I just had an interesting breakfast with Tom Higley which i try to do once a month but ends up being about every other. He sat down this morning and said, have you seen the movie “Moneyball” and then we got into a very interesting talk about what that film means in today’s world. Here’s a few thoughts we had.
Aaron Sorkin can take any story and make it interesting. He took a horrible book about Facebook (Accidental Millionaires) and wrote a fantastic and Oscar-winning script for The Social Network, and here he took a stats-filled non-fiction book about baseball and made an interesting movie.
The story of the Oakland A’s is not as simple as it was told. They did not just find high on-base percentage players and ride that to a successful season. No sir. One thing that always beats good hitting is good pitching and there’s no mention of pitching in this entire movie. Why? Because it didn’t fit the narrative. Was their staff good? Hell, yes. The had a trio called “The Big Three” of Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder. Zito was their ace. He went 23-5 and won the Cy Young award that year. Mulder won 19 games, and Hudson led the league in shutouts. That seems pretty relevant to me – you might want to mention it. Continue reading “Moneyball and Big Data”