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View Full Version : Moneyball takes a beating


hose
10-28-2005, 09:45 AM
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1130449804916&call_pageid=969907739730&col=970081600908

Major kudos out to KW

cleanwsox
10-28-2005, 09:52 AM
Hey Beane, how's that Cotts for Foulke trade looking now?

downstairs
10-28-2005, 10:04 AM
Excellent article.

And I am one of those hated propeller-head stat geeks, myself. And I actually loved the book. The book was *one* interesting take on building a team.

However, I am not a FOBB. And this article is exactly why... because MOST non-Yankee teams use formulas and stats and all sorts of good stuff to build the "right" team for the make-up they currently have.

The one thing I hate about FOBBs is not the reliance on specific stats and the dislike of things like bunts and sacrifices. Rather, its that FOBBs think its "us against the world". They think that only THEY use their brains in analyzing a team, and everyone else uses money and "just guessing".

Please. Don't tell me that the Cubs, White Sox, Red Sox, Devil Rays, you name it don't have a bunch of stats geeks on their payrolls. Of course they do. Some of them find the right mix, some don't.

elrod
10-28-2005, 10:08 AM
Nice vindication story, and with particular relevance for the Blue Jays. The key is the speed issue. Sure, everybody likes guys who get on base and show patience at the plate - something Oakland does very well. But the ability to wreck havoc on the basepath gives a team a huge advantage. Note that not only did the Sox win the World Series, but the Angels (Figgins), Cardinals (Eckstein) and Astros (Tavarez) both brought a lot of team speed to the table.

EastCoastSoxFan
10-28-2005, 10:10 AM
"...(Ken) Williams...figured out that the best way to think outside the box isn't by creating a new enclosure."
Classic.
That pretty much sums up the Sox '05 season for me.
Win any way you have to...

scottjanssens
10-28-2005, 12:28 PM
But the idea that Billy Beane and his Oakland A's had discovered the divine formula to success

This shows the author of the article, like most people, don't understand what moneyball is. Moneyball isn't about any particular stat or style of play. It's a generic method of finding bargains based on talents that the league currently undervalues. What Beane has done in Oakland is only one implementation of "Moneyball". You could just as easily say that by retooling a team more focused on preventing runs rather than scoring them, Kenny has engaged in *gasp* Moneyball.

downstairs
10-28-2005, 12:44 PM
This shows the author of the article, like most people, don't understand what moneyball is. Moneyball isn't about any particular stat or style of play. It's a generic method of finding bargains based on talents that the league currently undervalues. What Beane has done in Oakland is only one implementation of "Moneyball". You could just as easily say that by retooling a team more focused on preventing runs rather than scoring them, Kenny has engaged in *gasp* Moneyball.

Exactly!

Oakland plays a Beane/SABR/James version of Moneyball, you could say.

The Yankees don't play Moneyball... they overpay a massive amount of players that have a good chance of being great. If 1/2 of them have an off year, they still win.

eurotrash35
10-28-2005, 12:47 PM
This shows the author of the article, like most people, don't understand what moneyball is. Moneyball isn't about any particular stat or style of play. It's a generic method of finding bargains based on talents that the league currently undervalues. What Beane has done in Oakland is only one implementation of "Moneyball". You could just as easily say that by retooling a team more focused on preventing runs rather than scoring them, Kenny has engaged in *gasp* Moneyball.

Guys, don't you know that "Moneyball" is simply putting a team together that has a chance to win the World Series?

Even when you go to the store and use a coupon for 50 cents off Captain Crunch, you're using Moneyball tactics. Hypocrites!

Flight #24
10-28-2005, 12:48 PM
This shows the author of the article, like most people, don't understand what moneyball is. Moneyball isn't about any particular stat or style of play. It's a generic method of finding bargains based on talents that the league currently undervalues. What Beane has done in Oakland is only one implementation of "Moneyball". You could just as easily say that by retooling a team more focused on preventing runs rather than scoring them, Kenny has engaged in *gasp* Moneyball.

If true, then EVERY team is operating under the Moneyball premise and always has. Because 20 years ago, guys were looking for diamonds in the rough, or trading for guys they thought would perform better than they had (and getting them cheaper than their performance would warrant).

It's like saying "my investment philosophy is to invest in underpriced stocks that provide a high return". No ****, sherlock. The important point is how you ID them. That's what characterizes the Beane philosophy.

