July 10, 2004

Moneyball Exposed as a Hoax!: Thanks to the work of one hard-working Dallas Morning News columnist, baseball's long nightmare is over. Bill James is a fraud and "One good scout is worth more than 100 numbers-crunchers." Evidence for this claim? One of the Rangers scouts did a good job during the Carl Everett deal. BugMeNot info for DMN

posted by yerfatma to baseball at 05:52 PM - 13 comments

Comrades, when the revolution comes this reactionary will be first against the wall.

posted by lbergstr at 07:05 PM on July 10, 2004

I read that column while visiting Dallas -- what a load. Fraley was a colleague of Tracy Ringolsby, a former Dallas Morning News columnist now writing in Denver who was shredded in the epilogue of Moneyball. Since they both write for Baseball America today also, I wouldn't be surprised if Fraley's comments are personally motivated. In September, when the Rangers have lost the West again to Oakland, we should remind Fraley about this column.

posted by rcade at 11:07 PM on July 10, 2004

This becomes particularly amusing when you look at the first two games of the Texas/Boston series this weekend.

posted by Bryant at 06:56 AM on July 11, 2004

I was thinking that last night until Bellhorn booted two balls in one inning. It's like he wants Derek Lowe to break down and cry on the mound. 7/10/2004: "Boston is much closer to third-place Tampa Bay . . . than the first-place Yankees in the East standings." 7/11/2004: Boston is 6 games behind NYY, 6.5 ahead of Tampa Bay.

posted by yerfatma at 10:50 AM on July 11, 2004

It's not legit to draw conclusions from a single series, let alone two games. Texas and Boston are both 48 & 37 overall- and the expectations for Texas going into the season were much lower...

posted by crank at 01:01 PM on July 11, 2004

Yeah, and it's not legit to draw conclusions about "Moneyball" ideas vs. traditional scouting on the basis of half-seasons from three teams.

posted by yerfatma at 01:34 PM on July 11, 2004

Why employ the same faulty reasoning as the columnist to disprove his conclusion? Why not instead bring up the post-season successes of moneyball teams?

posted by crank at 02:13 PM on July 11, 2004

This becomes particularly amusing when you look at the first two games of the Texas/Boston series this weekend. Seriously. What a time to visit Fenway. Today's game was one of the best I've watched all year, though.

posted by Ufez Jones at 04:43 PM on July 11, 2004

Definitely a good game today, other than the Manny incident and the fact the Sox walked a tightrope all day just to stay in it. Keith Foulke is seeing the Law of Averages catch up to him.

posted by yerfatma at 05:01 PM on July 11, 2004

Sox aren't done. Houston's been much more disappointing.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:36 PM on July 11, 2004

I'm not 100% on the Moneyball bandwagon, but this column was just another example of someone giving sportswriting a bad name. It's tough to chalk a bad column to personal motivation when you're already predisposed to look at guys like Beane as "stat geeks". The new way of looking at any sport is difficult for those who are writing about it, as it affects relationships and means going beyond one's comfort zone in learning different concepts.

posted by jackhererra at 02:58 PM on July 12, 2004

Not exactly... while "Moneyball" won't win anyone any World Series titles, it will allow you to run a succesful baseball franchise from a business standpoint while giving you the chance to compete. Small Market teams lose because they do not have the $$ to pay "5-tool players" fair market value. They develop the talent until a major market team can afford to buy them as free agency approaches. All Moneyball puports to do is to get wins by not focusing on traditional scouting maxims, but statistical analysis. So, Billy Beane isn't interested in finding 9 Beltrans. Very few teams (NY, LA, Bos) can even afford 9 Beltrans. What Beane wants is a group of guys that perform well in certain statistical categories that he believes are more important to winning than the 5 tools. OBP is the one everyone talks about. Well, to say that his method is a fluke simply because another team is winning more games is ridiculous. Moneyball is a business philosophy as much as it is a baseball philosophy. Let's compare Texas, Boston and Oakland over a five year span and see who has won more games and also, who was more in the black. I bet the numbers would favor sabermetricians. It's just a matter of doing more with less. BUT, talent is the most important factor. The fact that Texas is doing better than Oakland doesn't mean that Texas' philosophy is better than Oakland's, it simply means that they have a better mix of talent. It is hard to argue with the results Oakland has gotten over the last few years with a fraction of the payroll of some other teams. Especially coming from the Rangers. If anything, the Rangers are poster children for why it works. Shed the high priced "5 tool player" and add players that in aggregate produce more towards a teams success.

posted by gilcintron at 02:22 PM on July 13, 2004

he fact that Texas is doing better than Oakland doesn't mean that Texas' philosophy is better than Oakland's Especially given an 80-something game sample.

posted by yerfatma at 03:40 PM on July 13, 2004

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