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Is Billy Beane the man for the job in Flushing?

Over at New York magazine, Will Leitch provides a compelling argument for replacing Omar Minaya with Billy Beane as the team's general manager for next season. Barring a remarkable final two months (the Mets would likely need to go something like 40-18 to snag the Wild Card), many believe that Omar will get canned. And why not? Even if you forget about the PR humiliations, his recent baseball decisions (other than fleecing the Twins for Johan) struggle to make any sense.

Leitch points out that once the bigger market teams learned the techniques promoted in Moneyball and put them into practice, Beane's advantage was gone. A competitive payroll, he says, is what the current A's GM needs to be successful again. And with a roster worth nearly $150 million, the Mets certainly have that.

It's an intriguing scenario. The Mets have the financial resources and desperately need to inject some modern baseball thinking and structure to right the ship (that and a competent medical staff). If Beane is the baseball genius that many made him out to be earlier this decade, he'd surely be able to keep them competitive and hopefully take the team to the next level.

Whether Beane is still a front office superstar has been up for debate recently. Beane took over as GM in 1998, and the A's finished in last place. But from 1999 through 2006, they finished in either 1st or 2nd place in the AL West, made the playoffs five times, won 90+ games six times, and won a playoff series (2006 ALDS vs Twins). The A's then dropped to 3rd in 2007 and 2008, winning 76 and 75 games, respectively. This year has been brutal, as they currently sit at 44-60, dead last in the division.

Three consecutive seasons of win totals in the 70s isn't good. But it's not gawd awful, either, particularly when he's continually (forced?) to trade away the top talent in the organization. My guess he's still a more-than-capable baseball man who has had a couple bad years and the haters are reveling in his struggles and feasting while they can. Maybe he needs a change. If he is indeed available, I'm with Leitch: the Mets should go after him.

And if they can add Bobby V too, even better.

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