Reacting to a quote from a Giants executive -- "We've shown 'Moneyball' is a bunch of garbage." -- Mike Silva has this:
- Paul DePodesta did say his definition of “Moneyball” is finding undervalued players. I believe two key contributors, Juan Uribe and Andres Torres, might fall into that category. Again, I believe incorporating aspects of advanced statistical analysis into decision making is essential to survive in the modern game.
Remember, the MLB playoffs is a tournament. You get there and anything can happen regardless of Moneyball.
Some of the key elements in the Oakland team memorialized as (and in) "Moneyball" were (1) a fantastic home-grown rotation, (2) a relatively cheap but quite effective closer, (3) a cheap but quite productive first baseman who nobody else really wanted and (4) a cheap, veteran left fielder who'd recently struggled as a DH in the American League East.
Looking at the 2010 Giants, let's see ... check, check, check, and check.
One big difference between the 2002 Athletics and the 2010 Giants ... the A's had very little money to spend (hence "Moneyball") while the Giants had a fairly large amount of money to spend.
Except the way things worked out, the Giants that won the World Series on the field didn't actually make a great deal of money.
The Giants opened this season with a payroll approaching $100 million. But by the end of September, fully $30 million of that payroll -- the portion allocated to Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand -- was essentially dead money. Zito didn't pitch in the playoffs and Rowand, on the bench for much of the season, went 3 for 11 in the tournament. Essentially, the team that won the World Series was a $70 million team. Which would have ranked somewhere near the bottom among National League payrolls.
The Giants won the World Series. The Moneyball Athletics still haven't won a postseason series. In 2001 and 2002, the Moneyball Athletics won 205 games. In 2009 and 2010, the (supposedly) anti-Moneyball Giants won 190 games.
I understand that there's been a great deal of pent-up frustration within the Giants organization. Jerks like me have compared Brian Sabean to Billy Beane, and found Sabean wanting. Maybe that wasn't fair. Sabean's certainly got his ring, and Beane certainly doesn't. But considering how much money the Giants have flushed down the toilet these past few seasons, if I worked for them I probably wouldn't raise that particular subject too often.