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kermittheefrog
06-02-2003, 11:32 AM
Has anyone else read this? I was so into it I ditched my assigned readings for the weekend and read through it after it arrived on Friday. Kenny doesn't look nearly as bad as I expected.

And I think the book doesn't portray Billy Beane as infalible as some people have said. The book gives Beane some clear weaknesses, he has a mighty temper and can get impulsive. I love how he calls Tejada "Mr. Swing at Everything". I wonder what Billy thought of Tejada getting the MVP. Probably enjoyed it just because it would drive up the price some other team will pay Miggy as a free agent.

whitesoxwilkes
06-02-2003, 11:36 AM
I FINALLY picked it up this weekend. Michael Lewis is one of my favorite authors...he also wrote "Liar's Poker" which is the absolute must read for anyone in the financial services industry.

MarkEdward
06-02-2003, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Has anyone else read this? I was so into it I ditched my assigned readings for the weekend and read through it after it arrived on Friday. Kenny doesn't look nearly as bad as I expected.

I read it, and I agree that Kenny isn't portrayed as an idiot.

Regarding the Chad Bradford section: too biased in favor of the A's. Miguel Olivo was a stellar prospect at the time, and he wasn't even mentioned in the book.

And I think the book doesn't portray Billy Beane as infalible as some people have said. The book gives Beane some clear weaknesses, he has a mighty temper and can get impulsive. I love how he calls Tejada "Mr. Swing at Everything". I wonder what Billy thought of Tejada getting the MVP. Probably enjoyed it just because it would drive up the price some other team will pay Miggy as a free agent.

A lot of people are in love with Tejada on this board, but I don't think we should pursue him next year. The money can be spent better elsewhere.

I like how Paul Depodesta turned out in this book. The brains behind the Beane, if you will. Billy seems very impulsive. Paul is calm and cool.

Finally, Billy really is in love with Mark Johnson. Did you see his plans for changing the Red Sox? He wanted to replace Jason Varitek with MJ. Now, I'm one of Mark's biggest fans, but he's nowhere near as talented as Varitek.

Dadawg_77
06-02-2003, 12:53 PM
Man I couldn't put the book down, finished it in two days. But I wonder what if anything would get him to leave Oakland. Boston offered him a larger payroll and a bigger check but he decided to stay in Oakland. Maybe Billy not think he is worth Youshkill? Also some of the stuff like OBP worth three times slg not sure if I agree with. I thought the best part of the book was the draft. How the book make Kenny look bad (plus a majority of GMs) is fact that Oakland only spends 40 million but has a greater success then any of them, besides the Braves in the regular season for the past three years. Also the conversation Ray had in the batting cage was somewhat of an indictment of the Sox system, "...make a aggressive error, over there they don't consider it an error" That sums up why the Sox make so many mistakes on the base paths, at the plate pretty handedly.

jeremyb1
06-02-2003, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Has anyone else read this? I was so into it I ditched my assigned readings for the weekend and read through it after it arrived on Friday. Kenny doesn't look nearly as bad as I expected.

And I think the book doesn't portray Billy Beane as infalible as some people have said. The book gives Beane some clear weaknesses, he has a mighty temper and can get impulsive. I love how he calls Tejada "Mr. Swing at Everything". I wonder what Billy thought of Tejada getting the MVP. Probably enjoyed it just because it would drive up the price some other team will pay Miggy as a free agent.

i got it on saturday so i'm only through the first 100 pages or so. i like it so far. personallyl, i would say that the book doesn't portray beane as infalible but it does seem to portray his ideas as infalible.

i just finished the section on last year's draft and the book portrays any team taking a highschool player as completely out of their mind. i don't really buy the argument that college players are that much better of a gamble. there's certainly less risk involved and its a safer move when you're talking about two players with comperable ability but college players as four times more likely than highschool players to succeed?

baseball america has ran a lot of data using win shares and other data to determine the value of highschool vs. college players and while college players come out on top its not by the incredible margin proposed by moneyball. i refuse to believe the mets were defying all logic by taking kazmir in the draft. risky? yeah but you're talking about a lefty that throws 95 with a plus breaking ball at 18. his health and other factors are risks but if he does develop he will have the ability to dominate.

i wouldn't make a habit of taking a highschool players but i don't think its as poor a decision nor does beane probably think its as poor as a decision as the book portrays it to be if you have the right highschool player. the a's did pretty well with chavez and i don't think billy would get far maintaining jeremy brown is a better player than arod if they were in the same draft. there are exceptions where it makes sense to draft highschool players.

ma-gaga
06-02-2003, 02:06 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Has anyone else read this? I was so into it I ditched my assigned readings for the weekend and read through it after it arrived on Friday...

Kermit,
Are you ever going to update your blog?

jeremyb1
06-02-2003, 02:26 PM
here's something from gammons that ties into my previous post:

In the last few years, the approach to the draft has become increasingly scientific. You don't have to have read "Moneyball" to know that an increasing number of teams are evaluating players by production as well as tools, arguing that years ago Ruben Rivera was the prototypical No. 1 pick (had he ever been in the draft). The college vs. high school debate rages, particularly when it comes to right-handed pitchers. The consensus among scouting directors and general managers is that the best pitching prospect in the entire draft is right-hander Jeff Allison from Peabody (Mass.) High School. "He is every bit as good a prospect as Josh Beckett (in 1999)," one GM said. "But we won't take him because of the high school right-hander risk. Beckett may well be great, but we're in the fifth season since he was picked and he has 10 big-league wins."

"High school pitchers are a huge risk," said Pirates GM Dave Littlefield, who was with Florida when Beckett was selected and now is wrestling with the Allison question with the eighth pick. "If this were 1999," said one GM, "Allison would be 1-2-3. But he could slip to the Mets (12th pick) or Reds (14th) simply because of the adage that 18-year-old kids who throw 95 usually are throwing 85 at 23." Like everything else, there are no absolutes -- the Phillies have had unrivaled success drafting high school pitchers thanks to Mike Arbuckle.

it seems to me as though the analysis above is a good example of the restraint but not absolute dismissal of highschool players that seems appropriate. i'm pleased to see the hesitance to jump after a toolsy highschool player shown by someteams yet at the same time i think its more than appropriate that allison still land in the first round with a team able and willing to take on that risk. the success of the phils with highschool pitchers is important to note if you ask me.

Dadawg_77
06-02-2003, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
here's something from gammons that ties into my previous post:



it seems to me as though the analysis above is a good example of the restraint but not absolute dismissal of highschool players that seems appropriate. i'm pleased to see the hesitance to jump after a toolsy highschool player shown by someteams yet at the same time i think its more than appropriate that allison still land in the first round with a team able and willing to take on that risk. the success of the phils with highschool pitchers is important to note if you ask me.

I think you hit the nail on the head without realizing it. You need to take moneyball in the context of the Oakland A's resources. They have only so much so if they drop million on a HS bust that will have major consequences for the organization. Thus since the resources are small the A's need to lower their risk tolerance making a HS pitcher out of the question for them. Also I think Billy Beane experience also comes into play here. He was a highly touted HS pick but didn't live up to his hype. A major point of the book was if Billy Beane saw himself as a player in a draftee, he doesn't want to draft them, he wants Lenny Dykstra.

