-A Sacramento players Chris Carter and Brandon Moss. Despite starting five rookie pitchers in September, this bunch won. And it was Beane who made it happen, bringing up A.J. Griffin, Dan Straily and, of course, Jarrod Parker when guys like Tyson Ross and Graham Godfrey struggled.
Sometimes, it's not just about the moves you make, it's about the ones you don't. Instead of cutting his losses as people have said the A's are too quick to do, Beane let this team play its way out of a 26-35 record. Credit is definitely shared with manager Bob Melvin (who I think should be AL Manager of the Year), but that only further validates what Beane did in 2012.
There have been whispers and grumblings that men like Ken Macha and Bob Geren were well-paid lemmings of Beane's and that true autonomy wasn't given to a baseball man in Oakland. Well, that was proven wrong this year as Melvin's strong-willed, but patient leadership kept the A's afloat and ultimately, pulled them towards a division title.
While the title deserved belongs on the other side of the Bay Area with the Giants, there isn't much dispute about what the A's accomplished. If you want to try it, just ask fans in Pittsburgh and Kansas City if they wouldn't like a run at Beane Ball.