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Without cheating, take a guess at of the top 50 leaders in On-Base Percentage in the major leagues last year (2003), how many played for the Oakland As?

gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 19 November 2003 06:28 (nineteen years ago) link


Leee Majors (Leee), Wednesday, 19 November 2003 07:06 (nineteen years ago) link

Of the 30 teams in MLB, Oakland finished at what rank in OBP for 2003?

gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 19 November 2003 15:38 (nineteen years ago) link

Leee = nope. Any other guesses for Q#1?

gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 19 November 2003 15:51 (nineteen years ago) link

Djibouti? Rita Moreno?

I don't know, tell me.

mookieproof (mookieproof), Wednesday, 19 November 2003 17:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Okay, the answers are:

[hit CTRL-A to view]

Only 1 of the top 50 MLB leaders in OBP was on Oakland, Mr. Erubiel Durazo (sp?). If you narrow that sort to just AL, only 4 of the top 50 OBP leaders are As.

Oakland finished the 2003 season 21st out of 30 in team OBP. Take some pitches guys!

gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 19 November 2003 17:37 (nineteen years ago) link

one month passes...
so.... how many of you folx read moneyball?

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 19 December 2003 03:34 (nineteen years ago) link

It is on my list of books to eventually check out.

earlnash, Friday, 19 December 2003 03:53 (nineteen years ago) link

Just for the matter of public record, I have.

Leee Iacocca (Leee), Friday, 19 December 2003 06:28 (nineteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
As for Moneyball the book... have any of you read "Wordfreak" or "Wild And Outside" by Stefan Fatsis? I think Mr. Tabitha Soren owes a little to Mr. Fatsis.

gygax! (gygax!), Thursday, 8 January 2004 19:28 (nineteen years ago) link

SF Chronicle interview with Michael Lewis... mentions Lewis considering Moneyball 2... a review of sorts covering the draftees/rookies in Moneyball.

gygax! (gygax!), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 20:09 (nineteen years ago) link

additional reading:
aaron gleeman's The Boys Of Moneyball recap from last year

gygax! (gygax!), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 20:14 (nineteen years ago) link

The Bosox have "the Greek God of Walks," don't they? I wanna see him play!!

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Wednesday, 21 January 2004 01:58 (nineteen years ago) link

Not at Bill Mueller's expense I hope!

Leee Majors (Leee), Wednesday, 21 January 2004 22:01 (nineteen years ago) link

Are you speaking of Bill "2003 AL Batting Title AND I can switch-hit back-to-back Grand Slams AND all the SF Giants got for my departure was David Bell/Edgardo Alfonzo and their limp popouts" Mueller?

gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 21 January 2004 22:07 (nineteen years ago) link

Yah that guy! And also "Silky slick glove at the hot corner not seen in SF since the glory days of Matt 'Matty' Williams."

Leee Majors (Leee), Wednesday, 21 January 2004 23:20 (nineteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
Article by Billy's XO, Paul DePodesta, on the difficulty of implementing sabremetric theory:

mookieproof (mookieproof), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 16:58 (eighteen years ago) link


gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 17:37 (eighteen years ago) link

Thanks again mookieproof for that!

gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 17:48 (eighteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
did anyone read billy beane's SI piece last week (?) about the Moneyball backlash?

gygax! (gygax!), Tuesday, 2 March 2004 02:35 (eighteen years ago) link

yeah, i read the si piece. came off as bitter in my mind.

otto midnight (otto midnight), Tuesday, 2 March 2004 02:57 (eighteen years ago) link

profile on Jeremy Brown

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 12 March 2004 20:43 (eighteen years ago) link

two months pass...
Kevin Youkilis (right, next to Johnny Damon) was once coveted by the A's and has reached base in all of eight his big-league games.

Kevin Youkilis is the A's kind of player. So much so that he's mentioned in that tome of A's-ness, "Moneyball,'' which detailed how much Oakland general manager Billy Beane had coveted him in 2001.

"It's great to be in the book and to get that recognition, but it was a crazy year with all the questions about 'Moneyball,' '' the Red Sox rookie said. "It's nice to know that somebody sees me as an asset. Ever since college, (the A's) wanted to draft me, but something happened and the scouting department screwed up. It's all in the book.''

