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Billy Beane redux

My comments on Billy Beane have a lot of people upset, as usual.

So you tell me. If the Oakland A’s win 80 games a year for the next five years, would those who think Billy Beane should be the next pope still hold that opinion?
(BTW, I see Beane is a real long shot to succeed John Paul II right now in the betting markets …I like the odds on Arinze and the field right now myself.)

I am not necessarily implying that Billy Beane isn’t a good general manager who can stretch a small budget into a respectable record through good use of data, clever trades, etc. My only point is that there are a lot of people who are above average at their jobs, but they don’t become the subject of best-selling books. He had a book written about him because against all odds his team has been winning almost 100 games a year. And in the book, Michael Lewis sure makes it seem like the main reason is the clever stuff the A’s have done with analyzing hitting. And I am simply saying that is not the reason the A’s win.

In the spirit of data, the skeptics amongst you should tell me how many games the A’s need to win this year or over the next five years so that they would feel that Moneyball is validated. My own view is that if the A’s win 81 games a year for the next five years, it is more likely that Beane was lucky than good. If they win 97 a year, I’ll happily concede that Beane is the best. Even an average of 90 games
a year and I will acknowledge he is brilliant.