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July 11, 2014

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PAGE 10A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 11, 2014 El By Hillel Kuttler BALTIMORE (JTA) - As director of professional scout- ing and baseball development for the Oakland Athletics, Dan Feinstein scouts amateur players, evaluates the orga- nization's talent, is involved in contract negotiations and arbitration cases, ponders trades and analyzes potential free agent signees. His varied portfolio is news to at least one of the team's players. "I don't doubt that he does a lot, and has done a lot, for the organization, but I don't know to what extent," catcher Derek Norris said of Feinstein during a recent A's visit here. For the past three years, Feinstein, 42, has been one of the prominent executives powering the Oakland ap- proach to diamond success known as Moneyball under its guru, general manager Billy Beane. There's been plenty of suc- cess this season for the Ameri- can League West-leading Athletics, who boast one of the best records in baseball and stand near the top of the league in team pitching and hitting. And they've been do- ing it with an assortment of players excelling in both the traditional and Moneyball statistical categories. Beane employed the Mon- eybali strategy to enable his low-revenue Athletics to compete against richer clubs. Popularized by the Michael Lewis book "Moneybali" in 2003 and the 2011 film of the same name starring Brad Pitt, the plan has spread through- out the major leagues. Moneyball aims to identify and acquire undervalued play- ers by placing a premium on what were then newly minted statistics such as OPS (on- base-plus-slugging percent- age), as well as walks, caught stealing, pitches taken and other measures. Feinstein returned to Oak- land in 2011 after spending six seasons as director of baseball operations for the Tampa Bay Rays and a year with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had spent the better part of a de- cade splicing game videotapes for the Athletics after starting as an intern in 1994. Other than his year with the Dodgers, making do on a shoestring budget is the only professional reality Feinstein has experienced. It's one he embraces. "We're always trying to think outside the box and acquire or sign players that maybe have some hickeys to them, and I enjoy trying to findplayers thatare maybe un- dervalued with other teams," he said. "It's really the only way I know. "While it'd be nice to work with a payroll of some of the other clubs, I very much en- joy the challenge of staying within a constrained budget." Moneyball has found suc- cess in Oakland, with the Ath- letics on targetto capture their seventh A.L. West title since 2000. They've been leading the division most of this season. Josh Donaldson is second in the league in WAR (wins above replacement) and in the more mainstream category of runs scored. Teammate Coco Crisp is 10th in on-base percentage. No A's base stealer has been thrown out more than twice. On the mound, left-hander Scott Kazmir is among league leaders in WHIP (fewestwalks and hits allowed per innings pitched), as well as the more traditional statistics of wins and earned run average. In fact, the ~A's lead the A.L. in runs scored and are second in fewest runs al- lowed- all on a $74.8 million payroll, ranking them 27th in Major League Baseball. In comparison, the Dodgers and New York Yankees are over $200 million. "Obviously, we're all thrilled," Feinstein said of Oakland's 2014 strength. Feinstein is ecstatic to be working in baseball. Scouting director Dan Feinstein, left, is part of the Oakland Athletics brain along with GM Billy Beane, right, the architect of the Moneyball philosophy, June 2014. At 15, he already knew the In 1995, he jumped at game was where he wanted to Beane's offer to add video- make his career. Feinstein, a taping to his chores. The catcher who could not make following season it became the team at the University of his full-time job. California, Davis, said he "ex- "I've been very lucky. I've plored every avenue to get my been in the right place at the foot in the door"after college, right time," Feinstein said. With the Athletics, who"I don'tthinkthere's anyone play just down the road from in baseball who would tell his hometown of Lafayette, you they look at their job Calif., where he still lives, as a job." Feinstein started out doing Like anyone employed in a the things interns do--mak- baseball team's front office, ing photocopies and fetching Feinstein said, he aspires to coffee. That's when he wasn't "biggerandbetterthings"pro- lobbying Beane, then the as- fessionally, including being a sistant general manager, for general manager. He added, additional responsibilities, however, "I'm extremely com- Michael Zagaris