Besides the physical problems drafting high schoolers does lead to personality and mental risk. This society is "growing up" a lot slower then ones in the past. The avg age for major adulthood milestones (marriage, having a baby, buying a house, etc..) is constantly moving older. So the maturation of a person from 18 to 22 is a huge and a major process in a persons life. The question then is a minor league clubhouse the best place for it? And what happen after those years? Taking a college player allows teams to avoid it since a player already went though it or is at the end of the process.

kermittheefrog
06-02-2003, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by ma-gaga
Kermit,
Are you ever going to update your blog?

I'd love to but crap keeps coming up, papers, finals are next week. I promise updates once I'm done with school June 13th. Maybe some before then.

jeremyb1
06-02-2003, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
I think you hit the nail on the head without realizing it. You need to take moneyball in the context of the Oakland A's resources. They have only so much so if they drop million on a HS bust that will have major consequences for the organization. Thus since the resources are small the A's need to lower their risk tolerance making a HS pitcher out of the question for them. Also I think Billy Beane experience also comes into play here. He was a highly touted HS pick but didn't live up to his hype. A major point of the book was if Billy Beane saw himself as a player in a draftee, he doesn't want to draft them, he wants Lenny Dykstra.

Besides the physical problems drafting high schoolers does lead to personality and mental risk. This society is "growing up" a lot slower then ones in the past. The avg age for major adulthood milestones (marriage, having a baby, buying a house, etc..) is constantly moving older. So the maturation of a person from 18 to 22 is a huge and a major process in a persons life. The question then is a minor league clubhouse the best place for it? And what happen after those years? Taking a college player allows teams to avoid it since a player already went though it or is at the end of the process.

i wholeheartedly agree with you. i think college draftpicks are a necessity for a team like the a's especially when they have 7 picks and limited resources to sign them. what i disagree with is not what billy has chosen to do with his system but rather passages like this one describing the draft starting with pittsburg's pick of bullington:

Just like that the first $4 million is spent, but at least it is spent on a college player. The next five teams, among the most pathetic in pro baseball, select high school players. Eight of the first nine teams select high schoolers. The worst teams in baseball, the teams that can least afford for their draft to go wrong, have walked into casino, ignored the odds, and made straight for the craps table.

to me that passage suggests its insane for any team to ever draft a highschool player and that those as smart as billy beane would never do so yet the a's have reaped dividends from chavez and appear ready to do so again with harden.

kermittheefrog
06-02-2003, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by MarkEdward
I read it, and I agree that Kenny isn't portrayed as an idiot.

Regarding the Chad Bradford section: too biased in favor of the A's. Miguel Olivo was a stellar prospect at the time, and he wasn't even mentioned in the book.



At the time Olivo wasn't walking at the rate Oakland asks their players to walk. Therefore he wasn't much of a prospect in Beane's eye. Also, Olivo really didn't become a top prospect until last year. Top prospects aren't asked to repeat a level like Olivo did. While the deal wasn't one sided, when the book was in progress it looked pretty one sided.

The one thing I wish the book had more on was the reasoning behind Billy Beane's moves that didn't work out so well but I realize thats not what the book is about. For example, why give Terrence Long a contract extension? And damn I want more info on the Giambi trade. To a certain extent I believe that it was just an impulsive move but I want to hear the reason Beane kept Mabry around that he won't reveal.

Dadawg_77
06-02-2003, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog

The one thing I wish the book had more on was the reasoning behind Billy Beane's moves that didn't work out so well but I realize thats not what the book is about. For example, why give Terrence Long a contract extension? And damn I want more info on the Giambi trade. To a certain extent I believe that it was just an impulsive move but I want to hear the reason Beane kept Mabry around that he won't reveal. [/B]

Did Mabry get them a draft pick, not a first round but a type b FA?
Plus if they got rid of him right away what does that say about the trade and Beane, plus what does it say to Giambi and other potential Oakland A's?

kermittheefrog
06-02-2003, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Did Mabry get them a draft pick, not a first round but a type b FA?
Plus if they got rid of him right away what does that say about the trade and Beane, plus what does it say to Giambi and other postnasal Oakland A's?

Thats the kind of thing he could easily say and is said in other parts of the book about other players. The stuff Beane holds back seems to be the real gritty stuff. Pretty much all of whats in the book is in depth info on thought processes that you can get the basic outline of just by watching what Beane is doing. Whats not in the book is the specific tools Beane uses and the stuff you can't figure out just by paying attention. While the book is fantastic it just leaves me wanting to know the stuff Beane holds back even more.

Dadawg_77
06-02-2003, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Thats the kind of thing he could easily say and is said in other parts of the book about other players. The stuff Beane holds back seems to be the real gritty stuff. Pretty much all of whats in the book is in depth info on thought processes that you can get the basic outline of just by watching what Beane is doing. Whats not in the book is the specific tools Beane uses and the stuff you can't figure out just by paying attention. While the book is fantastic it just leaves me wanting to know the stuff Beane holds back even more.

Kermmy, the best way to get that to after you graduate from college, send him your resume. Because he isn't going to make that stuff public, not in his nor the A's best interest.

kermittheefrog
06-02-2003, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
to me that passage suggests its insane for any team to ever draft a highschool player and that those as smart as billy beane would never do so yet the a's have reaped dividends from chavez and appear ready to do so again with harden.

Even though the A's have done well with some high school players, Beane clearly feels he may not need them to be successful. Plus Chavez was drafted in 1996, before Beane was GM. Harden actually came from junior college, so he's not a HS pick.

I don't think the book necessarily suggests picking a HS player is insane, its just a foolish thing to do if you are an organization without a lot of resources. Say the Tigers or the Brewers. If you are the Yankees you can afford the risk of a HS pick. A lower revenue organization can't. So it is pretty idiotic for the Brewers to use a pick on a HS player.

I don't think enough of a line was drawn between HS pitchers and hitters either. HS hitters are significantly more successful than HS pitchers. But remember this isn't a sabermetric handbook, the book has to appeal to a wide range of people and some details are going to get cut because of that.

jeremyb1
06-02-2003, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Even though the A's have done well with some high school players, Beane clearly feels he may not need them to be successful. Plus Chavez was drafted in 1996, before Beane was GM. Harden actually came from junior college, so he's not a HS pick.

I don't think the book necessarily suggests picking a HS player is insane, its just a foolish thing to do if you are an organization without a lot of resources. Say the Tigers or the Brewers. If you are the Yankees you can afford the risk of a HS pick. A lower revenue organization can't. So it is pretty idiotic for the Brewers to use a pick on a HS player.

