Apr 13, 2012
I have a new favorite movie. It’s Moneyball.
I realize that Moneyball has been out for a while; but, I have to watch a movie several times before I feel comfortable to commit to it at this level. With my restricted budget, this means waiting until a movie is out on DVD so I can afford to watch it a second, third or fourth time.
However, I knew I would like the movie Moneyball even before I saw it in the cinema, because I loved the book. I knew I would like the book even before I read it, because I loved the review I read of the book. I knew I would like the review of the book before I read it, because I loved a radio show I heard describing the idea that was changing baseball. And, I loved the idea even before I understood it, because it is so brilliant.
The moneyball approach to baseball, aka sabermetrics, uses modern data mining strategies to analyze player value. By crunching large batches of data drawn from game elements that are microscopic in comparison to RBIs and batting averages, sabermetric analysts are able to pinpoint the specific events (player actions) that lead to wins. As it turns out, these events were often missed by the data-naked eye, leaving many players who could contribute significantly to a team’s chance of winning undervalued.