Moneyball in Action
There is something achingly bittersweet about the ending of Moneyball. A man grows into himself, groundbreaking approaches are given legitimacy through success, yet those closing lines remind us that Billy Beane never won a World Series. His Oakland A’s franchise lost even more of their hard-farmed talent and settled into dismal mediocrity once others figured out their game, and Beane himself may soon find himself in the unemployment line.
But Beane’s success is right there in that summary; others figured out and co-opted his game. He did change the face of the sport, but like so many other true visionaries throughout history, he isn’t the one to reap the major benefits.
This excellent piece in the New York Times’ Sports page explores the way “moneyball” has changed not only the way baseball teams are built(the lower-market Cardinals and and Rangers charge into the World Series while mega-budgeted favorites like the Red Sox and Phillies lie defeated on the roadside), but the entire culture of the sport.