Tragg
10-28-2005, 12:55 PM
This shows the author of the article, like most people, don't understand what moneyball is. Moneyball isn't about any particular stat or style of play. It's a generic method of finding bargains based on talents that the league currently undervalues. What Beane has done in Oakland is only one implementation of "Moneyball". You could just as easily say that by retooling a team more focused on preventing runs rather than scoring them, Kenny has engaged in *gasp* Moneyball.

Who doesn't look for bargains. Everyone who makes a deal is looking for a bargain (except in circumstances where you really need something and have enough equity to pay an inflated price). That's what we do in our everyday lives; if a loaf of bread gives you more satisfaction than $2, you buy it.
So, in itself, it is no revelation at all.
To me, Moneyball wasn't about finding value; it was finding value AND that value is defined as OBP or whatever Beane likes. (plus a self-serving salute to Beane and his "genius").

Ol' No. 2
10-28-2005, 01:02 PM
If true, then EVERY team is operating under the Moneyball premise and always has. Because 20 years ago, guys were looking for diamonds in the rough, or trading for guys they thought would perform better than they had (and getting them cheaper than their performance would warrant).

It's like saying "my investment philosophy is to invest in underpriced stocks that provide a high return". No ****, sherlock. The important point is how you ID them. That's what characterizes the Beane philosophy.Which is a point made in the article:
Revisionist historians now argue that Moneyball wasn't really about seeking hitters with high on-base percentages, while ignoring defence and "small ball," but finding "value" in a changing marketplace. That's a nice try, but most baseball teams have, by their own value judgments, used a version of that practice for generations.

eurotrash35
10-28-2005, 01:07 PM
Beane is coming to lecture at the U of Iowa in April and I think I might ask him if he still thinks he can call up and rip Kenny off after the much-maligned Bradford trade ended up with us netting Garcia and Cotts came from the Foulke trade.

1951Campbell
10-28-2005, 01:31 PM
This shows the author of the article, like most people, don't understand what moneyball is. Moneyball isn't about any particular stat or style of play. It's a generic method of finding bargains based on talents that the league currently undervalues. What Beane has done in Oakland is only one implementation of "Moneyball". You could just as easily say that by retooling a team more focused on preventing runs rather than scoring them, Kenny has engaged in *gasp* Moneyball.

"Moneyball", as commonly used, means finding bargains, and bargains are defined as players with a high OBP, which in turn allows a team to not "give up" outs. That definition of value was central to what Moneyball was.

If this is not how Moneyballers see it, then:

(1) I'm wrong, or

(2) Moneyballers are being revisionists, or

(3) the "real" or "original" definition of Moneyball was so broad as to be meaningless, i.e., "Moneyball is getting good players cheap, and each GM shall have their own defintion of 'undervalued', one that need not include a high OBP and not giving up runs."

rowand33
10-28-2005, 04:36 PM
great article. This is the best part:


"I don't want to make too much of it, but is there something revolutionary about treating guys just like men and expecting them to behave like men?" Williams said this week.

awesome.

maurice
10-28-2005, 06:19 PM
The book is very clear that "Moneyball" requires a nearly exclusive reliance on statistics and almost complete disregard for traditional, unquantifiable scouting methods. The central events in the book involve BB ignoring (and then firing) the A's traditional scouts and relying on untrained stat-heads to make decisions on players. The most famous example:
- Stat-head wants to draft Jeremy Brown in the 1st round, mostly because he has a good OBP.
- Scout says that Brown is slow, bad defensively behind the plate, and generally lacks the physical tools to justify a 1st-round pick.
(Lewis' claim that scouts didn't want to draft Brown in any round was quickly debunked.) Flash forward to 2005 -- Brown's performance is consistent with the scout's position (.261/.359/.487, 0 SB, 17 GiDP, 13 errors in 115 games) and disappointing for a 26-year-old 1st-round pick who only has reached AA.

Brewski
10-28-2005, 07:01 PM
As some poster smarter than I said in an earlier thread, "Oakland's success comes from getting 3 great starters and locking them into long-term contracts. Then everyting else you do around this nucleus is going to look good unless you completely screw up."

Beane did this but fails to recognize it as the source of his success, preferring to fixate on statistical mumbo-jumbo. Notice how much better we got when we acquired a surplus of good starters? Even though the everyday talent level seems to be lower than before?

Cambridge
10-28-2005, 07:26 PM
...and Cotts came from the Foulke trade.

