Proof, that much like The Super-Moby Dick of Space…The Yallof Effect, will indeed consume all in its path!
It’s a far cry from a decade ago, when whip-smart GMs such as Beane and Theo Epstein could pluck undervalued players out from under aging GMs whose generation still cherished flawed measurements such as batting average. Now, Beane found only frustration with the kind of homogenous, risk-averse thinking of the industry.
“What you’ll find is that the window for a small market team will grow smaller and eventually go away completely,” Beane said. “We had seven years. Tampa Bay—and they are very, very smart—has made it to the playoffs two out of the past three years, and may not make it this year, and then what? To have any kind of window will take building a team organically, having to have something like 80 percent of your roster [homegrown]. That is extremely hard.
“Eventually it becomes like Premier League soccer, where the teams that spend the most money are the teams that win every year. They’ll all come from the top quartile in payroll.”
...Moneyball has become such a period piece it might as well have cast Helen Mirren or deployed the Ken Burns Effect on sepia-tinged photographs. The foundation of Beane’s success actually was in giving the ball to Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito about 100 times a year. (Oakland, which made the playoffs five times in seven years from 2000-06, hasn’t had a winning season since the last of them, Zito, left.) Beane did, however, maximize Oakland’s window by finding value in players others missed.
As Beane’s “advantage” became neutralized by the availability of information—and now the herd mentality of overvaluing young players—Oakland did not find the next so-called “market inefficiency.” Worse, the Athletics whiffed in two emergent areas where ballclubs could carve out propriety advantages: “prehabilitation” (the nexus of medical and baseball information; identifying and reducing injury risks) and—this is the real Moneyball story—stadium revenue.
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