I don't think enough of a line was drawn between HS pitchers and hitters either. HS hitters are significantly more successful than HS pitchers. But remember this isn't a sabermetric handbook, the book has to appeal to a wide range of people and some details are going to get cut because of that.

those are some good points. i agree with what you're saying for the most part i just thought the book just overstated the risk of drafting highschool players at certain points. i guess where we disagree is how we feel the book states the merits of drafting highschool players.

talking about chavez brought another issue to mind. does anyone else think its odd how rigid billy is about refusing to draft players and attempting to improve the players. he completely avoids this type of move which is interesting in light of our ballclub whose strength is thought to be taking guys with live arms that need work and then refining their mechanics.

while wright is a success story based on the fact that he struggled in college and managed to make it to the majors, guys like wyatt allen and brian west have yet to show drastic improvement.

personally, i'm inclined to agree with billy on this to a certain extent but at the same time i wonder if he's not too rigid in this view. for instance while it is difficult to learn in some cases, a number of the players that came through the a's system and learned to be disciplined hitters shows that it is possible for a hitter to become more disciplined.

if i had a choice i'd take the guy who already has the skills over the player that needs to develop them but at the same time if you have a spectacular talent especially a highschool or junior college kid, i'd think that its not unreasonable to help the player to acquire certain skills. in contradiction to how bill feels, sandy alderson seemed to feel some skills could be learned since he placed such a strong emphasis on learning to take walks in the a's system. you could make an argument that players like giambi and chavez benefitted from that emphasis on walks.

MarkEdward
06-02-2003, 06:31 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog

At the time Olivo wasn't walking at the rate Oakland asks their players to walk. Therefore he wasn't much of a prospect in Beane's eye. Also, Olivo really didn't become a top prospect until last year. Top prospects aren't asked to repeat a level like Olivo did. While the deal wasn't one sided, when the book was in progress it looked pretty one sided.[/B]

I don't have any from prospect books from before 2002, but Olivo must have been on the prospect radar after the '99 season. In Modesto during the '99 season, he put up an .882 OPS. Granted that was A ball, but were there any other catchers in the A's system putting up numbers at that time (aside from Ramon Hernandez)? My point is that the A's weren't exactly knee-deep in catching prospects who could hit. Therefore (at least in the A's system) he must have been considered a top prospect.

Also, Miguel put up good enough numbers to warrant a call-up after the 2001 season. Kenny, for reasons unknown to me, kept him in AA for the 2002 season, and went with Josh Paul and Mark Dalesandro in Charlotte. Kenny's stupidity help Olivo down, not his lack of talent.

gosox41
06-02-2003, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by MarkEdward
I don't have any from prospect books from before 2002, but Olivo must have been on the prospect radar after the '99 season. In Modesto during the '99 season, he put up an .882 OPS. Granted that was A ball, but were there any other catchers in the A's system putting up numbers at that time (aside from Ramon Hernandez)? My point is that the A's weren't exactly knee-deep in catching prospects who could hit. Therefore (at least in the A's system) he must have been considered a top prospect.

Also, Miguel put up good enough numbers to warrant a call-up after the 2001 season. Kenny, for reasons unknown to me, kept him in AA for the 2002 season, and went with Josh Paul and Mark Dalesandro in Charlotte. Kenny's stupidity help Olivo down, not his lack of talent.


Kenny's stupidity is keeping the White Sox down.

Daver
06-02-2003, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by MarkEdward


Also, Miguel put up good enough numbers to warrant a call-up after the 2001 season. Kenny, for reasons unknown to me, kept him in AA for the 2002 season, and went with Josh Paul and Mark Dalesandro in Charlotte. Kenny's stupidity help Olivo down, not his lack of talent.

Part of that was pressure from the ownership of the Charlotte Knights,they did not want three catchers on the roster.

wassagstdu
06-02-2003, 09:01 PM
So everything I enjoy about the game -- speed, defense, running game -- is "overvalued" and the most cost-effective team is a bunch of out of shape guys who walk a lot. Two walks and a three run homer (300 footer). Man, I'd pay to see that -- provided only that my team WINS. And not just the division or the pennant, but the world series, or the season is a bust.

Here's what I think: Speed and defense are what help a team get through a slump. If things are going like they are for the Sox, you've got to "manufacture" runs. Sox can't do that so slumps are deadly. That's also why those overvalued skills come to the fore in the post-season, when the pitching tends to be strong.

From the point of view of the individual player, the chance to contribute on the bases or in the field takes some of the pressure off every at-bat. A player like Konerko or Thomas who have no other way to contribute tend to keep pressing harder and harder and digging a deeper and deeper hole. If they could go out and make a good play they would take a bit of the pressure off themselves. I think maybe that is why Frank has hit 70 points higher (or whatever it is) when he played first then when he was DH.

From the fan's point of view, a team with speed and defense can avoid the accusation that they have quit when they hit a slump. Not the Sox. If they aren't hitting they are playing corpseball -- even if the reason for the problem is that they are all pressing and trying to do too much.

I don't doubt the validity of the stats, but I think if it is true that a team should never steal a base, hit and run, or bunt and athletic ability is not worth the price, then baseball needs to figure out what went wrong and fix it.

kermittheefrog
06-02-2003, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by wassagstdu
So everything I enjoy about the game -- speed, defense, running game -- is "overvalued" and the most cost-effective team is a bunch of out of shape guys who walk a lot. Two walks and a three run homer (300 footer). Man, I'd pay to see that -- provided only that my team WINS. And not just the division or the pennant, but the world series, or the season is a bust.

Here's what I think: Speed and defense are what help a team get through a slump. If things are going like they are for the Sox, you've got to "manufacture" runs. Sox can't do that so slumps are deadly. That's also why those overvalued skills come to the fore in the post-season, when the pitching tends to be strong.

From the point of view of the individual player, the chance to contribute on the bases or in the field takes some of the pressure off every at-bat. A player like Konerko or Thomas who have no other way to contribute tend to keep pressing harder and harder and digging a deeper and deeper hole. If they could go out and make a good play they would take a bit of the pressure off themselves. I think maybe that is why Frank has hit 70 points higher (or whatever it is) when he played first then when he was DH.

From the fan's point of view, a team with speed and defense can avoid the accusation that they have quit when they hit a slump. Not the Sox. If they aren't hitting they are playing corpseball -- even if the reason for the problem is that they are all pressing and trying to do too much.

I don't doubt the validity of the stats, but I think if it is true that a team should never steal a base, hit and run, or bunt and athletic ability is not worth the price, then baseball needs to figure out what went wrong and fix it.

Did you read the book? The point is the A's can't afford to spend on players who can run because focusing spending on OBP is much more cost efficient. It's perfectly possible to manufacture runs on the base paths providing you make sure your runners don't get caught but it's not something the A's can do.

And the last chapter addresses the idea of needing to manufacture runs in the playoffs. The A's score more runs per game in their series with the Twins than in the regular season. They had some three run home runs. What killed them was Tim Hudson getting hammered twice in five games. I don't see how manufacturing runs on the base paths or with one run strategies would have made Hudson more effective.

MarkEdward
06-02-2003, 11:11 PM
Originally posted by daver
Part of that was pressure from the ownership of the Charlotte Knights,they did not want three catchers on the roster.

Well, that seems reasonable enough. I still blame Kenny though. He could have easily released Paul or Dalesandro in order to get Olivo on the roster.