Not that Youkilis, who spent four years at the University of Cincinnati, read it all. "I'm not a big book guy,'' he said, grinning. "I read most of the parts with me in it.''

Here's one surprise for those familiar with the best-seller. The A's front office dubbed Youkilis "the Greek God of Walks'' for his on-base prowess -- but he's not Greek. The name is Greek, but it's one his Romanian grandfather adopted.

"I'm the non-Greek Romanian God of Walks,'' Youkilis said with a laugh.

Youkilis, 25, showed why he fits the A's way the past two days, reaching base six times. He's been on base in each of his eight big-league games.

Could he ever wind up in Oakland? (He nearly did once -- had Beane taken the Red Sox's GM job two winters ago, Youkilis would have been the compensation for him.) Youkilis loves playing in Boston, but he does have a Bay Area connection: Beane will be happy to learn that Youkilis' brother, Scott, lives in San Francisco and works at Sociale restaurant in Presidio Heights.

"I don't think Theo (Epstein, the Red Sox's GM) will let me leave here,'' Youkilis said. "But you never know, they've been fighting over me for a couple of years.''

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 28 May 2004 04:54 (eighteen years ago) link

>Youkilis...spent four years at the University of Cincinnati... "I'm not a big book guy,'' he said, grinning.

That goes right into the recruitment mailings!

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 1 June 2004 12:38 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah, stick him & all the men's basketball juco transfers on the cover of the next brochure. "Cincinnati - big on campus, not on books!" Maybe have Bob Huggins in the background making like Dean Wermer (sic).

BTW, KY has been godlike (or, at least, very good) since coming up. That .440ish OBP is very sexy.

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 1 June 2004 12:52 (eighteen years ago) link

but check his game log: particularly walks vs. hits... ???

gygax! (gygax!), Tuesday, 1 June 2004 12:54 (eighteen years ago) link

two months pass...
The Marlins-Dodgers trade has been the latest anti-"Moneyball" bonfire (which has been going on since the dyed-in-the-wool media and MLB crowds noticed it was a bestseller). Oh boo hoo, DePodesta traded LoDuca at the peak of his value for a stud pitcher and others, but he was THE HEART AND SOUL OF THAT TEAM! And what of CHEMISTRY?!?

Billy Beane gave some pretty good needles while defending his former lieutenant DePo:

"I talked to Paul this morning and asked if he could acquire some chemistry from another GM whose team is out of the race. But I'm concerned chemistry might not clear waivers."

"The fact is, they appear, at least in early returns, to be a better team. They appear to have more flexibility to make themselves a better team next year. Maybe I've got this wrong, but getting better and creating flexibility would be my approach whatever market I'm in."

The secondary drumbeat has been the "defensively sound" post-Nomar Sox and their two new mediocre bats. I listened to Assface Brantley and STEVE FRIGGIN' PHILLIPS join in on ESPN during the Bosox-Tampa Bay game last night. "Theo Epstein is moving away from Moneyball strategy, relying more on steals and defense," said The Man Who Signed Fat Mo. "Where does leadership fit in the Moneyball world?" drawled Brantley. I really wanna see the Dodgers flourish and the Indians beat out the good-glove Crimson Cranks for the w.c. to let the Jurassic crowd stew all autmn and winter...

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 13:37 (eighteen years ago) link

Amen, Morby.

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 13:57 (eighteen years ago) link

I really wanna see the Dodgers flourish and the Indians beat out the good-glove Crimson Cranks for the w.c. to let the Jurassic crowd stew all autmn and winter...

I wonder if Penny's injury will significantly affect LA down the stretch. I'd take either your scenario above or the A's actually winning a postseason series.

mattbot (mattbot), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 14:14 (eighteen years ago) link

Apparently Penny's MRI shows he'll only miss one start. The Dodgers may have made a dicier move acquiring Old Man Finley.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 14:35 (eighteen years ago) link

um, epstein's trades weren't "anti-moneyball" in the least. or at least, trading for defense/valuing it highly isn't.

take a look at what mr. moneyball and the a's have done over the past couple years.

do keep up.

