Something for everyone. Here are some links to supplement my previous posts on the topic.
For movie lovers: Review of the movie at New Raleigh:
Here’s the dirty little secret behind Moneyball that no one ever mentions. During the same time that Beane was throwing away the rule book and doing things his way and yada yada yada, there were a ton of other ball clubs already using sabermetrics to evaluate players. Here’s the catch: When Lewis called those clubs, no one wanted their methods printed for the world to see. Hence, a team like the Athletics became the focus of a book written by Lewis.
For statisticians: Lessons from Paul DePodesta (whose real-life role roughly corresponds to that of Jonah Hill’s character in the movie):
In a presentation Tuesday at the Strata Summit in New York, DePodesta, who is now Vice President for Player Development for the New York Mets, reflected on the role of performance analysis in baseball and lessons that can be applied to data-driven organizations. When he arrived in Oakland, DePodesta recalled, small-market teams like the A’s with limited budgets found themselves outgunned in bidding wars with wealthier teams in markets like New York and Boston.
“We had to come up with a different way,” said DePodesta. “It was like preparing a gourmet meal, but having to shop at 7-11.”
For students of economics and non-readers out there (not that those two overlap): Check out two of Russ Roberts’ podcasts, one with Michael Lewis on the Hidden Economics of Baseball and Football and another with Skip Sauer, The Economics of Moneyball. There are additional links on both pages if you are interested.
For students of politics: John Sides guest-blogging at 538 on “The Moneyball of Campaign Advertising”:
[T]he effects of television advertising appear to last no more than a week — a “rapid decay,” write the eggheads. A study of the 2000 presidential election finds the same decay. Campaigns may be wasting millions of dollars running ads weeks if not months before election day, only to have any effects of those ads dissipate. Case in point: the approximately $20 million that Bill Clinton spent in advertising between July 1995 and January 1996 — months before the 1996 election. The mastermind of this strategy, Dick Morris, wrote that “the key to Clinton’s victory was his early advertising.” But there is little evidence that the ads mattered at all….
Campaigns are spending a lot of money, but they are not playing Moneyball.
For baseball fans: Beyond the Box Score, recently named one of the 50 best statistics blogs of 2011, has fun charts like this:
I have ordered these in roughly the order that I think they relate to the movie, including consciously placing baseball fans last. I apologize for the fact that this post is essentially one long run-on sentence.