Daver
06-02-2003, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by MarkEdward
Well, that seems reasonable enough. I still blame Kenny though. He could have easily released Paul or Dalesandro in order to get Olivo on the roster.

We both know why Paul wasn't released,and I have been told that Dalesandro was a fan favorite there.

Tragg
06-03-2003, 12:11 AM
Originally posted by wassagstdu
If things are going like they are for the Sox, you've got to "manufacture" runs. Sox can't do that so slumps are deadly.

Walks are a damn good start toward manufacturing runs. I agree with Kermit/Billy - the ability to walk seems to be undervalued for some reason.

jeremyb1
06-03-2003, 02:37 AM
Originally posted by Tragg
Walks are a damn good start toward manufacturing runs. I agree with Kermit/Billy - the ability to walk seems to be undervalued for some reason.

also perhaps even moreso than speed and defense, plate discipline does not slump. it seems to me if you have a slumping offense the best way to get through things would be to still manage to get on base by walking. speed and fielding don't help you to score runs nearly as much as simply putting guys on base.

xil357
06-03-2003, 08:16 AM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
also perhaps even moreso than speed and defense, plate discipline does not slump. it seems to me if you have a slumping offense the best way to get through things would be to still manage to get on base by walking. speed and fielding don't help you to score runs nearly as much as simply putting guys on base.

Plate discipline and taking walks is a great thing. The aspect that sometime is ignored is that it makes the opposing pitcher throw more pitches, making him tire earlier and bringing out the bullpen earlier.

That doesn't invalidate the importance of speed and defense, though. They may not help you score runs as much as plate discipline, but a speedy defense that can get to balls and make outs reduces your opponents scoring opportunities. It helps your pitchers, too, because then they aren't trying to nibble around the corners trying for marginal strikes and therefore throwing more balls, making them more likely to throw a fat one down the middle that gets hammered. With a strong defense, a pitcher can attack hitters with confidence, knowing that they are going to take care of most balls that are put in play.

Preventing the other team from scoring a run is just as beneficial as scoring a run yourself.

Combine plate discipline and taking walks with speed and defense leads to a team that can weather prolonged hitting slumps. Mark Buherle would not have such a terrible record if he had a good defense backing him up, and the Sox would be on the winning end of more one-run games this season even with their hitting woes.

Dadawg_77
06-03-2003, 08:46 AM
The thing book and Oakland are saying was that teams pay to high of a premium for speed and defense when offering contracts. Since speed and defense don't translate into wins as much as OBP or SLG, which is heavily discounted on the market, the A's saw this and went for OBP. So the formuals is somewhat like
$OBP * 2 = $Speed Money spent on players
WP%Speed *2 = WP%OBP Winning percentage add

That 2 isn't correct just put there for example puposes.

DrCrawdad
06-06-2003, 08:34 PM
Originally posted by MarkEdward
...Finally, Billy really is in love with Mark Johnson. Did you see his plans for changing the Red Sox? He wanted to replace Jason Varitek with MJ. Now, I'm one of Mark's biggest fans, but he's nowhere near as talented as Varitek.

May 30 Mark Johnson sent to minors


I didn't see that anyone mentioned this here @ WSI. MJ's BA had dipped to .125. I guess Billy Beane had enough.

jeremyb1
06-07-2003, 12:13 AM
i'd been looking for this thread.

baseball america which i think unfairly takes a lot of criticism from moneyball considering how progressive it can be in terms of factors such as plate discipline, printed a scathing critique of moneyball written by some columnist i'd never taken note of before.

for the most part the article is horribly written. it is filled with absolutely ridiculous criticisms such as "why haven't the a's won won a world series" and criticisms which completely ignore the logic behind many arguments in the book ("if beane is so smart why can't he tell which high school players will be good?" that's the point that you can't tell!!!).

however, there are a few interesting facts the article brings to light. the writer claims that beane knew for 4 days fuson would draft bonderman in the '01 draft, that john poloni referred to as "the fat scout" in the book was singlehandedly responsible for the a's decision to draft hudson in '97, and that beane convinced alderson to draft ariel prieto instead of fuson's choice of todd helton in '95. additionally, according to the article, the a's gave up a first round draft pick to sign mike magnante.

i don't feel that any of the above facts go very far in terms of poking holes in the philosiphies advocated in moneyball. they do, however, show that beane is capable of making poor baseball decisions just like anyone else, a reality moneyball tends to shelter its reader from.

jeremyb1
06-07-2003, 12:29 AM
on another ba related note, i mentioned before that i was skeptical about the safety of picking college players as compared to high school players. one reason for this was a study conducted by baseball america on this subject. while i was unable to find the intial article i did find a recap of the findings:

To quickly recap, we found that 8.0 percent of players who signed out of the first 10 rounds in the 1990-97 drafts became major league regulars or better. For draftees from four-year colleges, that figure was 8.8 percent; for high schoolers, 8.4 percent. The prep ranks did better at producing above-average regulars (3.2 vs. 1.5 percent for colleges) and stars (1.1 percent vs. 0.9 percent).

there was more specific data by position. obviously highschool pitchers had a lower success rate than college pitchers by a larger margin than higschool vs. college position players.

now, in defense of the a's system, one could make a pretty compelling argument that while highschool players may not be that much more risky than college players in general, the a's are so adept at picking the right college players, it makes sense for them to focus in college players since with there knowledge college picks are much less risky.

while i think this argument could go a long way towards defending the a's drafting philosiphy it does not defend moneyball's portrayal of other teams' desire to draft high school players. since other teams are incapable or unwilling to use strategies similar to those used by the a's to select college players, high school players are not that high of a risk. furthermore, the data suggests mosts teams have twice as good a chance of drafting an above average player with a high school player and therefore should not be faulted to the extent they are by moneyball.

kermittheefrog
06-07-2003, 02:03 AM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
on another ba related note, i mentioned before that i was skeptical about the safety of picking college players as compared to high school players. one reason for this was a study conducted by baseball america on this subject. while i was unable to find the intial article i did find a recap of the findings:



there was more specific data by position. obviously highschool pitchers had a lower success rate than college pitchers by a larger margin than higschool vs. college position players.

now, in defense of the a's system, one could make a pretty compelling argument that while highschool players may not be that much more risky than college players in general, the a's are so adept at picking the right college players, it makes sense for them to focus in college players since with there knowledge college picks are much less risky.

while i think this argument could go a long way towards defending the a's drafting philosiphy it does not defend moneyball's portrayal of other teams' desire to draft high school players. since other teams are incapable or unwilling to use strategies similar to those used by the a's to select college players, high school players are not that high of a risk. furthermore, the data suggests mosts teams have twice as good a chance of drafting an above average player with a high school player and therefore should not be faulted to the extent they are by moneyball.

