The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, October 19, 2009

Against Moneyball

Interesting article in the New Republic arguing that "Moneyball" doesn't work and that Michael Lewis' praise of Billy Beane was unwarranted. (Hat Tip: Big Brother)

A few thoughts: Billy Beane was, in certain respects, the victim of his own success. Teams with much more money than the Oakland A's (most notably Theo Epstein and the Red Sox and the Yankees) started to implement some of the ideas that Beane promoted. Consequently, the market inefficiencies that Beane tried to exploit were narrowed and teams with more money could pay up for the players that were truly valuable.

(An aside: The Baltimore Orioles of Earl Weaver vintage played "Moneyball" long before the Oakland A's hired Beane. Weaver believed in walking and hitting homers. He rarely bunted and eschewed the idea of "small ball". He was the true revolutionary even though he didn't use computers).

I am not suggesting that Beane was infallible or that all his theories were good. But one would be silly to suggest that there hasn't been a significant change in the way the game is played and players are valued since he came on the scene.



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