OAKLAND -- In comparing the payrolls and old rosters to new, it becomes abundantly clear that Billy Beane not only is relevant again but also actually has raised his game.
The A's general manager, having cleared his throat, expanded his mind and adjusted to an unfriendly trade climate, is more beautifully "Moneyball" now than ever.
And, moreover, the composition of the 2013 A's, who on Saturday posted a 4-3 exhibition win over San Francisco at the Coliseum, suggests he's better at it.
By creeping up on the baseball universe last season to win the A.L. West, the A's put themselves back on the MLB map, reviving a comatose franchise, captivating an abused fan base and reminding Billy that real gratification is found in victory.
How do we know this? Here's the latest clue: The A's finally gave up on Daric Barton.
Or, should we say, Billy finally gave up on one of His Guys.