Posnanski: How the Oakland A’s continue to thrive a decade after ‘Moneyball’

From SABR member Joe Posnanski at NBC Hardball Talk on June 2, 2014:

So few people got the biggest lesson of Moneyball. Yes, on-base percentage is a more valuable tool than batting average. True, some of the old scouting techniques are more nonsense than wisdom and smart statistical analysis can help you overcome biases and see the game more clearly. Right, a team like the Oakland Athletics that cannot spend as much money as other teams must think differently.

But the biggest lesson? Funny how everyone missed that.

The biggest lesson: Nobody’s that smart.


By almost every regular-season measure, the Oakland A’s have become the best team in baseball. Don’t be embarrassed if you missed it: Most people have. The A’s have the best record in baseball since the beginning of the 2012 season. This year, at last check, Oakland did not only have the best record in the American League but also had scored more runs than any team in baseball while giving up fewer runs than any team in baseball.

The last team to score the most runs in baseball and give up the fewest? Right: The 2001 Seattle Mariners. That team won a record 116 games.

The A’s are dominating the game with a group of players so unknown to the general baseball population that when I arrive at the O.co Coliseum, I’m met by several bemused people saying, “Oh no, this isn’t going to be one of those ‘Who are these Oakland A’s’ stories?” And it is not that sort of story, not exactly.

Instead, this is one of those, “How in the heck are Billy Beane and company doing this again?”

Read the full article here: http://www.nbcsports.com/baseball/mlb/oakland-way

Originally published: June 2, 2014. Last Updated: June 2, 2014.