John (jdahlem), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 15:34 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't think Epstein has abandoned the basic philosophy -- as Kahrl wrote in BP, he just caved.

Valuing Cabrera/Minky defense over Nomar offense is anti-Moneyball.

>take a look at what mr. moneyball and the a's have done over the past couple years

Hmmm, not sure whatcha mean -- Mark Kotsay? Good CF glove, but a stud at the plate this year too...

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 15:42 (eighteen years ago) link

"Valuing Cabrera/Minky defense over Nomar offense is anti-Moneyball."

how do you know? and might this be oversimplifying things somewhat fantastically?

kotsay, cameron (who beane made a hard charge at), ellis, chavez are all positively exceptional defensively (at least as judged by advanced defensive metrics such as UZR or the A's own metric, which seem to produce similar findings). there's also the acquisitions of pokey reese, orlando cabrera, and doug mienkiewicz from a team which i could've sworn was thought to be very much sabermetrically-inclined until they started going against the grain; now they're on the side of the infidels and not a fair benchmark by which to judge sabermetric achievement - on the contrary, their failure will prove the folly in "caving" to old-world baseball principles. don't be afraid to stick to your guns, theo: you're supposed to go after after fat, slow guys who can mash, remember? leave the athletic defense-and-speed types for the uninitiated.

as usual, the disparity in thought here can be pegged on a trifle: bp uses an outdated metric to evaluate defense and is too stubborn to admit it. but elsewhere in the stat-world, defense is the new obp.

John (jdahlem), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 16:09 (eighteen years ago) link

but John, isn't the #1 SABR fallacy: "moneyball"/SABR-metrics = OBP

gygax! (gygax!), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 16:13 (eighteen years ago) link


either that was my point, or i don't understand what you're saying.

John (jdahlem), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 16:19 (eighteen years ago) link

>defense is the new obp.

Wellll... that's crazytalk! Offense for most individual players is X times as important as defense. Paul Blair isn't in the HOF, Reggie Jackson is.

Remember the Moneyball chapter where the A's studied how many outs letting Johnny Damon leave would cost them in CF? They got a number, and concluded they could more than make it up with offense. Nothing wrong with valuing defense highly -- it helps win games -- but there is with OVERvaluing it, which the littleball / oldskool guys do by rote.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 16:22 (eighteen years ago) link

which is precisely why I find this Rolen over Bonds MVP talk is a bunch of malarky.

gygax! (gygax!), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 16:24 (eighteen years ago) link

Bonds values the game the right way!

mattbot (mattbot), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 16:29 (eighteen years ago) link

He should be doing more for his team, like good ole boy Scotty.

gygax! (gygax!), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 16:32 (eighteen years ago) link

"Nothing wrong with valuing defense highly -- it helps win games -- but there is with OVERvaluing it, which the littleball / oldskool guys do by rote."

i think it's become pretty clear lately that this isn't always the case.

John (jdahlem), Tuesday, 10 August 2004 16:49 (eighteen years ago) link

don't know where to put this so i'll just slide it in here since it maybe ties in in the big scheme of things:

over at redbird nation they quote a for-pay sheehan article on pitchers:

"Whether it's the physical toll, the mental strain or just the way the world spins, the vast majority of pitchers are completely unpredictable. They get good, and they get bad, and they get to all points in between, and they do so randomly. This is why, when it comes to building a team, I don't see any need to spend money on the middle of the pitching bell curve. If you can invest in the top tier, then you should do so. Get Johnson or Greg Maddux or Roger Clemens. Money spent on the Sidney Ponson class is money thrown away, because the chances of getting three straight good years from a guy like that is tiny. So you build a staff around the very best, then fill in around it with low-risk gambles and guys you develop."

this is sooo right. unless you're the yankees, spending 12M on a guy like millwood, colon, ponson or pettitte is generally a pretty dumb thing to do.

