If you are not a fan of statistics watch the clip below.
If you are a fan of statistics watch the clip above.
Now that you have watched the above clip let me explain to you a little bit about what you just saw. You just saw a trailer of the film “Moneyball” (2011). It starred Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill and the movie was based off of a book by Michael Lewis titled, “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” (2003). Pitt plays Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane and Jonah Hill plays Peter Brand a fictitious character who was based off of Paul DePodesta. Plain and simple, the movie is about how Beane was trying to assemble a baseball team by using statistics with the assistance of Peter Brand. Throughout the movie Beane has his back against the wall as he attempts to convince the other members of the Oakland A’s management that he is not doing a gimmick. In fact, he relies on statistics to not only assemble the team but to dictate the positions they will play once they are in the baseball field.
Beane is the “David” of this story and the naysayers are the “Goliath”. Beane is applying statistics to an unfair game because the Oakland A’s did not have the finances to retrieve baseball players who want to get paid a considerable amount of money. Traditional subjective evaluation of potential vs. objective sabermetrics is what Beane was up against. To put it differently, the old way of thinking verses the new way of thinking is what the movie was about.
Statistics may be boring to many people, but once an understanding is made between the linkage of statistics and how this can improve a game that has been cemented in American culture, statistics turns into something that is more than just numbers. It has to do with changing the story of baseball. Statistics has changed the story of MLB and the game will never be the same again. In fact after Beane adopted the new methodology it has been embraced by many other baseball teams including the Boston Red Sox.
I highly recommend watching the movie “Moneyball” or reading the book “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” by Michael Lewis. I am currently reading the book and it talks more about statistics and the reader gains another level of appreciation for the subject as well a the game of baseball. Yes, “Moneyball” (2011) is about baseball. But rest assured the story of “Moneyball” has more to do with than just America’s favorite past time. It has to do with using statistics to challenge the conventional way of thinking that many in the Major League Baseball (MLB) industry have relied on for an insurmountable amount of years.
Whether you think statistics is a boring subject that never learned to catch your interest, you need to lighten up. Try to understand that statistics is used by many people throughout the world for various fields including Wall Street all the way down to professional baseball teams. Maybe statistics confuses many people by the intimidation they feel by the complex world of numbers, equations, and graphs. Put all of this to the side, and we will see that statistics helps us tell stories of David and Goliath.