Billy Beane: Baseball Savant And Water Waster

Photos by Chris Cocoles
Photos by Chris Cocoles


When I saw that America’s most beloved and  favorite shills  family, the Kardashians, were outed as one of the state’s biggest water wasters amid our drought, how we could not LOL at the thought of an oblivious Kim, Kris or Khloe defiantly leaving the sprinklers on as they filmed North getting her ear pierced, Kanye preparing so diligently and obsessively for that Video Music Awards speech (thank you, Jesus for whoever attached the Seinfield theme to this landmark orator’s wet dream).

But I wasn’t laughing when the Golden State’s latest H2O-sucking villain is none other than Oakland Athletics general manager executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

Beane, the A’s executive vice president of baseball operations, had the third-highest household total at 5,996 gallons per day, according to public records released Thursday by the East Bay Municipal Utility District. The average district customer uses less than 250 gallons a day.

 The Danville resident, who was profiled in the hit movie “Moneyball” for his wizardry in building winners on a shoestring budget, also owns a small percentage of the team.
Beane said he has tried to reduce his water use this year but added that he has a large landscaped yard. “I certainly pay for it,” he said.
 George Kirkland, of Danville, the retired oil executive, used 12,579 gallons of water per day — about 50 times the district average.
As the story points out, Beane wasn’t the only subject of the story accused of paying the price for a well-manicured garden and lawn when other parts of the state resemble tumbleweeds from the Old West.
But we love to stick it to Kardashians and good-looking rich guys who run baseball teams and get to be played by Brad Pitt in a movie.



I feel a little miffed by this, and I’m even a diehard Oakland Athletics’ fan and consider Billy Beane to be equal parts baseball savant, borderline genius, but also a deranged bean counter (no pun intended), arrogant, stubborn and at times reckless when it comes to selling high – sometimes when he doesn’t have to – and breaking the collective hearts of the small but rabid fan base that supports his baseball team.

As long as we’re on a Seinfeld rant, allow me my Frank Costanza moments:



“How can you give $10 million to Billy Butler?”

“Why the hell did you trade Josh Donaldson?. … You don’t what the hell you’re doing!”

Actually, A’s fans have to admit Beane does know what the hell he is doing – generally – despite this past season’s miserable record after three consecutive mostly glorious postseason appearances.

But the fact that when the state is doing everything it can to save water, Billy Beane is pulling a Kardashian and then being pompous enough to show us working-class stiffs that he is “paying for it,” he is missing the point. You know you screwed up when Deadspin piles on.

Sorry “Billy Boy:” while you better work the next few months to fix our dreadful bullpen, lock up Sonny Gray, figure out why you’re still paying Butler $20 million more the next two years and find a way to bring back fan-favorite Yoenis Cespedes to Oakland, more importantly you already struck out miserably when it comes to keeping your grass green at the expense of water we shouldn’t be using on such material possessions.