“Moneyball” is over a decade old and most teams have adopted Billy Beane’s formula from those heady years. Or altered it or improved upon it. No matter the case, Beane can’t be doing the same things now that he did in 2002.
As Joe Posnanski writes today, he and the A’s aren’t. Indeed, they’re doing different things. But so too is everyone else and we’ve reached a point in baseball where simply being smarter than the next guy isn’t going to get the job done in 2014 the way it did at times in 2002. Instead, you have to be disciplined. And the A’s are disciplined:
… in real life, Moneyball II is not about being smart. Everybody in baseball can be smart. Moneyball II is about doing smart things. There’s a big difference. The A’s face the same pressures, the same groupthink, the same visual cues as everyone else. They have the same gut reactions to events, and they initially want to respond in the same way as everyone else. To say that they are smarter than everyone else misses the biggest point . . . the A’s are not a testament to genius. They are a testament to doggedly stopping themselves from making the mistakes everyone else makes. In other words: Everybody knows. The Oakland A’s do.
Go read the rest of Joe’s story on how the A’s continue to win even though the revenues are still small and even though everyone else has caught up to them in the brains department.
The Texas Rangers have signed Josh Hamilton to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Not at all surprising. The Rangers released Hamilton last August, but that was simply to make some room on the 40-man roster. His season was already toast due to the surgery he underwent to repair lateral and meniscus cartilage in his left knee which had the added bonus of revealing that he had an ACL injury as well, which required reconstruction. At the time of his release both he and the Rangers made noises about him coming back on a minor league deal in 2017.
Hamilton turns 36 in May. The smart money has it that his big league career is over, but Hamilton would be silly to retire given that he is owed $30 million this coming season. That the Angels are paying $26.41 million of that makes it far less painful for the Rangers as well. If he can hit in the spring, hey, let him DH some and pay him low money. If not, no skin off of anyone’s nose. He can request a release on April 1 if he hasn’t made the big league roster.
Alex Rodriguez’s transition into retirement has featured a serious move into the business world. He has gone back to school, worked seriously on investments and has started his own corporation. Yes, he’s set for life after making more money than any baseball player in history, but even if his bank account wasn’t fat, you get the sense that he’d be OK given what we’ve seen of his work ethic and savvy in recent years.
He’s going to be getting another paycheck soon, though. For hosting a reality show featuring athletes who are not in as good a financial shape as A-Rod is:
Interesting. Hopefully, like so many other reality shows featuring the formerly rich and famous, this one is not exploitative. Not gonna hold my breath because that’s what that genre is all about, unfortunately, but here’s hoping A-Rod can help some folks with this.