October 29, 2007

WOOOO!! (Or How The Red Sox Learned To Stop Losing And Love Moneyball)

We started our blog last night with: "Call me Bill Simmons." How right we were. Simmons begins his World Series recap:
"So if we win, who gets the MVP?" I asked my father Sunday night.
"I ... I don't know," he answered. "Ellsbury?"
Our conversation last night was similar, although ignoring Lowell altogether. How things have changed since October 2003. The second World Series win in the last four years was great for the one of us that is a Red Sox fan, and at least tolerable for the other. 2007 was nowhere near the emotional rollercoaster of 2004.

Simply put, the best baseball team in April was the best team in October.

More importantly for the Red Sox, the stage has been set for another title run in 2008 and 2009 (as Tim McCarver reminded us before the '07 squad had won a title). Terry Francona saw the big picture the entire season, shutting down Okajima and limiting Beckett when needed, keeping Gagne on the bench for most of the postseason, etc.

Just think how differently things could have been starting with A-rod going to the Yankees in 2004. The fight with Varitek in July, trading Nomar, keeping Manny, Dave Roberts, bloody sock, etc. A-rod was willing to take a pay cut to win a title. After four years of that he is looking for another record contract that may bankrupt whoever wants to have an MVP every few years and a chase at Bonds towards the end of the contract.
But that's neither here nor there. It has been a great year and the Red Sox are champs. Woo!

7 comments:

JBRATER said...

Do you know what Moneyball is?

By re-evaluating the strategies that produce wins on the field, the 2002 Athletics, with approximately $41 million in salary, are competitive with larger market teams such as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox who spend over $100 million in payroll. Oakland is forced to find players undervalued by the market, and their system for finding value in undervalued players has proven itself thus far."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moneyball


Do you know what censorship is?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship

"Censorship is defined as the removal and/or withholding of information from the public by a controlling group or body."



The 2008 Tigers and their fancy new shortstop will dethrone yankees 2.0 and restore justice to the universe.

JMA said...

You don't get the first word on my blog when my team wins the World Series. That ain't censorship, that's being in charge of the content of your site. If you want to start a blog, feel free to, the website is www.blogger.com.

I'm amazed that you read the third paragraph of the Wikipedia article without reading the first two. Remember the Greek God of Walks? Kevin Youklis? You did read Moneyball, didn't you?

"The central premise of Moneyball is that the collected wisdom of baseball insiders (including players, managers, coaches, scouts and the front office) over the past century is subjective and often flawed. Statistics such as stolen base, RBIs and batting average, typically used to gauge players, are relics of a 19th-century view of the game and the statistics that were available at the time.

Since then, real statistical analysis has shown that on base percentage and slugging percentage are better indicators of offensive success and that avoiding an out is more important than getting a hit."

Boston: #2 OBP, #6 slugging, #1 BBs, #15 steals (#4 stealing percentage), #29 sacrifices. That is Moneyball.

Hannah said...

WE WANT BRATER!

WAO said...

Jeff,

You're right on all points, except a terminology issue. What you refer to as simply "Moneyball" would more accurately be defined as "sabermetrics," since Moneyball is the term used by Lewis to refer specifically to the use of sabermetrics to level the playing field for a small-market team.

Using "moneyball" in reference to the second-highest payrolled team in baseball is a bit ironic...

JMA said...

"The central premise of Moneyball is that the collected wisdom of baseball insiders (including players, managers, coaches, scouts and the front office) over the past century is subjective and often flawed. Statistics such as stolen base, RBIs and batting average, typically used to gauge players, are relics of a 19th-century view of the game and the statistics that were available at the time."

"Sabermetrics is the analysis of baseball through objective evidence, especially baseball statistics. The term is derived from the acronym SABR, which stands for the Society for American Baseball Research. It was coined by Bill James, who was among its first proponents and has long been its most prominent advocate known to the general public."

Read both of those definitions from the source Jbrater introduced. Tell me which one you think refers to the Red Sox. The A's used Moneyball to win where they otherwise would not be able to as small market team. Point, Jeff. Also, jbrater isn't going anywhere, he just isn't allowed to publish an anti-Red Sox post on our blog before the Red Sox fan gets to post his reaction to the game.

Jaybro said...

You guys are nerds.

JBRATER said...

I will not be silenced! The Red Sox Empire of Darkness will not intimidate me!

SIC SEMPER TYRANNUS!!!