John (jdahlem), Monday, 16 August 2004 18:48 (eighteen years ago) link

there was an article i read last season or possibly in 2002 which detailed a statistic measuring something like "pitching consistency"... mainly, pitchers who are the most consistent over the course of a season. i will try to find it when i get a chance.

gygax! (gygax!), Monday, 16 August 2004 18:51 (eighteen years ago) link

one thing I like about the Cubs is that since the Jose Guzman experiment, they've been more careful about the free-agent pitcher signings. I suppose with KW/MP/CZ they don't have to worry that much, though...

Gear! (Gear!), Monday, 16 August 2004 20:18 (eighteen years ago) link

Jose Guzman! Man, I remember when his Upper Deck baseball card was worth A WHOLE DOLLAR! (According to Bêçkëtt.)

Mr. Tony Plow (Leee), Monday, 16 August 2004 21:20 (eighteen years ago) link

I saw Jose Guzman pitching for the Ft. Worth Cats last year.

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Monday, 16 August 2004 22:31 (eighteen years ago) link

When did he get rid of his mullet?

Mr. Tony Plow (Leee), Monday, 16 August 2004 22:50 (eighteen years ago) link

one month passes...
``My whole philosophy is if he's going to hurt you to a point where you can't recover, then you can't pitch to him,'' [Brewer's Coach Ned] Yost said. ``Just let common sense rule. In reality, 6.25 times out of 10, he's going to make an out. Statistics say that.''

Is this the closest thing to a SABR-coach?

Leeeter van den Hoogenband (Leee), Thursday, 16 September 2004 02:00 (eighteen years ago) link

If he actually said "point two five," then yes.

mattbot (mattbot), Thursday, 16 September 2004 04:10 (eighteen years ago) link

actually w/ barry it's probably damn near 50/50 at this point, when walks are considered.

John (jdahlem), Thursday, 16 September 2004 14:05 (eighteen years ago) link

True, John, but when you remove intentional walks (and unintentional intentional walks, if that's possible), then you probably get a number close to the number Yost is bandying about.

David R. (popshots75`), Thursday, 16 September 2004 14:20 (eighteen years ago) link

Finally caught it on cable. Pretty lousy.

Andy K, Thursday, 26 July 2012 00:08 (ten years ago) link

*glances at picture of one of his Little League teams*

Andy K, Thursday, 26 July 2012 00:09 (ten years ago) link

A's working on sequel!

Pangborn to be Wilde (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 26 July 2012 00:24 (ten years ago) link

I thought the movie was absolutely fucking awful. Blind Side was a pile of shit, too.

Mr. Snrub, Thursday, 26 July 2012 00:56 (ten years ago) link

u know Michael Lewis had nothing to do w/ the movies

Pangborn to be Wilde (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 26 July 2012 01:01 (ten years ago) link

No one said he did

pun lovin criminal (polyphonic), Thursday, 26 July 2012 01:02 (ten years ago) link

Man they might have to make MONEYBALL 2 the way A's are playing right now. #oaktown

Andy K, Thursday, 26 July 2012 02:29 (ten years ago) link

hope it's better than the bad news bears go to japan

j.q higgins, Thursday, 26 July 2012 17:07 (ten years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Just saw this. Jonah Hill was awful, he detracts from the movie. The side plot with Beane and his daughter didn't work at at all, I guess Hollywood norms dictate that you should have a precocious child to counterbalance a brooding, complex lead character. Otherwise, this wasn't bad, especially for an insider baseball film produced for a general movie audience,

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 19 August 2012 22:14 (ten years ago) link

three months pass...

Nate Silver Verified
My sh*t doesn't work in the fantasy football playoffs.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 11 December 2012 05:15 (ten years ago) link

Just watched. Really annoyed with the Rincon scene where Beane/Jonah Hill dismiss the Giants and specifically mentions JT Snow (2002 OBP .344), Kent (.368), and some other guy (.582 lol).

I was in this prematureleee air-conditioned supermarket (Leee), Saturday, 22 December 2012 20:35 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...


Has Beane ever spoken about PEDs at length?

