Tuesday, September 15, 2009
We kidnapped Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane figuring he’d be valuable as one of baseball’s top GMs but learned his cost-cutting team wouldn’t pay a ransom, as Beane had instructed. So, here we were, fledgling kidnappers, stuck with an unransomable executive, burdened with startup costs such as guns, fake IDs, warehouse space. We treated him well, housed him in clean quarters and even fed him bottom-line-squeezing coconut shrimp he’d requested, as we pondered what next. After two days, he said, look, I’ve considered what you guys do, and have devised a system to determine who’d be worth the most in ransom in terms of money and risk. Of course, we were all ears. Three names for you: Mark Cuban, Steve Jobs, Ben Carson. That’s a lot of money/importance. He said, it’s statistical analysis, I’m just telling you what the equations produce. You also came up with McCurdy, Fritz, and Obenchain, reminding him of failed draft picks. He squirmed in his seat, said, you win some, you lose some. Bill, these aren’t draft picks, if we lose, we’re toast. That reminds me—the amateur draft’s coming. Any chance of settling this by then? How about some more shrimp? We the kidnappers looked at each other. What’re we going to do with this guy?