trust at the Major League Baseball draft fortable and thankful in the "It's one of those things role I currently have." that we all are fascinated A key aspect of that role is with: not only the process, the Major League Baseball butbeinginthatwarroomin draft, which was held last the week prior to the draft," month. Eighteen ofOakland's Feinstein said. 40 selections were pitchers. He's hopeful the A's can "Thatwasbydesign,'Fein- make a run to the World stein explained."Theonlyway Series this season- itwould that we're going to have suc- be the team's first appear- cessatthemajor-leaguelevei ance in the Fall Classic is if we have pitching, andyou since 1990. can never have enough of it. "There's a lot of season left It's the single biggest asset we to go, and anything can hap- need to compete." pen," Feinstein said, "but so Planning for the three-day far it's been a perfect storm draft is "a yearlong, exhaus- of a group of guys who've tive process that has already come together and played started" for 2015, he said. their best." By Suzanne Kurtz Sloan people experience homeless- ness, including 325 children. WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Dinman sorted donated Bailey Dinmanwas surprised clothing and baby-sat for when she learned that home- children whose parents were lessness was a struggle for attending job seminars. many in the affluent Wash- "Whatever they needed me ington, D.C., suburb where to do, if I could help in some she lives, way, I did," she said: "I was shocked by the In April, as the social ac- statistics," said Dinman, 16. tion vice president for her re- "In ninth grade, through gion'sBBYOyouthgroupchap- my Hebrew school, I started ter, Dinman organized Good volunteering at a shelter very DeedsDay, adayofcommunity close to my home." service project inwhich nearly AccordingtotheMontgom- 200 teens participated. ery County Coalition for the The teens chose from Homeless, on any given day amongfiveserviceoptions, in- in the Maryland county 1,250 cluding weeding and picking InformaUon 866.74z.6655 wv selqousillness.arg/corne1 tone MEDICARE, MEDICAID, AHD MOST COMMERCIAL INSURANCES ACCEPTED 5019096 ornerstone HOSPICE & PALLIATZ~q~ CARIE up trash in parks; organizing a"senior prom" for the elderly; giving manicures to residents at a women's shelter; and making sandwiches for the homeless. Afterward, the teens gath- ered to talk about their experi- ences and discuss nextsteps for volunteering. "It was very eye- opening for a lot of the teens to realize what they can do [to help others] in their own neighborhood," Dinman said. A rising senior at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Md., she is working this summer as a lifeguard before leaving for athree-week BBYO program in Israel. For her work organiz- ing Good Deeds Day, Dinman was recently awarded the Viv- ian and Morton RabineauTeen Volunteer Award by the JCC of Greater Washington. JTA spoke to Dinman re- cently about who has inspired her, why Hanukkah is her favorite Jewish holiday and her advice for other teens planning community service projects. JTA: Who or what have been the biggest influences in your life? Dinman: My morn is a two- time breast cancer survivor. Her strength and her deter- mination and her will have really inspired me to make her proud. She's also made me very conscious of my own future with the disease. Can you share with us a meaningful Jewish experience that you've had? Last summer, I was very fortunate to attend BBYO's International Kallah. It was all Jewish, all the time, but I walked away with more knowl- edge about Judaism and many more questions. What is your favorite Jewish holiday? I'd have to say Chanukah. My family comes together and it's very low-key. We don't get a lot of presents, but the meaning Bailey Dinman Learning about local homelessness inspired Bai- ley Dinman to volunteer. [of the holiday] is understood. What do you think you want to be doing when "you grow up"? That's a good question. As of now, something along the lines of applied mathematics, on the business side. What kind of things do you like to do for fun? I play field hockey for my school, so that's a lot of fun. I hang out with my friends and family, sleeping, social media, everything a teen likes. What advice would you give to other teens interested in organizing a day of service for their peers? Don't be afraid to reach out to all different organizations in the community because you don't know who'll say yes. Also, strong promotion and advertisingareveryimportant. The Teen Heroes column is sponsored by the Helen Diller Family Foundation, which is dedicated to celebrating and supporting teens re- pairing the world. To learn more about the foundation's $36,000 DillerTeen Tikkun Olam Awards, visit http://dil- Please tell us about teens who deserve attention by sending an email to