Thursday, May 05, 2005

Which Team Convinced Billy Beane of 'Moneyball' Truths?

Answer: the 1993 Phillies. In 1993, Billy Beane was watching the Phillies and became convinced of the merits of valuing OBP and wearing down pitchers.

I thought of the 1993 Phillies when I was reading Moneyball as well. 4 players, if memory serves, with over 100 walks.

While the article is worth the read, the author seems to miss the overall point of Moneyball. While there is a lot in there about using statistics to get a better picture of what's going on...and a lot about how group-think is endemic in the major leagues...

But what it is really about is trying to find out what the market undervalues. It changes how you look at baseball, but it is really an essential business book.

I've said this before, there are some good things in Moneyball (OBP as very important is the best thing, as is the finding what's undervalued) but there are also a lot of things that are questionable (no such thing as clutch hitting, defense as overrated, etc.). Chris J.
Billy Beane is currently focusing in on defense by using stats that I believe only he is privy to. But at the time they felt that offensive contributions were worth much more. Now, market inefficiencies for offense are much less. The clutch hitting thing can be verified very easily. Maybe the only team it applies to is the Phillies, or at least Lieberthal.
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