Moneyball Lives — Just Not in Oakland (or Boston)

From SABR member Rob Neyer at Baseball Nation on September 30, 2011:

Tom Verducci wrote a really good article in last week’s Sports Illustrated. You probably saw the cover, which is designed to appeal to every known gender. But Verducci’s article — “The New Moneyball: The Art of Winning an (Even More) Unfair Game” — is even better than the nifty cover.

In fact, there’s just one eensy-weensy problem with the piece …

It’s about the wrong team.

It’s about the Red Sox. The thesis of the article, if I’m reading it correctly (and I think I am), is that Billy Beane’s version of Moneyball just doesn’t work any more. But the Red Sox’ version of Moneyball works wonderfully, because in addition to their smarts they’ve got (you guessed it!) money.

But then it’s not really Moneyball any more, is it? Moneyball was about winning without money.


[T]he Red Sox have reached the playoffs twice in the last four seasons. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays? Three times in the last four seasons.

Granted, the Red Sox have won more games than the Rays in those four seasons. Well, not games. Game. The Sox are ahead, 369 to 368.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: September 30, 2011. Last Updated: September 30, 2011.