"The 90 wins is about challenge. It's about changing the conversation. It's about framing questions for ourselves as to how we get there. So I stand by the notion that we need to get better, and in doing so we need to set concrete goals for ourselves so that we have sort of specific conversations among ourselves about how we're going to get there." -- Mr. Alderson
But what part of the Red Sox results do you have a problem with?
The end game is winning championships and having sustained success.
So I don't see how pointing to a few bad contracts changes the fact that the Red Sox do it right.
And I use them as a comparison (as opposed to Oakland in the early 2000s) simply because they have a market comparable to the Mets.
Go Grab My Belt
"You don't know how to drink. Your whole generation, you drink for the wrong reasons. My generation, we drink because it's good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it. We drink because it's what men do."
The Moneyball concept has been overrated for a number of reasons. The teams that so called used "Moneyball" are teams that already had good players. The Athletics in the early 2000s had Eric Chavez when he was at his best. Miguel Tejada. And they had 3 top notch pitchers in their starting rotation(Zito was horribly overrated even in Oakland). Moneyball was used to maximize their potential in areas that needed improvement. It was not the reason they won anything. It was more of an insurance tactic.
The Red Sox, it was the same thing. And they had more money than the Athletics to use anyway. Moneyball is not nor will it ever be a way to win long term. It doesn't even pass for short term. How some people even could have thought that years ago is beyond me.
The only small market team that actually uses any way to compete with the big spenders consistently is the Rays. And I'm not entirely sure what the exact process is that they use but it's obviously working.
The book was 20 years after these decisions had already been in place.
McGwire was drafted because of the mathematical work by Eric Walker who wrote the Sinister First Basemen and was then hired as a consultant. His work is why they drafted guys like McGwire, traded back for Henderson etc.
Beane is glorified for being the inventor of sabr-metrics, but he is simply the first guy to have a book written about him while it was under it's utilization.
Behind the Seams - the stat story on MLB Network, if you get the chance to watch, is great. Gives a lot of good insight to it.
I think in the case of the Athletics, they had an extremely low payroll when the theory came out, something around $30 million. The point is that they can not spend money on guys like Giambi and Tejada who they were losing to big money contracts, but that they could find guys on the market that had other skills that were undervalued, that the team could get a cheaper price. They were attempting to field the leftovers that no one wanted - Except for the Athletics - And they wanted those players because they found specific skills that these players did well (obviously the film talks a lot about Scott Hatteberg and that's a good example).
That's exactly right. If you're the A's, a low payroll team, you can't afford to think like everyone else. It won't get you anywhere. Moneyball is about challenging conventional wisdom to find undervalued commodities.
It wasn't AL MVP Miguel Tejada or Eric Chavez. Or the fact that they had 3 of the best pitchers in the league. It was all that number crunching sabermetrics that made the A's so good.
^ not sure if being sarcastic or not, but sabermetrics is how they got those 5 players, and got them so cheap and for an extended period of time.