Naturally this post comes after Tracy Ringolsby suggests Billy Beane may leave his general manager position in Oakland to take over the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer. Remember back in November 2002 when Beane agreed to become Red Sox general manager for half a day? In Moneyball a few of his prospective moves were listed, and I just so happened to run across the page while looking for something regarding J.P. Ricciardi. Amongst the moves Michael Lewis listed or at least heavily implied:
Jason Varitek being replaced by Mark L. Johnson.
Bill Mueller taking over at third base as Beane sold high on Shea Hillendbrand.
Nomar Garciaparra presumably staying at shortstop.
Manny Ramirez shifting to DH.
Edgardo Alfonzo signing and taking over at second.
Looking over the rest of the 2002 roster the position players looked like this:
C: Varitek/Doug Mirabelli
1B: Tony Clark/Brian Daubach/Jose Offerman
2B: Rey Sanchez/Lou Merloni
CF: Johnny Damon
RF: Trot Nixon
DH: Carlos Baerga/Cliff Floyd
Keep in mind that heading forward Kevin Youkilis was to be sent to Oakland as compensation for Beane along with another prospect and that David Ortiz had yet to be signed. Of the players listed that weren't previously mentioned Nixon, Sanchez, Clark, Offerman, and Nixon would seem most likely to be replaced. Daubach likely would've became the starting first baseman and with new found funds Beane could've possibly re-signed Floyd to play some outfield, giving a potential lineup a look of something like this:
Assuming that each of the players replicated their 2003 seasons the exact same way as a member of the Red Sox as they did elsewhere and using Johnson's minor league numbers from 2003 I plugged the digits into Baseball Musings' lineup analyzer for fun, like the rest of this exercise, and was told the above lineup would produce 5.99 runs per game, a little more than the 5.93 the 2003 Red Sox actually averaged.
So essentially Beane's lineup would've been slightly better, but that's of course assuming Garciaparra stayed healthy and well...