What makes Marathe the center of the debate is because he is a big rectangular box in the Niners organizational flow-chart and he is most definitely not a football guy. What he is is a 28-year-old ex-consultant with an MBA from Stanford and not a lot of football background. He also has a name that reminds no one of Knute Rockne, Jack Hamm, or Dick Butkus. What he is, however, is a Moneyball guy NFL style, somebody who supposedly can crunch the numbers and run some spread sheets in order to see something the football guys can't see.
Ratto, usually the crankiest Chron writer, didn't attack the gist of the article, just attacked it for the penny pinching ways Marathe's and attitude seem to suggest. Billy Beane, after all, claimed his fame for drawing blood for an extremely cheap stone. Miller, however, wasn't so nice and let it rip, calling the article both a parody and an "April Fool's Day joke."
Image of Paraag Marathe from James Sanders in the SF Weekly