I've seen other studies that swing much more in favor of players. Even in Baseball America. I'll try to find what I'm thinking of. Also I'm scouring the most recent stuff BA has made available and I can't find anything like what you're talking about. CAn you provide a link?

edit: found it, http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/columnists/schwarz0304.html . This only takes a look at first round picks but it is pretty strongly in favor of college players.

doublem23
06-07-2003, 02:12 AM
Man, I gotta read this book... How much does it cost? I'll stick it on the end of my "To Read" list... Down to about 50 books! :smile:

jeremyb1
06-07-2003, 02:48 AM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
I've seen other studies that swing much more in favor of players. Even in Baseball America. I'll try to find what I'm thinking of. Also I'm scouring the most recent stuff BA has made available and I can't find anything like what you're talking about. CAn you provide a link?

edit: found it, http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/columnists/schwarz0304.html . This only takes a look at first round picks but it is pretty strongly in favor of college players.

i'm really glad you found that article. i spent ages looking for that. the other article i had was by jim callis. the link is http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/columnists/callis0312.html.

that article is a bit more in favor of college players but it still doesn't demonstrate a gigantic advantage. for instance, highschool lefties were better than college pitchers and the gaps between college and highschool outfielders and shortstops weren't all that large considering the sample size.

to me both studies yield the results i would have predicted that college players are safer bets and and yield better results in many cases but highschool players don't lag terribly far behind.

kermittheefrog
06-07-2003, 02:50 AM
Originally posted by doublem23
Man, I gotta read this book... How much does it cost? I'll stick it on the end of my "To Read" list... Down to about 50 books! :smile:

It's only fifteen bucks from Amazon.com. I think the standard retail price is something like 25.

gosox41
06-07-2003, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
i'd been looking for this thread.

baseball america which i think unfairly takes a lot of criticism from moneyball considering how progressive it can be in terms of factors such as plate discipline, printed a scathing critique of moneyball written by some columnist i'd never taken note of before.

for the most part the article is horribly written. it is filled with absolutely ridiculous criticisms such as "why haven't the a's won won a world series" and criticisms which completely ignore the logic behind many arguments in the book ("if beane is so smart why can't he tell which high school players will be good?" that's the point that you can't tell!!!).

however, there are a few interesting facts the article brings to light. the writer claims that beane knew for 4 days fuson would draft bonderman in the '01 draft, that john poloni referred to as "the fat scout" in the book was singlehandedly responsible for the a's decision to draft hudson in '97, and that beane convinced alderson to draft ariel prieto instead of fuson's choice of todd helton in '95. additionally, according to the article, the a's gave up a first round draft pick to sign mike magnante.

i don't feel that any of the above facts go very far in terms of poking holes in the philosiphies advocated in moneyball. they do, however, show that beane is capable of making poor baseball decisions just like anyone else, a reality moneyball tends to shelter its reader from.


Like every GM, Beane has made his share of mistakes, but they're defintely minimized compared to other GM's like I don't know.....Kenny Williams. No GM is 100% all the time as sometimes numbers don't tell the whole story.

The fact is that operating the A's means Beane has a limited margin of error compared to teams like the Yankees who can spend their way out of a mistake. The fact taht his team has averaged 99 wins for 3 years makes Beane one of the top GM's in the game to me.

Bob

jeremyb1
06-07-2003, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by gosox41
Like every GM, Beane has made his share of mistakes, but they're defintely minimized compared to other GM's like I don't know.....Kenny Williams. No GM is 100% all the time as sometimes numbers don't tell the whole story.

The fact is that operating the A's means Beane has a limited margin of error compared to teams like the Yankees who can spend their way out of a mistake. The fact taht his team has averaged 99 wins for 3 years makes Beane one of the top GM's in the game to me.

oh i certainly agree with you. i just feel moneyball depicts billy as though he can't make a poor baseball decision. when the book does show a poor decision its something along the lines of dealing jeremy giambi which the book attributes to personal frustration on beane's part and not poor baseball decision making.

gosox41
06-07-2003, 04:51 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
oh i certainly agree with you. i just feel moneyball depicts billy as though he can't make a poor baseball decision. when the book does show a poor decision its something along the lines of dealing jeremy giambi which the book attributes to personal frustration on beane's part and not poor baseball decision making.

I'll have to read the book. I hope to get it next week

Did you ever wonder how Michael Lewis would depict Kenny Williams if he were to follow him around for a full season?

Bob

kermittheefrog
06-07-2003, 07:02 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
oh i certainly agree with you. i just feel moneyball depicts billy as though he can't make a poor baseball decision. when the book does show a poor decision its something along the lines of dealing jeremy giambi which the book attributes to personal frustration on beane's part and not poor baseball decision making.

If you ask Lewis the book isn't as much about Beane as it is the ideas the A's are using. A book about Billy Beane wouldn't have a long chapter on the history of sabermetrics. These minor failures of Beane's don't really seem like they need to be covered in the book and I don't think Lewis expects an intelligent reader to think of Billy Beane as perfect.

jeremyb1
06-07-2003, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
If you ask Lewis the book isn't as much about Beane as it is the ideas the A's are using. A book about Billy Beane wouldn't have a long chapter on the history of sabermetrics. These minor failures of Beane's don't really seem like they need to be covered in the book and I don't think Lewis expects an intelligent reader to think of Billy Beane as perfect.

i don't know. what about the chapter on trades where they discuss the rincon deal? there's also an entire chapter at the beginning covering billy's playing career. that does tie into the origin of some of the a's ideas but i feel that the book does deal a good deal with beane on a personal level.

i'm not arguing that those specific mistakes need to be covered in the book, i'd just find it refreshing to note that like all gm's billy is capable of making mistakes judging players. while this is obviously debatable, i feel as though the book is at times condescending towards the rest of baseball when discussing the draft and teams on the other end of billy's trades. in some ways it has a right to be considering the intelligence of the a's as compared to many other franchises. at the same time, if the book is going to take that attitude towards other clubs it should be fair and acknowledge that while the sox misjudged bradford and red sox misjudged hatteburg, beane (although it happens much less often) has also misjudged such as magnante.

SoxOnTop
06-08-2003, 10:25 PM
Did anyone else notice that Kenny seems to emulate all of Billy's demeanor, yet doesn't have his salesmanship or baseball philosophy? All over the clubhouse. Always ticked after watching games. Working out during games. Rendering Manual usless.

KW wants to be Billy Beane and trys to be just like him! Why do you think he always deals with Billy? Because he wants Billy to like him. It's like he idolizes him, but doesn't use any of the same SABRmetrics in his decision making.

Did anyone else see that when they were reading it?

FarWestChicago
06-09-2003, 12:53 AM
The rest of you guys should try living out here where the "other" GM is Brian Sabean. He has a bit more money to work with than Beane, but he does a pretty impressive job himself. I never get jealous at all.

maurice
06-09-2003, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by SoxOnTop
Did anyone else notice that Kenny seems to emulate all of Billy's demeanor

I read it last night and had a similar thought. Irresepective of what Lewis has said, the book goes to great lengths to portray Beane as a hero. Though his flaws are glossed over, they are apparent. Screaming, breaking things, and micromanaging game strategy is not appropriate conduct for a GM. Beane's quotes recognize that this compulsive / emotional side of his personality is a bad thing and apparently scuttled his playing career.

The book also dwells extensively on Bradford, leaving out important info to make Beane look like even more of a hero.