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Monday, 20 January 2014 21:36 (nine years ago) link

Re-signing Bartolo Colon after his 50 game suspension kinda said it all.

polyphonic, Monday, 20 January 2014 22:02 (nine years ago) link

not really

mookieproof, Monday, 20 January 2014 22:13 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Zaidi wowed Beane and Forst. A 2 1/2-inch binder full of projections for the 2005 A's didn't hurt, nor did Zaidi's affinity for Oasis, a British band that Beane also likes. Zaidi had been embarrassed to list "Britpop" as an interest on his resume, but it wound up helping seal the deal.

"David and I looked at each other when he left and said, 'That's the guy,' " Beane said. "It wasn't just his analytical skills, it was his incredible personality. It was important to us to find someone to fit into a very fraternal group."

Chemistry! RIP, Moneyball.

Andy K, Wednesday, 5 February 2014 02:23 (nine years ago) link

what other front-office metrics do you have?

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 5 February 2014 02:30 (nine years ago) link


Andy K, Wednesday, 5 February 2014 13:43 (nine years ago) link

ten months pass...

Some customers, of course, maybe 15-20% of them, loved the competitive chutzpah it took for Beane to trade his best player. For them, winning is all that matters.

Others, such as the author of this essay, were appalled. We other 80-85%, perhaps we are evolutionary dead ends, the kind of people who let our emotions get in the way of us pulling the trigger. Perhaps we are the kind of people who, in the end, will lose, and thus fail to pass on our genes to the generations of people 200 million years from now. We are freeloaders, parasites feeding off the efforts of the 15-20% of the population who actually accomplish something.

So be it. I am what evolution has produced to this point, a person who does not believe that winning is the highest value. These emotions that group-level selection has instilled in me–the feelings of loyalty, betrayal, belonging, loneliness, embarrassment, forgiveness, shame, remorse, gratitude, sympathy, rejection, acceptance that drive us to compete in groups and for groups–these are the things that drive me to be an Oakland Athletics customer. I value these things more than winning itself. For if I didn’t, it would be very easy to just cross the bay and join hands with the team that has won three of the last five World Series, the team that has actually won, the San Francisco Giants....

things lose meaning over time (Dr Morbius), Monday, 8 December 2014 18:22 (eight years ago) link

That is a seriously long history.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 9 December 2014 00:16 (eight years ago) link

i thought the first 4/5ths was excellent and then it collapsed into a prolonged reddit aspie rant when he should connected his master argument together.

iggwilv azaelea (sanskrit), Tuesday, 9 December 2014 03:16 (eight years ago) link

two months pass...

In 2002, A's general manager Billy Beane crafted a new kind of major league baseball draft class. For the next 12 years, Tabitha Soren, who is married to Michael Lewis, followed the class made famous by Moneyball, chronicling with her camera the vagaries of the players' lives on and off the field. These are 10 of those players, from 2002 to 2014.

Andy K, Sunday, 22 February 2015 20:46 (seven years ago) link

three weeks pass...

BP is doing a free article on each team's 'version' of moneyball for this season. Here's the Yankees':

the increasing costive borborygmi (Dr Morbius), Friday, 20 March 2015 11:55 (seven years ago) link

six months pass...

Beane and James discuss big data, open-source vs proprietary analytics, etc.

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 23 September 2015 03:20 (seven years ago) link

nine months pass...

let us discuss the status of billy beane's genius, because his recent moves seem pretty fuckin disastrous

donaldson trade: brutal
butler signing: doesn't even make any sense
dealing pomeranz for yonder alonso: what

i can't really blame the a's for going all-in two years ago, and if that wild card game turns out differently then maybe it's all worthwhile. but i don't think they needed to give up addison russell to get samardzija

mookieproof, Thursday, 14 July 2016 23:23 (six years ago) link

this is what the A's got for AL MVP Josh Donaldson, who was under contract for four more years at the time:

- LHP Sean Nolin posted a 5.28 ERA in six starts in 2015 and was waived in the offseason
- RHP Kendall Graveman is a not-quite-league-average starter
- SS Franklin Barreto is scuffling in the Texas League (he might be the youngest player in it, though)
- INF Brett Lawrie for one year with a 94 WRC+

Lawrie has since turned into:

