“The Beauty of Short Hops” demonstrates that the Moneyball approach is doubly doomed. First, it fails on its own terms: it cannot make baseball a predictable game wholly understandable in numerical terms. Indeed, the teams which use this approach have not fared well. Second, the Moneyball approach blocks out what is most compelling about the sport – its relentless capacity to surprise.
I suppose this would be really something if, in fact, “Moneyball” purported to make baseball “a predictable game wholly understandable in numerical terms” or if it argued that one could or would even want to block out the game’s “relentless capacity to surprise.” But thankfully “Moneyball” does neither of those things. If it did, it would be an uninteresting book that shed little light on baseball.
But hey, if such a misleading pitch got the guy a book deal, more power to him.