Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Moneyball: Mabry for Giambi

I finally got around to watching the critically acclaimed Moneyball this weekend; I read the book many years ago. Overall the movie was enjoyable, but honestly the book was better. Anyway, I am not a film critic and I am not here to delve into the inaccuracies of the movie or the over dramatizing of it all. Nope, I want to revisit the John Mabry for Jeremy Giambi trade between Billy Beane and Ed Wade that was depicted as a major turning point in the Oakland Athletics 2002 season in Moneyball.

Giambi was portrayed as a goon that didn't care whether the team won or lost and his troubled past with the law and strippers and wild nightlife antics were brought into light. Beane was tired of losing and didn't like the vibe Jeremy was radiating in the clubhouse, so he got the Phillies GM on the phone and made a trade happen in less than a minute (because that's how it really works...). Phils sent the struggling Mabry to Oakland where he went on to hit .275/.846 in 89 games. Meanwhile, Giambi .244/.974 in 82 games. Funny thing, I did not remember the "little Giambi" as such a potent producer. With only 38 hits with the Phils, he hit 10 doubles, 12 homeruns, scored 32 runs, knocked in 28, and walked 52 times. The Phils didn't have the same success for the rest of the season as the A's did though. The A's went on to win a MLB record 20 straight games and make it to the playoffs with a minuscule payroll. Whereas the Phillies sputtered to a losing record under Larry Bowa. In 2003, Wade flipped Giambi to the Red Sox for Josh Hancock.

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