Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hey, remember when 'Moneyball' was a failed concept?

And the A's were 9-5 with the best record in the AL anyway?  Yeah, that was crazy.  

Of course, when Jeremy Brown decided to retire, most all the Moneyball haters -of which there are seemingly many- cited it, him, as evidence that the concepts employed by Billy Beane -"Moneyball," they call it, like Beane and his cronies worship a religion called "Moneyball," kneeling under a giant open calculator- an utter failure.  All this despite the success of Theo Epstein and the Boston Red Sox; despite the A's contending year after year, with 2007 representing an aberration.  

But the hate has never really been about the concepts the A's and Red Sox and others use to evaluate talent in an effort to build a better team.  It's about not understanding VORP and ERA+ and EqA.  It's about not wanting to accept or even acknowledge those ideas.  Like ERA and RBI's and BA and how "clutch" a guy is and gold gloves won are all one needs to know baseball.  Never mind a columnist blasting "Moneyball" and its newfangled stats will use ERA and RBI's and other stats.  They'll say computers ruin the game.  All you really need to enjoy baseball is beer and dogs.  But I guess rather than just enjoying baseball however they want -with a beer and a dog or whatever- they have to make sure everyone is enjoying the game the same way.  Don't let numbers get in the way of your baseball.  Their baseball, I mean.  But here's the thing.  When I go to the park, I drink beer and eat shit.  Lots of shit.  I took my kid to his first game the other day and we had garlic fries, chicken strips, a dog, cotton candy, two sodas, and I had two beers.  I had a good time, and so did he.  And.  And I lamented Rich Aurilia's OBP.  The "Moneyball" ideas add to my enjoyment of the game, shockingly.  

The A's are 9-5, which means they've got the best record in the AL.  The team "Moneyball" created has failed the haters who thought this season in A's history was going to be a blogger-hating, nerd-bashing, calculator-crunching victory lap.  It may be still.  The A's are 14 games in and could tank the rest of the way.  But for now, shut the fuck up "Moneyball" cherrypicking douchefucks.  The A's are winning and "Moneyball" works.                 

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