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what exactly is moneyball?

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what exactly is moneyball?

Postby jacopo2155 » Thu Sep 09, 2004 3:32 pm

ive heard a lot about it and i know theres some book like about billy beane or somethin but what exactly is it?
thanks
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Postby mkultra » Thu Sep 09, 2004 3:49 pm

It's the idea that you can build a good team not by buying it (the method epitomized by teams like the Yankees), but by picking up cheap talent using "overlooked" stats, like pitchers who don't dominate but get a lot of groundouts, hitters who aren't sluggers but who get a lot of hits and walks, etc. Billy Beane was the first MLB manager to try and make it work, and he did a good job of it. Michael Lewis wrote a book about it:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0393324818/qid=1094759084/sr=8-1/ref=pd_cps_1/103-7816940-2029413?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
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Postby DK » Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:32 pm

Moneyball is as much a book as it is an idea. There are three main parts of the book that have to do with running a team:

1. How to Find a Baseball Player
2. Market inefficiencies
3. Stastical Analysis

There are other minor themes, but those are the main three. Billy Beane finds great talent is players basically thrown to dust by other teams, such as Scott Hatteberg and Chad Bradford. Read the book, it's a fantastic one.
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Postby jsmith378 » Thu Sep 09, 2004 6:38 pm

yea, great book, really makes you think

although almost all of the A's success was from drafting Mulder, Zito and Hudson, their offense has never been great despite all the statistical analysis
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:49 pm

jsmith378 wrote:yea, great book, really makes you think

although almost all of the A's success was from drafting Mulder, Zito and Hudson, their offense has never been great despite all the statistical analysis


Well, no. Baseball requires you to score and prevent scoring. great pitching teams (like LA last year) that don't put at least a decent offense out there don't win.

Beane had the pitching (in fact, he chose it, so he gets credit for that). So, part of the point is that you don't waste money. He only had to pay for an average offense to win with that pitching.
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Postby jsmith378 » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:16 pm

i see ur point but even then, they havent been as successful evaluating hitters (look at Dye's contract) as they could have been. The fact remains that most of their success was because of the big three.

I wasnt trying to argue against the Moneyball ideas, just bringing up another viewpoint. My friend always says "well, the oakland A's havent won a World Series and Moneyball doesnt work", and then I usually get ticked off <img src=/forums/images/smiles/kiss.gif>
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Postby ocmusicjunkie » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:28 pm

It's funny how little credit Beane really gets.

Everyone always says "Oakland is no good at evaluating hitters. Just look at their team".

What stats are those people using to determine that Billy's hitters aren't hitting well? I bet they're looking at BA, HRs, and RBI. The same stupid stats Beane proved aren't good tools.

Look at the ONLY stat that matters in the end. Runs scored by the Oakland A's. 12th in MLB. More than Atlanta, Minnesota, Florida... from a "pitching team" with a relatively small budget.

When I first read the book, I thought the concepts were trash. Then I did some research. They aren't. If Beane had the same resources as the Bosox or Yanks, he'd be destroying every other team in MLB. As it is, he's keeping pace with those two huge market teams.

Lastly... I am ALWAYS hearing "moneyball is meant to work in the regular season, not the playoffs". I even hear this on the boards here. BS. Beane is exploiting holes that are there just as much in the playoffs as in the season. This is like saying the conventional approach doesn't work in the playoffs, because the Cubs and Bosox use it and haven't won a series in our lifetimes.
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Postby tlef316 » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:27 am

although i think moneyball has some good thinking behind it, i dont think the result on the field is all that great. like others have said, any team can be competitive with those 3 pitchers. hell, they even had stud hitters like giambi, chavez, damon, dye and tejada at the same time and still couldnt get out of the first round. obviously, as a yankee fan, i cant really relate to the situation of a small market team, but it seems like the whole idea is a bit overrated.

personally, i think the team needs to get out of the first round of the playoffs before i christen billy beane as the second coming. this is the same guy who claim you dont need a good closer to win.
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Postby Amazinz » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:46 am

tlef316 wrote:obviously, as a yankee fan, i cant really relate to the situation of a small market team, but it seems like the whole idea is a bit overrated.

I'm not sure how you consider it underrated. If you compare what the A's have done with their payroll in comparison to what the Yankees have done with their payroll, there is no comparison.

Aside from whether or not you buy into "Moneyball" I think it's a must read for all literate baseball fans (Yankees fans will be happy to note it will be released on audio tape next month :-D). It's second on my list behind "Ball Four". The book is worth reading just for some of the anecdotes.
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Postby so0perspam » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:59 am

Definitely a good read, I'd reccommend it to anyone who has ever heard of baseball. :-)
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