By Jason Wojciechowski on February 7, 2012 at 7:00 PM
The biggest news of the day is that Billy Beane is now guaranteed a salary through 2019. Barring a radical change in owner, it seems likely at this point that Beane will be with the A's for exactly as long as he wants to be with the A's. Nobody is untouchable, and Beane has made his share of mistakes, but when you're signing a guy out to years that are hard to even contemplate, you're talking about practically lifetime deals.
Michael Crowley gets the same deal, by the way, but as I understand it, his main job is stadium stuff, which issues I leave to those who cover them better than I ever could.
Jim Bowden says ($$$) that the A's are having discussions about Johnny Damon. I'm pretty sure that's news to me. Crappy news. Damon being Bowden's fourth-best available free agent does not assuage these feelings.
Sometimes things come up in my Google Alerts and I just ... I don't even know, man. So here. I'm not even going to react.
Alan has a nice look, using the Pythagorean runs relationship, at how good the A's were if we remove various excuses for their overall record -- was it Bob Geren's fault? Was it just the big losing streak? Did lopsided losses throw their run differential out of wack? (Answer to all, not to spoil the post: no.)
Dave Cameron looks at the 10 best transactions of the off-season at FanGraphs, and there's a bunch of A's content. He likes the Andrew Bailey deal for Boston and the Seth Smith trade for Oakland as honorable mentions, while the Gio Gonzalez deal gets ranked eighth in favor of the A's.
Rebecca Glass and Corey Dawkins have a free piece at Baseball Prospectus looking at former Athletic Chris Snelling in the first of a series examining the most injured players of the decade.
R.J. Anderson's article at BP today, also free, mentions Jack Cust, so of course it gets a link. It's a good piece even aside from Cust, because it examines the question of whether there appears to be a particular skill at hitting with two strikes. The answer, overall, appears to be "no" -- good hitters hit and bad hitters don't, with or without two strikes.
In the category of Me: Elsewhere comes this ode to Rick Ankiel at The Platoon Advantage. It has both PITCHf/x stats and a video game YouTube.