- LHP Zack Erwin, who has a 6.12 ERA in 16 starts at high-A (yeah it's the Cal League, but he doesn't have the strikeouts either)
- RHP J.B. Wendelkin, who has a 4.55 ERA as a Triple-A reliever (does have the Ks at least)

Barreto is a legit prospect and might well become a solid big league shortstop. That is not enough for four years of the second-best player in the league.

mookieproof, Thursday, 14 July 2016 23:31 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

The book was released 15 years ago today.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 19 June 2018 03:26 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

buzza, Thursday, 3 October 2019 07:12 (three years ago) link

Does Beane still brag about his s*** not working in the playoffs? Since 2000, the A's are 1-15 in games where they could have advanced.

Everyone accepts that the Braves only won one WS during the 90's-'00's because of real tangible things like not having decent bullpens and Bobby Cox managing the playoffs like the regular season. What is Beane missing?

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 3 October 2019 10:46 (three years ago) link

i don't think beane was bragging

mookieproof, Thursday, 3 October 2019 13:13 (three years ago) link

Ya, it was more like a warning label.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 3 October 2019 13:18 (three years ago) link

Maybe not bragging, but he was saying that the playoffs are dominated by luck (small sample sizes) and are therefore beyond the GM's job description. Does anyone still believe that?

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 3 October 2019 13:39 (three years ago) link

i don't think he was saying it's beyond the GM's job description either. he was saying that it's tough.

the a's won 97 games this year; unfortunately that was still 10 games worse than a historically good astros team. if you want to call their season (or their executives) a failure for losing a one-game playoff, i think that's overly harsh.

and what beane is missing is a number one starter (although he might now have one in either luzardo or puk), which is nice to have in a wild card game.

mookieproof, Thursday, 3 October 2019 14:24 (three years ago) link

"secret sauce" for the postseason is even more elusive given the huge reliever usage evolution in PS

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 3 October 2019 14:29 (three years ago) link

The secret sauce changes every year depending on who is winning. Whatever it is, Beane's teams never seem to have it.

Beane had great starters in the past (the Big Three in the early 2000's, Lester in the WC game in 2014), they never seem to get over the hump. At some point, it has to be more than just bad luck/the PS is tough.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 3 October 2019 15:00 (three years ago) link

There’s was enough bang in that A’s lineup to overcome a 4 runs deficit, especially with the juiced ball. A’s also lost because they could only get singles.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 3 October 2019 17:01 (three years ago) link

Another promising regular season ended in disappointment for the A's, but there's still plenty to celebrate about their year. @CraigBrown_BP discusses the good and the bad for our ongoing Hindsight 2020 series.

— Baseball Prospectus (@baseballpro) October 3, 2019

mookieproof, Thursday, 3 October 2019 17:02 (three years ago) link

I’m just wondering if the A’s ‘shit that doesn’t work in the playoff’ is simply lacking an extra 50 millions players worth of salary.

Van Horn Street, Thursday, 3 October 2019 17:07 (three years ago) link

That I think, in part... I'm agnostic on whether there are other tangible reasons, but on the surface level, the Oakland teams that failed to advance had different strengths. This year's was more power-heavy (adjusted for environment) than usual.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 18:33 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

I'd never read this 3-way interview between Billy Beane + Johnny Ramone.

CM: Johnny, meet Billy…Billy, meet Johnny…

Billy Beane: Johnny, they might have given you a heads up that I might turn into a crazy fan here and just gush for a few minutes. But I went out and got the “Rocket To Russia” 8-track when I was 16. And I got into the Ramones, the Dead Boys and everybody else for the same reason that you started playing it. I got so sick of hearing “Kashmir,” and “Roundabout” by Yes, and all these synthesizers on the radio. So when I first heard you I went, “Oh my God!” It was like I was enlightened! So I said, “Johnny’s just gonna have to put up with me for a few minutes because I’m gonna turn into like some crazy Trekkie guy here.”

Johnny Ramone: Hey, and I wanted to be a baseball player…I just fell into this!

