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When will broadcasters understand Moneyball?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by BRoth, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. BRoth

    BRoth Member

    Watching the Jays-Yanks game and Michael Kay and Ken Singleton are talking about how the Blue Jays don't run because they're a Moneyball team that "makes outs at the plate."

    Now, I know Joe Morgan messes this up just about any time the A's are discussed, but when will baseball broadcasters figure it out - after it's been covered so many times - that the "Moneyball" logic discussed in the book only refers to Billy Beane abusing a market that overvalued batting average (and other stats) while ignoring things like OBP, etc. When the book was published, they drafted a lot of college players because they were ignored. Now, the A's draft lots of high school players because more college players are being drafted.

    This is probably nothing to be upset about, but really. I hope that people who cover the game understand the ideas behind it. Moneyball was never a philosophy to build a baseball team around specific stats, it was a way to take advantage of values that a market doesn't pay attention to.
  2. Lester Bangs

    Lester Bangs Active Member

    Beane also has a baseball philosophy of not giving up outs and that's just been rolled into it all. Beane and all his followers are dubbed "Moneyball" guys based on business and baseball philosophy. Yeah., it's probably wrong, but understandable as those guys do largely share the same values.
  3. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, a thousand times wrong. The first 14 players drafted by the A's this year were college kids...and 18 of the first 20...and 41 of 53 overall. In a draft where a lot of teams were trying to go against the grain by taking HS players early, the A's almost defiantly stuck to their guns. If they're going to get rid of most of their guys when they start to make money, they need polished products who can contribute right away. they don't have time for a kid to take six years to reach the majors.

    And as annoying as Michael Kay is, I don't think it's inaccurate to call teams "Moneyball" teams if they value OBP, believe it's foolish to risk running into outs on the basepaths and want a manager who will do what the GM says and take the blame when the GM has no idea what he's doing. It's not completely accurate, but most baseball fans have an idea of what it means. Giving a general definition of a Moneyball team is fine on a telecast.
  4. BRoth

    BRoth Member

    I hate to quote wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moneyball), but the whole point of Moneyball was using ideas of capitalism to abuse deficiencies in the marketplace:

    "Several Lewis themes explored in the book include: insiders vs. outsiders (established traditionalists vs. upstart proponents of Sabermetrics), the democratization of information causing a flattening of hierarchies, and the ruthless drive for efficiency that capitalism demands. The book also touches on Oakland's need to stay ahead of the curve; as other teams begin mirroring Beane's strategies to evaluate offensive talent, diminishing the Athletics' advantage, Oakland begins looking for other undervalued baseball skills such as defensive capabilities."

    I don't have the list right in front of me, but I'll look up the college/HS splits of draft picks from the A's in the last few years. It's not as large as it may have been in this past draft. Like I said and you point out, the A's went against the grain to take players that weren't being valued by everyone else.
  5. The idea of not giving up outs comes from a study of the likelihood of scoring from various base-out combinations. That wasn't covered a whole lot in Moneyball. Teams like the A's and Blue Jays would love to have good base stealers, but it's just too expensive to bring in the next Rickey Henderson (if there is such a player in today's game).
  6. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Better reread. Part of book also covers Billy Beane dislike for giving up outs on steals and moving runner over by bunting. It meshes with his overall philsophy of valuing OBP.

    Where the book is wrong is that it give Beane too much credit for coming up with philosophy.
  7. Terence Mann

    Terence Mann Member

    That's your interpretation. I think it shows how he developed ideas created or revealed by others and applied them to his team's situation. But if you want to show specific sentences that support that claim that the book says he came up with the philosophy of valuing OBP, please do. I'm assuming that's the philosophy you mean.
  8. broadway joe

    broadway joe Guest

    Hard to blame broadcasters for not understanding Moneyball when we've had about four different interpretations of it already on this thread.
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