Archive for the ‘Michael Lewis’ Category

Evaluating Teams (or something similar)

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Excellent piece at Bill Simmons’ new website Grantland (named for Grantland Rice, I imagine) on the “new” Moneyball approach.

Article author Bill Barnwell does a nice job refuting the notion that Moneyball was just about OPS (getting on base and bashing the ball). Instead, the real focus of the book was on exploiting market inefficiencies.

Fielding has indeed been the latest exploitable market inefficiency. See Jonah Keri’s excellent The Extra 2% about the Tampa Bay Rays and their quantitative analysis.

They (the Rays) obviously know something about bullpens, too: the guys they let walk after 2010 made most baseball “analysts” wave their hands about how the Rays would suck, but of that group–Rafael Soriano, Joaquin Benoit, Dan Wheeler, Grant Balfour, and Randy Choate–only Balfour and Choate have been decent, and Choate is hurt. But the Rays’ ‘pen has been pretty okay (note the 3.44 bullpen ERA, good for 3rd in the American League, and tied for 11th in Major League Baseball; the Rays also sport  1.211 bullpen WHIP–4th in MLB–and a .635bullpen OPS allowed, which is 5th in MLB…pretty okay, indeed).

Michael Lewis is/was no dummy, and to flatten out his perspective the way “baseball traditionalists” did to bash sabermetrics is just freakin’ stupid. (Joe Morgan, for example, is a bitter old man…great second baseman in his day, but bitter old jerk as an announcer…hey, Joe, Billy Beane didn’t write Moneyball!).

UPDATE–Rafael Soriano’s troubles got more troubling. Rays bullpen is now much better than the Yanks, except, of course, at the very back end, since Mariano Rivera is the Terminator in relief pitcher form.

Written by jjvedamuthu

June 14, 2011 at 15:24