Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Next Billy Beane

Today I was watching the Mets-Brewers game and something seemingly insignificant caught my attention. The Brewers sent up Hernan Iribarren to the plate, it was his first major league at bat, and the first pitch Hernan sees he smacks up the middle for a single. Almost comically, Mets pitcher Carlos Muniz abruptly picked off poor Hernan Iribarren at first base. The announcers and everyone watching were all laughing "Haha, that sucks!" however I realized the deep implications of the pick-off.

At that moment, Hernan's career as a baseball player was ruined but also simultaneously a different and exciting was destined. He will one day become the GM of a baseball team and be very very successful. Why is this? Simply because the exact same thing happened to Billy Beane as a player. On page 49 of the infamous book Moneyball by Michael Lewis it is stated, "Billy got his first big league hit off Jerry Koosman─who immediately picked him off first base. It was funny; it was also sad." Billy went on to have a terrible career, which led to him choosing the path of baseball executive over player.

I'm not sure if anybody else has been picked off first base on their first major league hit, I don't feel like finding out. I wouldn't be surprised if it happened to a few others, but not more than 2 or 3.

Anyway, if this Hernan Iribarren guy becomes the next Billy Beane, you can call me God. Of course that wouldn't happen until around 10-15 years or so, and we'll all forget by then, but I'm making my prediction nevertheless.




Anonymous said...

It happened to Ryan Theriot like 2,3 years ago and I'm sure a bunch of times through out the history of baseball

Swishmynish33 said...

Thanks for noting that "anonymous". Although I'd be surprised if that has actually happened a bunch of times. If I got my first major league hit, the last thing I'd want to do is get picked-off at first. I would be very focused on the game, not chatting with the 1st basemen like most players do.