Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Billy Beane, Paul DePodesta tell ‘Moneyball’ success story

“Moneyball’ in title (rushes over like a crazed Dr. Robert Morgan and drapes garlic on front newsstand).

Today, Beane said baseball is in great shape and “smart, wealthy people” are interested in being a part of the business.

“There’s remarkable talent coming in. Ken Griffey and Alex Rodriguez were the two best I’d ever seen in the game, but these kids coming in, they’re the next best,” he said, adding, “I love seeing international players coming in.”

DePodesta’s remarks prior to the lecture addressed using sabermetrics (data analysis) versus traditional, subjective scout reporting for player selection.

“We learned every year. We discovered where we were wrong. There were things we implemented in a simplistic or incredibly straightforward way. Ten years later, we laugh at how extreme those positions were.”

Suggesting the idea that measurements matter the most has swung too far, DePodesta said before the formal program, “Today, if a guy throws 97 miles per hour, that takes on more relevance, without taking other things into consideration. We’ve gone to the other extreme.”

He added that performance enhancing drugs (“PEDs”) have caused a complete blow out of the data collected before 2005.

“We were building models to predict future performance and players were doing things that would fundamentally change how they would perform,” DePodesta said. “We had to throw out 15 years of data.”

Repoz Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:06 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. cmd600 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:46 PM (#4358742)
We had to throw out 15 years of data.”


Why? Completely ignoring that PEDs existed well before 1990, I get that PEDs can cause your models to be off, but don't you just put the new data into your system and adjust the range of possible outcomes? Especially if you don't know who's using or not, or what they're even using.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:20 AM (#4358754)
I assume he's being offhand about throwing away 15 years of data and does mean something closer to "our models didn't work anymore." I'm not sure I really buy that either but nevermind.

It would be an interesting analysis to do. Was there a discontinuity in the distribution of outcomes? Were massive jumps (relative to context) more common than before? There are always going to be extreme values but was there a cluster of them and was the cluster large enough to really matter? How does it compare to other shift points between extreme eras? All needing to adjust for the fact that the mean and the standard deviation of the distribution were changing as well.
   3. zenbitz Posted: January 31, 2013 at 12:21 AM (#4358755)
I think the idea is that with PEDs not being tested for that data cannot be reliable used to predict current day when it is tested for.
Probably pre 1990 data isn't that reliable now either (don't have good non-baseball stats, age/heights etc.)

It might not matter, but you can't tell because of unknown who/what/whens.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:35 PM (#4359738)
I think the idea is that with PEDs not being tested for that data cannot be reliable used to predict current day when it is tested for.

But this is unlikely to be true. There was a level shift in offense ... not unlike other big offense eras. So the raw numbers aren't useful but they never have been and it's not hard to deal with that level shift. For this data to be un-useful, you have to show that the trends, the correlations, etc. all shifted dramatically from the past.

As an over-simplified example, based on pre-1994 data you might project a given age curve for a 1B with a 115 OPS+ at age 32 with that age curve showing he was likely to be useless by the time he hit 35-36. As long as such players in the sillyball era were following a similar age curve, there's little issue with using that data.

If the sillyball era was essentially a different population you were sampling from then maybe the easiest solution would be to discard the data with the other alternative being finding and controlling for variables that adjust for the differences. But, prima facie, I see no reason to think that era would be any more disruptive than other extreme eras.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(1034 - 3:12am, Jul 31)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogCubs Acquire Felix Doubront
(48 - 2:57am, Jul 31)
Last: Norcan

NewsblogEric Chavez Retires
(31 - 2:49am, Jul 31)
Last: Wahoo Sam

NewsblogVICE: Baseball Erotica #1: John Smoltz and Tom Glavine
(11 - 2:19am, Jul 31)
Last: Petunia inquires about ponies

NewsblogSOE: Minor League Manhood - A first-hand account of masculine sports culture run amok.
(159 - 2:08am, Jul 31)
Last: Petunia inquires about ponies

NewsblogJULY 31 2014 OMNICHATTER/TRADE DEADLINE CHATTER
(2 - 2:05am, Jul 31)
Last: Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad!

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(530 - 2:03am, Jul 31)
Last: Swedish Chef

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-30-2014
(45 - 1:30am, Jul 31)
Last: CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck

NewsblogRed Sox trade rumors: 'Very good chance' John Lackey and Jon Lester are traded - Over the Monster
(59 - 1:10am, Jul 31)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogPosnanski: Hey, Rube: Phillies pay dearly for Amaro’s misguided loyalty
(23 - 1:04am, Jul 31)
Last: Ray (RDP)

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1957 Discussion
(15 - 12:19am, Jul 31)
Last: MrC

NewsblogPosnanski: Four theories about Hall of Fame voting changes
(28 - 11:50pm, Jul 30)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1956 Ballot
(9 - 11:17pm, Jul 30)
Last: lieiam

NewsblogCameron: Why a July 31 trade deadline just doesn’t make sense anymore
(14 - 11:06pm, Jul 30)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3797 - 10:47pm, Jul 30)
Last: zonk

Page rendered in 0.0996 seconds
52 querie(s) executed