Sunday, October 14, 2012

5 Reasons Moneyball Still Works in Oakland

In a previous post I wrote about the A's improbable and surprising Major League Baseball Divisional race. 

The A’s compete in a highly unbalanced system. The big clubs with unlimited budgets buy their way to the championships. I wondered if the A’s could compete against teams that had the best talent money could buy. 

While the A’s were no match in their final game against a superior team, it was fun to watch this collective of over-achievers delight their fans to the last out.  

In the final analysis, the A's Moneyball system still works. Here are five reasons why:

5. The A’s 2012 season was a game changer. The club won the most come-from-behind walk-off wins (15), more than any other club in MLB, doing it with cast-off-players, untested rookies, and bargain baseball rejects and rehab projects.

4. Moneyball leveled the playing field when the A's beat the heavily favored and well financed Texas Rangers for the division title, a team that had won the American League title the past two seasons.

3. The A’s matched or exceeded expectations. This is why there is still a MLB team in Oakland for fans to enjoy. Considering the club’s budget limitations, the A’s continue to deliver a competitive team and a good winning percentage in a small market.

2. The A’s very nearly beat the Detroit Tigers who were in the divisional race for the second straight year. The Tigers pay 1.5 million-plus per win, while the A's pay anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000 per win. In Moneyball, the A's win. Eventually Major League Baseball will figure out the math and re-structure the league. 

1. Soccernomics. Moneyball European-style has caught on in the English Premier League. I'm watching Arsenal, a team in which Billy Beane has some interest. Could be interesting. 

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