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 16 December 2020 18:51 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Kevin Youkilis owns a brewery/coffeehouse near my in-laws and I have never WALKED in there.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 8 January 2021 22:46 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

Watched this for the first time since it came out and really liked it. (It plays a lot on one cable network here. I'd always stop on the last scene--where Jonah Hill talks about the catcher who's afraid to run to second--and think "I should watch that again." Great scene.)

The biggest problem, as many have pointed out, is how it bends or disregards facts, the timeline, etc. That they don't mention Zito/Mulder/Hudson (and barely mention Chavez; Tejada really only shows up in actual game footage) is too obvious to ignore. If you can look past that, somehow, I think almost everything else is good.

The goopy daughter stuff didn't take up nearly as much time as I remembered (5-10 minutes?). I like all the performances, including Johan Hill (NoTime above thought he was awful). Philip Seymour Hoffman is excellent, although again, supposedly not much like the real Art Howe.

There are some really funny lines. Probably my favourite:

Chad Bradford: "Sir, I just want to let you know I'm going to be praying for you and your family."
Billy Beane: (long pause) "No problem."

I dislike so many baseball films...This might be my favourite non-documentary.

clemenza, Friday, 28 October 2022 22:49 (three months ago) link

Two-time Cy Young winner, Johan Hill.

clemenza, Friday, 28 October 2022 22:50 (three months ago) link

Haven't watched this in a while, but I'm sure it still holds up. I didn't mind that so many details were left out, I wasn't expecting a menu of sabermetric terms to show up in a Hollywood dramatization. Distilling the message down to "he gets on base!" and repeating it 100 times was good enough for me.

PSH was great as Art Howe, although as you mentioned, he's not like the real person (supposedly) but that's OK because the character he plays is compelling. I can't say the same for Jonah Hill. De Podesta in the book is a confident, ego-driven hotshot, Jonah Hill in the movie is a bumbling loser who is impossible to take seriously (I know that he's a composite character and not the full embodiment of PdP, the point still stands).

Best scene in the movie is Beane and Ron Washington going to Hatteberg's house. Love how the humour (Wash: it's incredibly hard, the absurdity of showing up without notice during the holidays) and the seriousness are blended together.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 30 October 2022 21:06 (three months ago) link

That scene has my second favourite line (paraphrase):

Beane: "Playing first is incredibly easy--tell him, Wash."
Washington: "It's incredibly difficult."

It's been so long since I read the book--this was even true the first time I saw it--I have no recollection at all of how anyone was in real life, so I'm probably a little generous there.

clemenza, Sunday, 30 October 2022 21:48 (three months ago) link

So many great lines in this and I’m only about a third of the way in (tbf I did start it this afternoon).

He’d been on the receiving end of the dreams of older men and he knew what they were worth. Over and over the old scouts will say, “The guy has a great body,” or, “This guy may be the best body in the draft.” And every time they do, Billy will say, “We’re not selling jeans here,”

Like sometimes you read this and you were like, wtf were these old guys thinking? So enjoyable though.

And that face! Beneath an unruly mop of dark brown hair the boy had the sharp features the scouts loved. Some of the scouts still believed they could tell by the structure of a young man’s face not only his character but his future in pro ball. They had a phrase they used: “the Good Face.”

after several days on “the milk,” (gyac), Saturday, 12 November 2022 16:12 (two months ago) link

my friend and i still find reasons to use “we’re not selling jeans here” all the time

call all destroyer, Saturday, 12 November 2022 17:08 (two months ago) link

It’s such a great line! And it’s true as well, baseball is really lookist even to this day.

after several days on “the milk,” (gyac), Saturday, 12 November 2022 17:39 (two months ago) link

Now ofc thinking of the bit in the Zito book when he gets picked up for a jeans ad by an ad executive who saw him in an inflight magazine.

after several days on “the milk,” (gyac), Saturday, 12 November 2022 17:41 (two months ago) link

And Billy Beane now attempts to do what he has done so many times in the past: insert himself in the middle of a deal that is none of his business.

I knew what this was going to be before I read the sentence and I still laughed.

after several days on “the milk,” (gyac), Saturday, 19 November 2022 12:48 (two months ago) link

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