Let's wait and see what Cotts does in the future before we claim this was a good deal. He's had exactly one good year, while Koch was a disaster and Foulke has won 19 and saved 90 (and won a World Series) in three years since being dealt. History could someday prove this to be a good deal for the White Sox, but it hasn't yet.

maurice
10-28-2005, 07:29 PM
Foulke has won 19 and saved 90 (and won a World Series) in three years since being dealt.

You're missing a very important point. Foulke's success in Boston cannot make it a good trade for the A's.

Daver
10-29-2005, 01:33 AM
Let's wait and see what Cotts does in the future before we claim this was a good deal. He's had exactly one good year, while Koch was a disaster and Foulke has won 19 and saved 90 (and won a World Series) in three years since being dealt. History could someday prove this to be a good deal for the White Sox, but it hasn't yet.

Foulke did not help the A's win a damn thing, Cotts was an important part of winning a world series for the Sox, if he never does another thing, he will always have that ring. To say Kenny got beat on that deal is absurd.

FarWestChicago
10-29-2005, 01:58 AM
Foulke did not help the A's win a damn thing, Cotts was an important part of winning a world series for the Sox, if he never does another thing, he will always have that ring. To say Kenny got beat on that deal is absurd.Aren't the worship of Billy Beane and absurdity the same thing? :?:

:fobbgod:

My fawning FOBB's will always bow at my feet. I am their god. Kenny Williams is a mere mortal toy for me to exploit.

:KW

Let's talk rings egomaniac.

Tragg
10-29-2005, 02:14 AM
:fobbgod:

"It's time for another book: Hairball: Why Macha, Zito, and myself provide more VORP, Pythagoreans, Winshares and FASBUs than the baldies Howe, Hudson and Williams."

OEO Magglio
10-29-2005, 02:48 AM
Let's wait and see what Cotts does in the future before we claim this was a good deal. He's had exactly one good year, while Koch was a disaster and Foulke has won 19 and saved 90 (and won a World Series) in three years since being dealt. History could someday prove this to be a good deal for the White Sox, but it hasn't yet.
If moneyball all the sudden is finding diamonds in the rough then Neal Cotts is what?? Beane got beat at his own game there. Kenny traded Foulke because he was gone after the 03 season no matter what, so in essence, Kenny traded one year of Keith Foulke for 6 years of Neal Cotts who was this year and could be for a while one of the most dominating relievers in baseball. Advantage: Kenny Williams.

FarWestChicago
10-29-2005, 02:53 AM
If moneyball all the sudden is finding diamonds in the rough then Neal Cotts is what?? Beane got beat at his own game there. Kenny traded Foulke because he was gone after the 03 season no matter what, so in essence, Kenny traded one year of Keith Foulke for 6 years of Neal Cotts who was this year and could be for a while one of the most dominating relievers in baseball. Advantage: Kenny Williams.Nice burn of a fawning FOBB!! :thumbsup: (And you didn't even mention Foulke is a washed up choke)

:fobbgod:

Why do people dislike my mindless minions? I love my slaves!!

doublem23
10-29-2005, 04:54 AM
I still can't figure out how anyone can actually read that thing. It's so self-serving and utterly ridiculous, I can barely read more than 5 pages per sitting before I want to burn the book.

Cambridge
10-29-2005, 10:45 AM
To say Kenny got beat on that deal is absurd.

Agree 100%. I'm sure several people were saying that a year later, after Koch bombed and Foulke went 9-1 with 43 saves for Oakland. But like I said, we need to see what Cotts does in the future before we can really determine that (yes, he helped win a WS this year, but there was no direct cause and effect from the trade).

Tragg
10-29-2005, 11:21 AM
Agree 100%. I'm sure several people were saying that a year later, after Koch bombed and Foulke went 9-1 with 43 saves for Oakland. But like I said, we need to see what Cotts does in the future before we can really determine that (yes, he helped win a WS this year, but there was no direct cause and effect from the trade).

Yes, but is the verdict in on Joe Valentine, who we also had to give up on that deal?

To me, Cotts is just icing. Except for perhaps bad scouting of Koch on the Sox part, the trade was well-intentioned, which is all you can ask for. Koch was cheaper and had one more year on his contract than did Foulke. Plus, even though Manuel was an idiot, Foulke wasn't closing games for him and that wasn't likely to change. The Ritchie deal WAS poorly conceived; the Foulke deal really wasn't, unless the Sox just forgot to scout Koch. Further, if we should have not cared about the length of the deal, perhaps not. But in putting the 2005 edition together, Kenny didn't load up for a 1 year run either (including eschewing trades for such luminaries as AJ Burnett), so the philosophy got the gold.