DePodesta is portrayed as the brains behind the A's. I wonder what his reaction was when Beane reneged on the Red Sox. He must have been pretty upset.

maurice
06-09-2003, 12:46 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
And the last chapter addresses the idea of needing to manufacture runs in the playoffs. The A's score more runs per game in their series with the Twins than in the regular season.

This part of the book really bothered me. The A's answer their critics by saying that you don't need to manufacture runs in the playoffs because the A's increased their runs per game in the Twins series. In the next breath, they say that year-to-year playoff success is not a relevant measure of a team, because the sample size is too small and luck predominates. Well, which is it? It the playoff sample size is great enough to render the RPG stat relevant, it's certainly great enough to measure the rest of the team, eh? Blaming bad luck reeks of a cop out.

kermittheefrog
06-09-2003, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by maurice
I read it last night and had a similar thought. Irresepective of what Lewis has said, the book goes to great lengths to portray Beane as a hero. Though his flaws are glossed over, they are apparent. Screaming, breaking things, and micromanaging game strategy is not appropriate conduct for a GM. Beane's quotes recognize that this compulsive / emotional side of his personality is a bad thing and apparently scuttled his playing career.

The book also dwells extensively on Bradford, leaving out important info to make Beane look like even more of a hero.

DePodesta is portrayed as the brains behind the A's. I wonder what his reaction was when Beane reneged on the Red Sox. He must have been pretty upset.

How is Beane in particular portrayed as a hero? I just don't see it. The A's front office is portrayed as knowing something other people don't. Which is true, they are winning using completely different principles than everyone else. They are also using a lot less money than everyone else. You can't argue that, it's a fact.

As for the micromanaging, I think you can see it either way. Beane feels like he has the best information so he tells his manager to use it. In an ideal situation he'd be able to hire his own guy who believes 100% what he's saying and doesn't make him micromanage. This has happened since the book was written. I mean, if you were a GM and you thought your manager didn't know what he was doing and you didn't have authority to fire him would you just let him screw things up or would you tell him how to do things. I'd freakin tell him how to do things.

I feel like some people just aren't getting the fact that the book's purpose isn't to objectively outline the strength's and weaknesses of Beane. In fact the book is not about Bill Beane, it's about the success of the Oakland A's and it does a damn good job of explaining that. Now if you think there needs to be a good book about objectively analyzing Beane you should encourage someone to write it or write it yourself. It's not a fair criticism of Moneyball to say it doesn't give a well rounded appraisal of Billy Beane. The idea is to show what Billy brings to the A's. I think it does a fair job of showing us that.

Dadawg_77
06-09-2003, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by maurice
This part of the book really bothered me. The A's answer their critics by saying that you don't need to manufacture runs in the playoffs because the A's increased their runs per game in the Twins series. In the next breath, they say that year-to-year playoff success is not a relevant measure of a team, because the sample size is too small and luck predominates. Well, which is it? It the playoff sample size is great enough to render the RPG stat relevant, it's certainly great enough to measure the rest of the team, eh? Blaming bad luck reeks of a cop out.

Not necessarily, think about random chance involved in the game of baseball in general. Sometimes you have the roll, like the A's did during their winning streak, sometimes it escapes you. The thing with the RPG in the playoffs wasn't to say the A's are a post season team since they scored more runs, just that the A's lost because Hudson and Koch got ruffed up and the there were no 2-0 games in the series but 7-5 games instead. Remeber "Manufacturing" runs way of thinking is popular during the playoffs, because everybody knows you only score a couple runs per game in the playoffs not 6.2.

kermittheefrog
06-09-2003, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Not necessarily, think about random chance involved in the game of baseball in general. Sometimes you have the roll, like the A's did during their winning streak, sometimes it escapes you. The thing with the RPG in the playoffs wasn't to say the A's are a post season team since they scored more runs, just that the A's lost because Hudson and Koch got ruffed up and the there were no 2-0 games in the series but 7-5 games instead. Remeber "Manufacturing" runs way of thinking is popular during the playoffs, because everybody knows you only score a couple runs per game in the playoffs not 6.2.

What he said. The playoffs aren't a large enough sample size to be revelant but at the same time they aren't all 2-0 games.

Dadawg_77
06-09-2003, 01:17 PM
Beane is the character the books revolves around, but it is about his ideals not himself. You can't write a popular book without characters as you'll get a text book.

Sany Alderson, VP of Baseball and former GM of Oakland, said that upper management should have say in in-game strategy as would any company put the sucess or failure of its product in the hands of a middle manager.

kermittheefrog
06-09-2003, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Sandy Alderson, VP of Baseball and former GM of Oakland, said that upper management should have say in in-game strategy as would any company put the sucess or failure of its product in the hands of a middle manager.

I think thats a really intelligent move. I've never gotten why a general manager shouldn't boss around his field manger. The GM is the higher up, he should theoretically have a plan and vision for the organization. The field manager is just part of the plan and sometimes the GM is going to need to tell him how to stick to the plan.

rmusacch
06-09-2003, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Has anyone else read this? I was so into it I ditched my assigned readings for the weekend and read through it after it arrived on Friday. Kenny doesn't look nearly as bad as I expected.

And I think the book doesn't portray Billy Beane as infalible as some people have said. The book gives Beane some clear weaknesses, he has a mighty temper and can get impulsive. I love how he calls Tejada "Mr. Swing at Everything". I wonder what Billy thought of Tejada getting the MVP. Probably enjoyed it just because it would drive up the price some other team will pay Miggy as a free agent.

The funny thing about Billy dissing Kenny in this book is that in the Sports Illustrated with the 100 most influential minorities, a quote was attributed to Billy Beane saying Kenny was one of the brightest minds in baseball or something to that effect.

kermittheefrog
06-09-2003, 01:47 PM
Originally posted by rmusacch
The funny thing about Billy dissing Kenny in this book is that in the Sports Illustrated with the 100 most influential minorities, a quote was attributed to Billy Beane saying Kenny was one of the brightest minds in baseball or something to that effect.

Billy doesn't actually say anything negative about Kenny in the book. Plus Billy seems like the kind of guy who would say that in public even if he thought Kenny was the most brickheaded guy in the game. Not because he likes seeing his name in the paper but because it might buy him an extra deal with Kenny in the future.

One of the things people point to when talking about Kenny and Billy is the Durham trade but the book is quite up front about the fact that Billy "gambled" on draft pick compensation not being eliminated. Personally I feel like the difference between nothing and Jon Adkins is a ton smaller than the difference between Adkins and 2 first round draft picks.

maurice
06-09-2003, 02:07 PM
Dude, the book is ALL about Beane. He's the central character by a WIDE margin. Finishing a distant second (to my very great surprise) was Chad freaking Bradford, genius acquisition. It doesn't matter what the author says after the book is released (and criticized for giving too much credit to Beane). It's plain that Lewis intended to deify Beane when he wrote it. The stats discussion and relatively numerous footnotes are for the benefit of readers unfamiliar with the area and absolutely necessary to explain how Beane proved MLB wrong.

Beane's biography and emotions are explored in depth to paint an image of a heroic-but-flawed person rising to unexpected greatness by ignoring a century of tradition (notwithstanding the fact that the A's key players were acquired before the date the book provides for Beane's transfiguration into uber-GM).

