Oakland A's - Moneyball
University of New Brunswick
One man has been able to change the way baseball is perceived today. The man who was able to do this was named Billy Beane. Billy did this with his idea of “money ball”. Since he has introduced this idea in 2002, it has drastically changed the financial aspect of the game of baseball and still does today. By looking at small aspects of the game he managed to figure out a way to beat the odds.
The game of baseball was drastically changed when a man named Billy Beane came up with a brilliant idea. Billy began his career as a major league baseball player; he played for the Athletics from 1984 until 1989. ...view middle of the document...
The game has been looked at as more of a financial competition instead of an athletic one. For teams like New York Yankees, who in 2002 had a payroll of $126 million, it was easier to offer a good player a big contract because they had so much money to play around with. On the other hand there was the Athletics sitting at a payroll of $40 million (Lewis, 2003). They accumulate this money from things like game tickets and concession stands. These numbers really amplify the financial issues the A’s were struggling with. This is why baseball has always been perceived as the “unfair game”.
Billy Beane drastically changed the game of baseball with the use of his idea “moneyball”. Moneyball is sabermetrics, which is the statistical analysis of baseball players’ in game statistics. (“Sabermetrics”, n.d) The A’s were left with next to nothing for players. They figured there would be no chance of them winning with the players that they had. They were forced to do more with the little money that they had. This was exactly what Billy was good at, so he decided to change the scouting process. The scouts would analyze the players and relate these results to the baseball market. By doing this they can find player inefficiencies. This means teams would buy undervalued players and sell all of their overvalued players. One of the formulas that Billy used to evaluate his players was the on base percentage. “The on-base percentage is a batter's number of times of reaching base safely, excluding instances resulting from a fielder's choice or an error, divided by the total number of times batting minus sacrifices, expressed as a three-digit decimal and used as a measure of a batter's overall effectiveness.” (On-base percentage, n.d.) Another formula Billy used was the player’s slugging percentage. This was how often a player would hit for extra bases, such as a double, triple or home run. Billy would combine these two statistics to create a new statistic called OPS. They used this as a means of winning an unfair game.
The 2002 season was the first year Billy put his idea to the test. This was a big year for the Oakland A’s; a lot of jobs potentially could be lost. Only having $40 million to spend on a forty-man roster, Billy had to find inefficiencies in the market. This meant he had to find young and veteran players who are undervalued by the market. Billy had 4 approaches to business. His first was that “ your ultimate leverage in any deal is to walk away from a bad deal” (Nelson, 2014). That is exactly what he did. He often liked to begin a deal with a player by beginning the bidding, but when the bidding rose to high he always knew when to back out. It’s hard to get Billy to fall into a bad deal. Secondly, “Small budgets can be an advantage”(Nelson, 2014). Being in the front office of the A’s there has always been money issues. This gave the Athletics an advantage when it came to searching for the small things in the players. This caused them to worry...