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by Chryseis28
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The main points of pitching came from Voros McCracken.Voros, a paralegal, was a follower of Bill James and looked into the stats of pitchers. Voros didn't like the way errors and fielding mistakes hurt the pitcher. So Voros focused on the only stats a pitcher could determine(strikeouts,walks, and HR given up) and ranked pitchers that way.

The Art of Winning an Unfair Game


Hitting was very simple in Oakland's eyes and Bill James's eyes. The most important thing you can do as a hitter is get on base. Baseball is a clock counting down from 3 outs and once when those 3 outs are done, the alarm goes off and you have to start over. This means, by getting on base, you avoid that alarm going off for one more batter. Also the more men you get on base and the more times you bat in an inning, the more runs you score. More runs means more wins. The one stat the A's would use to judge their players was OBP or On Base Percentage. The higher their OBP, the more likely they would win. If you didn't have a high OBP, you didn't start for Oakland.

Moneyball is about the amazing season of the 2002 A's, where they tied for the best record with the Yankees, but the Yanks paid an extra 86 million dollars to get to 103 wins. Billy Beane, the mastermind of it all, designed the team to be as efficient as possible by using stats. The irony of it all is that Billy was probably the least efficient player when he played in the 80’s. Early in his career, He was destined by scouts to become the next big star with his athletic ability. He gave up his chance to go to Stanford and play football and baseball for the MLB. The amount of failure and pressure that Billy recieved made him swing and miss a lot, but he always found a way to hit something (you didn’t want to mess with him after he struck out). Billy then quit baseball to become a scout. He soon climbed the ranks and became The Oakland A’s general manager in 1997. After the success of the 2002 season, the Boston Red Sox offered Billy their open GM spot that included $12.5 million. After originally accepting the job, Billy turned it down because he wants to prove he can win it all with the low budget A’s, saying, “I made one decision (Stanford vs MLB) in my life based on money and I swore I’d never do it again" (Lewis 280).

t elusive title.

Fielding was what Bill James, a statician and investor in Sabermetrics,1st criticized in baseball. Bill James didn't like the fact that errors were something that should of happened, but didn't and so they were very bias in the fact that we don't know what should of happened in the 1st place. James would later account for how your fielding affected how many runs you let up. By doing so you could tell if a player's hitting could make up for their defense. This was very valuable to evaluating players in Oakland.

The 2002 Oakland A’s were special. They lost 3 All-Stars named Jason Giambi, Matt Damon, and Jason Isringhausen. The biggest hole was Giambi who was the best hitter in the league. Instead of overpaying for an All-Star talent, they improved 3 positions that included Giambi’s. They brought in the old David Justice, the injured Scott Hatteburg, and Jason’s troubled brother Jeremy Giambi. Justice was 36 and aging fast in 2002, Hatteburg just came off an elbow surgery that caused him to never be able to throw a baseball again, and Jeremy was seen in Vegas more than Oakland. This caused them to be extremely cheap and affordable. The one thing teams didn’t see and Paul Depodesta (Billy’s assistant from Harvard) did, was that these guys could all hit and get on base, which is key. Billy then did his magic and got a pair of the 2 best relievers in Ricardo Rincon and Chad Buford over the course of the season. The team would win 20 games in a row, the MLB record, with a walk off home run by Hatteburg and later on make the playoffs tied for the best record. The season was a failure at the end when they lost to the Twins in the playoffs. Billy Beane is still waiting for that elusive title.

Lewis, Michael. Moneyball. New York: W.W. Norton, 2003. Print.


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