Haren, Blanton, Meyer ready to deliver

Updated: March 15, 2005, 6:13 PM ET
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine
Billy Beane opened his eyes on Dec. 19, 2004, and hovered briefly in that morning moment when the mind is still unsure of time and place. The voice of his wife, Tara, brought him to full consciousness. "Honey," she asked, "did we really trade Hudson and Mulder?"

"Yes," he replied, "we really did."

You can't blame Tara for asking; it was all pretty hard to believe. In the previous 72 hours, her husband dispatched two All-Stars still shy of their 30th birthdays. The Big Three, the backbone of the Athletics' surprising half-decade of success, was down to the Big One, Barry Zito.

Buster Olney | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine