Money Ball in BASEBALL a short description | TIFO

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Moneyball has become a shorthand term for the use of data in sport, but it is not simply that. It is about finding what is undervalued and then using that to determine players who cost less than they should. Used correctly this simple insight has had incredible ramifications in baseball and is already changing the way that football clubs recruit. The term comes from Michael Lewis's book about Billy Beane. Beane had everything as a player what scouts call the five tools; running, throwing, fielding, hitting and hitting with power. When he failed as a player, he vowed never to think about baseball in the same way.


Lewis's book charts have been, by then, general manager at the poor unfashionable Oakland A's, used data to determine player recruitment and achieve remarkable success on a modest budget. Beane, following Bill James, the father of using baseball stats intelligently, realized the on-base percentage, how often a player gets on base, was more important than pure hitting or glory plays like bunts for stealing bases. Beane started to look for players who had been discarded but had great on-base percentage and were therefore undervalued.


Baseball didn't take on base percentage seriously, but Beane did and he started winning for peanuts. Football recruitment has often been flawed, big-name signings make fans feel happy, but if a player has already peaked or has only done well at an international tournament, they're probably overvalued. The availability here stick the idea that the more easily you can call something to mind the more weight you get in decision-making, means that scouts often privilege recent performances over long-term trends.


Ex pro scouts and managers also tend to overweigh their own experience when making decisions as if it's the most valid; it isn't. The first managers to really grasp value were Brian Clough and Peter Taylor, even though they didn't use data, the pair would look for players with personal issues that club's didn't want and then help them through those issues. Ken Burns was overweight, liked to fight and a drink, but Clough and Taylor picked him up for next to nothing and turned him into 1978 Football Writers Footballer of the Year. They still used eye and gut, but the sense that some players were cheaper than Clough and Taylor thought they ought to be was crucial to their successes with Darby and with Nottingham Forest.


As numbers started to proliferate in football thanks in part to optic and prozone it seemed like they might be the answer to player recruitment. Possession, tackling and passing were suddenly in vouge as metrics, not just things that happened on a pitch.
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