#BuckFiftyADay Since March, 2014

#BuckFiftyADay Since March, 2014

Monday, January 12, 2015

#BuckFiftyADay: Me vs. Moneyball

Moneyball has become a generic, often derogatory, term in sports, but I’m not sure anyone (myself included) totally gets it. Basically, I’ve always taken it as when a team searches for something of importance that is undervalued, and makes it the basis of it’s team-building strategy. For example, the book Moneyball, the undervalued stat was On Base Percentage. So the A’s built their team offensively around OBP. But there’s a part of Moneyball that’s always bugged me as a fan. Billy Beane talks about trying to take all human emotion out of the process, basically telling his scouts to not fall in love with a player’s swing, his movements, etc. I don’t begrudge teams for this type of thinking, it makes sense. But it also goes against everything I love about sports as a fan. I want to watch, fall in love...even if it turns into love gone bad.


Brandon Land said...

You always hear the mantra, "Don't fall in love with prospects. They'll break your heart."

It seems that in today's baseball economy, most smart organizations -- or at least organizations that are considered to have saavy front offices -- have healthy balance of their love for prized prospects and the reality that only some will actually pan out.

For example, the organization I cover, the Texas Rangers, has been known in recent years to have a group they've identified as untouchable prospects. Right now, those would be Joey Gallo, Jorge Alfaro, and to an extent, Nomar Mazara. Sure, if some ball club comes in with an offer that blows you away, you'll still move those guys, but for the most part, those guys are considered to be the part of some sort of future.

Then, you have the opposite. What Moneyball has really vaulted into the public perception is organizations like the A's, where Billy Beane has made it a habit of getting the low-cost years of good (and undervalued) players, then shipping them away while their value is at its highest. Josh Donaldson would be a good example here. Where most people miss the point is the whole point of Moneyball was identifying market inefficiencies. When that book was written, OBP was undervalued. Now, almost every ball club values it just as highly. In recent years, Oakland has shown a preference toward fly-ball hitters versus ground-ball hitters, and have seen some success with that. Now, it appears that they're trying to move into a new era, and it will be interesting to see what type of assets they perceive as undervalued.

In any case, as a fan, I find myself absolutely falling in love with prospects and players. As a writer, I find myself trying to remain objective in realizing that sometimes, getting emotionally attached to players/prospects prevents me from seeing the bigger picture. It's an interesting dichotomy, for sure.

obat ace maxs said...

just blogwalking.. Nice post and have a nice day :)