Billy Beane's Lack of Adaptation Means His Genius is Gone

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IMay 19, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 1:  Lewis Wolff (C), new co-owner and managing partner of the Oakland Athletics, holds a jersey during a photo-op with Athletics Vice President and General Manager Billy Beane (R) and President Michael Crowley at a news conference on April 1, 2005 in Oakland, California. Major League Baseball approved the sale of the Athletics on March 30th to a group headed by Wolff which includes his son, Keith Wolff, and billionaire John Fisher, son of Gap founder Donald Fisher.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Billy Beane used too make great decisions and make trades that benefited the Oakland A's, but lately, Beane's genius has backfired on him, and it hasn't been pretty for the Oakland A's.

No one could make the argument that the hiring of Ken Macha was the beginning of the end for the A's run, but at least Macha had teams that made the playoffs and had a winning record.

The first real mistake by Beane, though it happened long before the hiring of Macha, was that Beane was so intent on pitching prospects that he forgot about developing the corner infielders, mostly at first base and as the injuries mounted for Eric Chavez.  It was also time to invest in a third basemen as well.

With that being said, that never happened. Chavez hasn't been able to stay healthy for a while now, and the one player the A's truly had going for them was Daric Barton, who showed flashes of his promise at the end of the 2007 season but totally regressed in 2008.

Just imagine if the A's had another first basemen waiting in the midst to take over for Barton if he struggled.

Another mistake is that as the A's continued to trade away pitchers such as Joe Blanton, Rich Harden, Dan Haren, and Chad Gaudin. As well as trading away one of their most popular players in Nick Swisher. The A's didn't do anything to address their needs in the field, and instead,they got plenty of pitching talent, but little else in terms of players who could contribute to the club.

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The only exception is Ryan Sweeney, who has proven to be a solid player and was the A's best hitter in 2008 when he was healthy.

Another issue that was definitely a head scratcher, to say the least, was the hiring of Bob Geren after Macha was let go and when the A's could have hired fan favorite Ron Washington to lead the club.

This quite possibly was the stupidest decision Beane has ever made. Geren has proven time and time again that he has no clue what he is doing out there.

It is beyond frustrating trying to watch the A's under the direction of Geren, because there's absolutely no direction the A's are going except down. The A's have gone from relevant to irrelevant, in the matter of just one year under Geren.

On top of this, the A's have lacked a big bat in the lineup, since Frank Thomas left after the 2006 season to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays.

To try to bridge the gap, Beane brought in Jack Cust, who is a good story, but he doesn't have the ability to be that man who drives in a lot of runs with his power.  He takes too many good pitches and isn't aggressive, and he is proned to the strikeout.

The A's have also needed a big bat from the right side of the plate. After Thomas was released by the Blue Jays in 2008, the A's signed him in hopes that he returned to being the power source he was in 2006, but injuries got in the way of that.

Also, signed in the 2008 season was Mike Sweeney, another man who spent time on the disabled list and was ultimately released towards the end of the season.

Beane did bring in Matt Holliday for the 2009 season.  He has shown he can drive in runs but hasn't been hitting for much power and has struggled throughout the season so far.

Even though Holliday would be a 20-30 home run guy for the A's, Beane also signed Jason Giambi to help build the power and hitting of the lineup. For the season, Giambi has been a total disappointment, only hitting two home runs so far and struggling at the plate due to injuries.

Lastly, though what is much worse and what Beane continues to ignore is the fact that under Geren, this season is over already. There's no way the A's are going to find a way to come back from the deficit to catch the Texas Rangers or Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. 

Under Geren, the team has no heart. The only player that does is Rajai Davis, and he's a bench player who comes in if the A's have a lead for defensive purposes or he'll get a spot start as well.

It's time for Beane to start making changes to the club. And it starts with Geren, who was his worst decision. And it's time for Beane to admit and apologize to A's fans for making the horrible mistake of hiring Geren.