Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Assault on Moneyball 

Poor Aaron is no doubt sad over the 12-inning loss of his beloved Twins to the Yankees last night ... a few days ago he wrote this piece for Hardball Times talking about the forthcoming backlash against the A's Moneyball strategies. (I prefer to apply the term "Sabremetrics" to the A's philosophy.) He's probably right, that traditionalist teams will probably use the A's failure to make the playoffs as prima facie evidence that Sabremetrics doesn't work, and isn't worth being followed. The Phillies, a traditionalist organization if there ever was one, will be on that bandwagon.

The shame of it is that organizations like the Red Sox and Dodgers that believe in Sabremetrics and are willing to stick with the program will stay and course and thrive. Watching DePodesta's wheeling and dealing as the Dodgers GM, I am firmly convinced that we are seeing the emergence of a super-power team in LA. Teams like the Phillies are going to stick their heads in the sand and refuse to rethink their assumptions. As Aaron notes in his article, the Angels had a payroll of $101 million to win 92 games, the A's had a payroll of $59 million to win 91 games.

As I recall from Moneyball, someone had worked out that since every team has to pay a base payroll of $25 million dollars, every dollar they pay over that is discretionary money. (There was a term for it: can anyone help me remember?) The A's spent $34 million over, which divided into 91 wins means that the A's spent $382,694 per victory. The Angels spent $76 million over for 92 wins, which means that they spent $845,161 per win.

The Phillies? They spent $93 million, which means they spent roughly $68 million to win 86 games. Price tag for '04? $793,246. Was it worth it, Phillies fans?

(I finally saw the article about the Yankees actual win - pythagorean win varience: read it here.)

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