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Tom Verducci's View

May 26, 2003
May 26, 2003

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May 26, 2003

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Tom Verducci's View

JUMPING BEANE

This is an article from the May 26, 2003 issue

Rangers assistant general manager Grady Fuson joined White Sox
G.M. Kenny Williams, Mets G.M. Steve Phillips and the rest of a
chorus of baseball executives unhappy with the hubris of A's
general manager Billy Beane as captured in the book Moneyball
(SI, May 12). Fuson, a former Oakland scouting director, lashed
out at Beane for dismissing the work of his scouts. Fuson also
recalled that Beane, whose every decision seems spun of gold in
the book, preferred Ariel Prieto over Todd Helton in the 1995
draft and was not enthusiastic about drafting Eric Chavez.

Says one American League scout, "Oakland has always won [a
playoff spot] through second-half trades. Billy better not count
on that this year."

STATISTICAL TWINS

Tigers lefthander Mike Maroth, far left, and Blue Jays
righthander Cory Lidle appear to be having very similar seasons,
as their numbers in their first nine starts show:

GS IP H ER BB SO ERA

Maroth 9 54.2 52 32 10 28 5.27
Lidle 9 58.1 59 33 11 44 5.09

Maroth, however, was 0-8 while Lidle was 6-2 and among the
American League leaders in wins. They provide yet another
reminder that who you pitch for helps shape a won-lost record as
much as how you pitch. Maroth works for the team that has scored
the fewest runs in the league, while Lidle's club has the AL's
most productive offense. Detroit had scored 22 runs in Maroth's
first nine starts; Toronto scored 55 runs in Lidle's nine starts.
Even though Maroth had more quality starts (at least six innings
with no more than three earned runs), with five to Lidle's two,
he is on track to become the first 20-game loser in 23 years
while Lidle should surpass his career high of 13 wins.

THREE STRIKES FOR ...
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter

Q: Have you sworn off headfirst slides?

A: I might not do it for a while, but I will again eventually.
You can't worry about getting hurt in this game.

Q: Is the headfirst slide instinctive for you?

A: Actually, I never slid headfirst in my life until I did it in
1998 against the Mets at first base to avoid a tag. Remember when
Al Leiter blew out his knee? That was me [on that play].

Q: Did you learn anything from your latest trip to the DL?

A: Yeah, I have no patience. I never really had much, but now I
know I have none. Serious character flaw.

COLOR PHOTO: MICHAEL ZAGARIS (BEANE) Beane draws fire.COLOR PHOTO: DUANE BURELESON/AP (MAROTH)COLOR PHOTO: LINDA KAYE/AP (LIDLE)COLOR PHOTO: HEINZ KLUETMEIER (JETER)