The point of the book is that (in the author's opinion) handsome, strong, multi-talented Beane is significantly smarter than all those dumb, old, fat scouts. While others are sometimes credited for identifying particular prospects, Beane is lauded for micromanaging the entire organization and having the vision to replace dumb ex-jocks with Harvard grads belonging to SABR. The other members of A's management are glossed over and/or ridiculed.

P.S. Good luck on finals.

maurice
06-09-2003, 02:41 PM
I'm not disagreeing that luck is important in baseball. It's huge. My point was that the two explanations offered by the A's in response to their critics are contradictory. Either the playoff sample size is big enough or it is not big enough. So much for Beane's logical, objective, emotionless approach to everything.

As for Beane's micromanaging, his complaints about Howe and the players were not helpful. Howe does not appear to be objectively incompetent. The book itself notes that Beane was the one who put Magnate on the 25-man roster, cut all the other lefty relievers, and waited until the trade deadline to acquire an adequate replacement. I'm not a big fan of going lefty-righty with relievers, but Beane criticizes the notion of going lefty-righty while simultaneously reinforcing it by insisting on having a lefty reliever in the pen and criticizing his manager for using him.

Beane's insistence that his players never attempt to steal is undermined by sabremetrics. Stealing is fine in most situations, as long as you have a high enough success rate. Trading for Durham and then telling him never to steal is silly.

Finally, Beane continually criticizes his best hitters for swinging too freely, while telling the author that he doesn't believe that you can train a hitter not to swing freely. So why does he keep criticizing his best hitters when he's certain that it won't improve their performance? Because, despite his best efforts, Beane admittedly is over-emotional and impulsive. Speaking from experience, this type of pointless micromanaging only undermines morale. Hence the reaction of several Sox players to KW's meddling in the clubhouse.

The criticisms leveled at KW primarily are through the author's voice, though Beane does overtly criticize the drafting of Royce Ring. Beane's reaction was identical to mine and the many others at this site: why draft a relief pitcher in the first round? Then again, the book ignores the subsequent success of Ring (and Olivo, who is never even named in the book) to reinforce its point that Beane is an uber-GM.

I don't think the book will hurt Beane because he ridicules other GMs. Instead, he'll be hurt because the book destroys his credibility by detailing numerous examples of Beane blatantly lying to gain an advantage.

kermittheefrog
06-09-2003, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by maurice

P.S. Good luck on finals.

Thanks dude. Nice to see you post something we can agree on :smile:

Randar68
06-09-2003, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Personally I feel like the difference between nothing and Jon Adkins is a ton smaller than the difference between Adkins and 2 first round draft picks.

The 1+ million it saved the Sox had more to do with it. To the Sox, 1 million dollars is more valuable than 2 picks anyways. They aren't going to sign 3 of their top 10 picks each year, so maybe that million bought them and extra couple players down the road.

I'm just trying to rationalize it. It was a bad gamble on the Sox part, but don't discount the $$$ aspect.

kermittheefrog
06-09-2003, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
The 1+ million it saved the Sox had more to do with it. To the Sox, 1 million dollars is more valuable than 2 picks anyways. They aren't going to sign 3 of their top 10 picks each year, so maybe that million bought them and extra couple players down the road.

I'm just trying to rationalize it. It was a bad gamble on the Sox part, but don't discount the $$$ aspect.

I thought we paid Durham's salary with the A's?

SoxOnTop
06-09-2003, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by maurice
The point of the book is that (in the author's opinion) handsome, strong, multi-talented Beane is significantly smarter than all those dumb, old, fat scouts. While others are sometimes credited for identifying particular prospects, Beane is lauded for micromanaging the entire organization and having the vision to replace dumb ex-jocks with Harvard grads belonging to SABR. The other members of A's management are glossed over and/or ridiculed.

I agree. If this book is about the success of the A's, then how is it that Rick Peterson was not given his due for the success of the A's pitching? No only did he help mold Hudson, Zito and Moulder into the studs they are today, but he was also the man who brought up our very own trio of Blackjack, Alvarez and Fernandez in the early 90's. Luck? I think not. Peterson has brought the development of pitchers out of the dark ages and is as responsible for the success of the A's as anyone else in that system.

Randar68
06-09-2003, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by maurice
I'm not disagreeing that luck is important in baseball. It's huge. My point was that the two explanations offered by the A's in response to their critics are contradictory. Either the playoff sample size is big enough or it is not big enough. So much for Beane's logical, objective, emotionless approach to everything.

As for Beane's micromanaging, his complaints about Howe and the players were not helpful. Howe does not appear to be objectively incompetent. The book itself notes that Beane was the one who put Magnate on the 25-man roster, cut all the other lefty relievers, and waited until the trade deadline to acquire an adequate replacement. I'm not a big fan of going lefty-righty with relievers, but Beane criticizes the notion of going lefty-righty while simultaneously reinforcing it by insisting on having a lefty reliever in the pen and criticizing his manager for using him.

Beane's insistence that his players never attempt to steal is undermined by sabremetrics. Stealing is fine in most situations, as long as you have a high enough success rate. Trading for Durham and then telling him never to steal is silly.

Finally, Beane continually criticizes his best hitters for swinging too freely, while telling the author that he doesn't believe that you can train a hitter not to swing freely. So why does he keep criticizing his best hitters when he's certain that it won't improve their performance? Because, despite his best efforts, Beane admittedly is over-emotional and impulsive. Speaking from experience, this type of pointless micromanaging only undermines morale. Hence the reaction of several Sox players to KW's meddling in the clubhouse.

The criticisms leveled at KW primarily are through the author's voice, though Beane does overtly criticize the drafting of Royce Ring. Beane's reaction was identical to mine and the many others at this site: why draft a relief pitcher in the first round? Then again, the book ignores the subsequent success of Ring (and Olivo, who is never even named in the book) to reinforce its point that Beane is an uber-GM.

I don't think the book will hurt Beane because he ridicules other GMs. Instead, he'll be hurt because the book destroys his credibility by detailing numerous examples of Beane blatantly lying to gain an advantage.


Agree with everything you said here, except I don't believe it will actually hurt or hinder Beane.

Randar68
06-09-2003, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
I thought we paid Durham's salary with the A's?

I don't recall exactly, but I am almost 100% sure this was a $$$ move.

Daver
06-09-2003, 03:07 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
I thought we paid Durham's salary with the A's?

The two teams split the reminder of his contract.

Randar68
06-09-2003, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by daver
The two teams split the reminder of his contract.

Thanks Daver...

Any signings news? You expect to see Anderson signed this week while the Sox are playing at home?

Also, Valido close?

Daver
06-09-2003, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
Thanks Daver...

Any signings news? You expect to see Anderson signed this week while the Sox are playing at home?

Also, Valido close?

Nothing that I have heard,rumor has it they are closing to signing Clint King,but nothing solid yet.

I think they are waiting for the market to set itself,The only first rounder that is signed that I know of is Mitch Maier.

