If you had a sneaking, baseless suspicion that Billy Beane’s antics in Moneyball, and his corresponding actions in real life were all inspired by something the Phillies did, then you, apparently were right. Congratualtions. I’m sure you have an evening of vindictive, profane phone calls to make to friends and family. Finally, finally after years of accusations and humiliation at your class reunion, one of your Phillies theories was proven right. Whose ‘possibly insane’ now, Principal Fredrickson?!
Billy Beane has been highly touted or critically debunked a lot in the past few years, but, like with anything, there wasn’t any real reason to pay attention to him until he involved the Phillies. Which he did, when he showed up at Villanova this week.
Now let’s take that theory of yours about Billy just pandering to the locals right out of the equation. We in and around Philly-types don’t succumb to brazen, meaningless flattery. Obviously that does not include players tipping their caps at us or winking at us or waving to us or generally acknowledging our existence. Those are once in a lifetime situations in which we are not responsible for our actions, whether they involve giggling or intense clapping that lasts for several innings.
Doing things like invoking the ’93 Phillies in a speech at a Philadelphia-area university kind of seems like pandering, but like I said, that would have been useless.
"“Those ’93 Phillies took a ton of pitches, walked a ton, and scored a ton of runs. That’s when it hit me.”–Billy Beane"
So you see, all of Billy Beane’s success and power and thoughts can be attributed to the sexiest baseball team of the modern era. But he didn’t stop there. He included a charming anecdote about Lenny Dykstra that didn’t have any hookers in it. In fact, it was about him being a tidy roommate. It wasn’t really an anecdote. More of a sentence, really.
It is sort of amazing that Beane was able to keep a clear thought in his head throughout the dialogue at Villanova, as the panel he sat on also included Omar Minaya, whose parasitic brain slug remains extremely active and very easily spread amongst baseball executives.