Talk:Moneyball

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Moneyball:
  • Explain the themes mentioned:
    • insiders vs. outsiders,
    • the democratization of information causing a flattening of hierarchies
  • Write about the new deal with Sony to make a Moneyball movie.

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was moved. -kotra (talk) 02:57, 22 December 2009 (UTC) kotra (talk) 02:57, 22 December 2009 (UTC)


Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair GameMoneyball — Subtitles of books should not appear in article titles. Moneyball is currently a redirect. --JEN9841 (talk) 06:09, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

insiders vs. outsiders:[edit]

insiders would be the scouts, and the outsiders would be the statisticians. There is a tension between the two, as the outsiders offer a fresh perspective and the insiders offer experience. The insiders control the rules of the game and naturally have a competitive advantage

democratization of information:[edit]

as access to information is opened up, this levels the playing field for the outsiders. The information that the man at the top of the hierarchy bases his decisions on rarely trickles down to the outsiders at the bottom. Lately, with technology and the internet, more information makes it to the leaves of the hierarchy, threatening to empower the dismantling or usurping of said hierarchy.

uh...[edit]

He wants someone to explain those themes on the article page. Here it does no good. zellin 16:29, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)

opening paragraph[edit]

Is the central premise of the book about statistics or, as the title says, the art of winning an unfair game (by capitalizing on market inefficiencies). Being a rabid A's fan, I'd say the latter, though Joe Morgan (as well as other announcers) have blown it into a stats-based strategy. The only statistical basis which will continue is that you try to avoid outs - the organization cannot have high OBP/OPS players anymore once they become overvalued, as they have over the past few years; instead, they must turn to something else. (And also, if the central premise is stats, why is it in the Financial section of bookstores?) -- Jjjsixsix (talk)/(contribs) @ 05:40, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Jeremy Brown DFA'd[edit]

A paragraph reporting that Jeremy Brown was "designated for assignment" by the A's has been added twice. I'm deleting it a second time. The reason is it is not notable enough to be worth mention in an article about the book Moneyball. Yes, Jeremy Brown features prominently in the book. But that doesn't mean this article should document everything that happens in his career. People who are interested in learning more about Brown can read the Jeremy Brown article.

Also, the way the text was worded made it sound like being DFA'd was some kind of final judgment on his career, and it's not. Brown is still a professional baseball player in the Oakland A's organization. Mrhsj 14:39, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

It is of course worthy of being noted in Moneyball. Brown is a primary character, as you yourself admit. The book even ends with Jeremy Brown hitting a home run. It is appropriate to note in the article that Brown, contrary to all the hype he received from Lewis, is a failure as a prospect, as the "fat scout" anticipated. Further, the article takes pains to note "trade steals" and players "found" by Beane, so it should mention a player who has turned out to be a bust. Vidor 22:20, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I have no problem with the way the information has been added back now. Mrhsj 23:18, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Excessive Wikilinks?[edit]

It seems to me there are far too many WikiLinks on this page. Do we really need links to Century and Wisdom? I'd be glad to remove them if people agree. anonymous6494 00:35, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Historical Errata[edit]

The article states that ...Moneyball traces the history of the sabermetric movement back to such luminaries as Bill James (now a member of the Boston Red Sox front office) and Craig R. Wright. That is incomplete and thus to some extent incorrect, but I hesitate to make any changes to the article myself, inasmuch as I (Eric Walker, as named in the book) am one of the figures involved--I taught Billy Beane the principles of what is now called "moneyball", and I didn't learn them from Bill James, I learned them originally from Earnshaw Cook's works and augmented them--I like to think significantly--with my own research. And Cook was doubtless inspired in part by the work of Branch Rickey in the 1950s, published as the cover story in the 2 August 1954 Life magazine (see Goodbye to Some Old Baseball Ideas).

Granted, Moneyball the book, not the approach now so called, is the topic; but even in the book, some of those things are made plain. I leave it to others to amend the article proper if and as they may see fit after some further reading.

On another note, I deplore the continuing conflation of statistical analysis and the term "sabermetrics". The main article on that topic perpetuates that conflation: not everyone doing analysis chose to use Bill James' coinage. In my 17 years with the A's, I always described my work--and that of others in the field--simply as "analysis" (or occasionally as "modern baseball analysis"). 63.174.56.82 (talk) 22:35, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Note that it's almost 3 years later and the sentence critiqued remains intact, complete with the POV "luminary". It's a proselytizing article couched in proselytizing language. Innovation is good for any institution, including baseball, but the advent of new ideas does not automatically negate all of the old. The article suffers from that viewpoint, and is not encyclopedic as a result. It's a blog piece. Temporary success often ensues from surprise, but not long term. Nor is any one idea THE idea. (The 2010 SF Giants were a sabermetrician's nightmare) The article suffers from that too.--Reedmalloy (talk) 21:14, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Jeremy Bonderman[edit]

The article states ...He eventually became one of the high school draft picks that paid off, developing into an MLB regular with the Tigers. He has had a decent length career with mediocre stats other than a lot of strikeouts and has been plagued by injuries for the last 3 years. I wouldn't call that "paying off". —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.189.111.15 (talk) 18:57, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

While many high school players never even make it to the majors, he helped the Tigers win the American League Pennant in 2006. That is paying off, but the book states, "That wasn't the point." The point was that although Jeremy Bonderman fit the physical characteristics that wowed scouts, it was a much safer draft choice to choose among those who played college baseball over those just out of high school. And neither his injuries and mediocre stats nor his World Series start could have been foreseen at the time Oakland picked him. MMetro (talk) 15:16, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Criticism[edit]

Should there be a section on the criticism Beane and moneyball have gotten? Mainly that he hasn't won a thing. Hot Stop talk-contribs 23:29, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

In the book, Beane himself says that his strategies are meant to improve his chances relative to his payroll in the regular season, but that all bets are off in the postseason. Given that the A's overperformed their expectations and that other teams, including the ones with the massive payrolls, have since adopted Moneyball principles, I'd say Beane's experiment was an unqualified success. – Muboshgu (talk) 01:34, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
Complete bull. Oakland hasn't made the playoffs since 2006. Their draft picks have failed miserably, and Baseball America has ranked their farm system 27, 25, 29, 30 19, 22 since then. Other teams have taken a moneyball element or two but never to the extreme that the A's did. 76.100.195.188 (talk) 00:33, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Please remember that the talk page is for discussions about how to improve the article, not for general discussions about the subject matter. This particular conversation looks like it might be going to drift and become the latter, so be sure that comments are focused on the article. Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:09, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

I disagree with Beyond My Ken and I agree with the post he commented on. Improving the article would involve proving the premise of the book- which is that the sabremetric approach, wins; it might and has, in the regular season, but it has not produced a World Series Champion. At the end of the movie, (I have not read the book, nor will I, I think sabremetrics is BS) the end credits state that BB refused the Red Sox $12mil+ offer, but the Sox did win the WS two years later with BB's principles- did they? Or was it the $134 mil payroll. "Moneyball" is about winning with small payrolls, I wouldn't call $134 mil a small payroll.Dcrasno (talk) 02:24, 18 September 2013 (UTC)