Randar68
06-09-2003, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by daver
Nothing that I have heard,rumor has it they are closing to signing Clint King,but nothing solid yet.

I think they are waiting for the market to set itself,The only first rounder that is signed that I know of is Mitch Maier.

Lubanski, Markakis, Wood and Maier have signed as well as Atilano and Saltalamacchia in the supplemental round.

I expect Sweeney will be looking in the $750,000-1,000,000 range, supplemental money. 750k is closer to reality.

Dadawg_77
06-09-2003, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
The 1+ million it saved the Sox had more to do with it. To the Sox, 1 million dollars is more valuable than 2 picks anyways. They aren't going to sign 3 of their top 10 picks each year, so maybe that million bought them and extra couple players down the road.

I'm just trying to rationalize it. It was a bad gamble on the Sox part, but don't discount the $$$ aspect.


Hey money saved on Ray wasn't the only money saved, the Sox save a few million by not having the two addtional picks.

gosox41
06-09-2003, 05:59 PM
Originally posted by maurice
I'm not disagreeing that luck is important in baseball. It's huge. My point was that the two explanations offered by the A's in response to their critics are contradictory. Either the playoff sample size is big enough or it is not big enough. So much for Beane's logical, objective, emotionless approach to everything.

As for Beane's micromanaging, his complaints about Howe and the players were not helpful. Howe does not appear to be objectively incompetent. The book itself notes that Beane was the one who put Magnate on the 25-man roster, cut all the other lefty relievers, and waited until the trade deadline to acquire an adequate replacement. I'm not a big fan of going lefty-righty with relievers, but Beane criticizes the notion of going lefty-righty while simultaneously reinforcing it by insisting on having a lefty reliever in the pen and criticizing his manager for using him.

Beane's insistence that his players never attempt to steal is undermined by sabremetrics. Stealing is fine in most situations, as long as you have a high enough success rate. Trading for Durham and then telling him never to steal is silly.

Finally, Beane continually criticizes his best hitters for swinging too freely, while telling the author that he doesn't believe that you can train a hitter not to swing freely. So why does he keep criticizing his best hitters when he's certain that it won't improve their performance? Because, despite his best efforts, Beane admittedly is over-emotional and impulsive. Speaking from experience, this type of pointless micromanaging only undermines morale. Hence the reaction of several Sox players to KW's meddling in the clubhouse.

The criticisms leveled at KW primarily are through the author's voice, though Beane does overtly criticize the drafting of Royce Ring. Beane's reaction was identical to mine and the many others at this site: why draft a relief pitcher in the first round? Then again, the book ignores the subsequent success of Ring (and Olivo, who is never even named in the book) to reinforce its point that Beane is an uber-GM.

I don't think the book will hurt Beane because he ridicules other GMs. Instead, he'll be hurt because the book destroys his credibility by detailing numerous examples of Beane blatantly lying to gain an advantage.

I don't know much about amateur baseball, but wouldn't Royce Ring have been around in the 2nd or maybe 3rd round because of the fact he was a reliever? That's what aggravates me about the move. All the holes this team has, and KW wastes a first round pick on a reliever. Outside of Gregg Olson and the Orioles, how many times has this happened?

Bob

gosox41
06-09-2003, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
Hey money saved on Ray wasn't the only money saved, the Sox save a few million by not having the two addtional picks.

Andn ow they'll probably waste that money and more when they have to go sign/trade for a washed up veteran to fill a hole they could have filled by drafting wisely. At the very least, having 2 early draft picks allows the Sox to have more trade bait.

Bob

Daver
06-09-2003, 06:07 PM
Originally posted by gosox41
I don't know much about amateur baseball, but wouldn't Royce Ring have been around in the 2nd or maybe 3rd round because of the fact he was a reliever? That's what aggravates me about the move. All the holes this team has, and KW wastes a first round pick on a reliever. Outside of Gregg Olson and the Orioles, how many times has this happened?

Bob

It was considered a safe bet that Ring was going to be picked in the supplemental first round.

jeremyb1
06-09-2003, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
How is Beane in particular portrayed as a hero? I just don't see it. The A's front office is portrayed as knowing something other people don't. Which is true, they are winning using completely different principles than everyone else. They are also using a lot less money than everyone else. You can't argue that, it's a fact.

As for the micromanaging, I think you can see it either way. Beane feels like he has the best information so he tells his manager to use it. In an ideal situation he'd be able to hire his own guy who believes 100% what he's saying and doesn't make him micromanage. This has happened since the book was written. I mean, if you were a GM and you thought your manager didn't know what he was doing and you didn't have authority to fire him would you just let him screw things up or would you tell him how to do things. I'd freakin tell him how to do things.

I feel like some people just aren't getting the fact that the book's purpose isn't to objectively outline the strength's and weaknesses of Beane. In fact the book is not about Bill Beane, it's about the success of the Oakland A's and it does a damn good job of explaining that. Now if you think there needs to be a good book about objectively analyzing Beane you should encourage someone to write it or write it yourself. It's not a fair criticism of Moneyball to say it doesn't give a well rounded appraisal of Billy Beane. The idea is to show what Billy brings to the A's. I think it does a fair job of showing us that.

i feel that while the book's scope is not limited to billy beane as it discusses voros mccracken, bill james, sandy alderson, chad , and scott hatteburg, the focus of the book is beane.

if lewis wanted to simply write about the a's idea's he could've focused on sabermetrics in general. instead the specific focus is on the oakland a's team of the past several seasons. this means that the focus of the book is beane. virtually everyone else in the book that receives credit is somehow tied into more credit for billy since the book is about how the a's are brilliant and he runs the a's. he acquires bradford and hatteburg, he brings in paul, and he is the only gm smart enough to employ ideas by those such as james and mccracken.

the reason i see the book as portaying billy in a highly positive light and as the focus of the book is the language used to describe other gm's. when the book describes other gms in the sections regarding the draft and billy's trades, billy is always right and the other gm is always wrong. i don't really deny the veracity of these depictions - beane is a much better gm and doesn't get swindled by any gms in the book for that reason. however, you reach a certain point in the book where there has been a lot of time spent discussing how well billy's moves have worked out and how much the other gms are screwing up by trading and drafting the wrong players. in the book billy is smarter than every other gm. while i agree that this is true at least 90% of the time i have a hard time believing its true all of the time and that's the impression the book reads in my reading of it.

as for the nature of the book, i do feel the book has some obligation to present certain issues in an objective manner. i've gotten into arguments with friends who felt that michael moore's killing columbine was weakened by the fact that many facts aren't presented in an objective manner. i disagree with them, i feel that moore's films are clearly opinion pieces since most people already know a significant amount and have formed opinions on issues such as gun control. i do not feel this book operates in the same manner.

most baseball fans know little about sabermetrics and the philosiphies that guide the oakland a's and lewis seems to realize that and therefore uses the book as an informational tool to explain the a's and their successful philosiphies as opposed to making the main objective of the book to argue that the a's philosiphies are successful. for this reason, i feel that while even a perfectly objective discussion of the a's would portray billy and the organization in a highly positive light, moneyball could probably be a little bit more objective and present the a's in a slightly less positive light.