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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Arneson: Athletics Should Moneyball a Ballpark

The Oakland A’s. Team Moneyball. The organization out of all human organizations in all human societies in all of human history that is most famous for turning life into a math problem.

Back when statistical analysis in baseball started to become a thing, a lot of old school types tried to argue against it. And they kept getting their asses handed to them, because they didn’t understand sabermetrics. Their arguments (“Batting average and RBIs are good enough! Watch a game, not the computer!”) were utter crap. This is a point I’ve made before, but the best arguments against sabermetrics are made by the people who actually understand sabermetrics, who know what its true flaws and blind spots are.

Sure, the math in ballpark building is different from the math in baseball games. But sabermetrics is not just about the math. It’s about how you think about the game.

Bote Man Posted: November 27, 2019 at 10:13 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, ballpark development, moneyball

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   1. Bhaakon Posted: November 27, 2019 at 11:32 PM (#5904309)
They should draft a college field?
   2. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: November 27, 2019 at 11:41 PM (#5904311)
I think we can assume that they won’t be selling jeans there.
   3. bbmck Posted: November 28, 2019 at 01:44 AM (#5904318)
They should play in a park other teams don't value, maybe Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
   4. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 28, 2019 at 11:23 AM (#5904338)
There are, I think, two ideas in here that aren't mostly obvious. One is building a "modular" stadium. The author admits that he doesn't know exactly how it would work, but it's something. I think of minor league stadiums that are built in such a way that luxury boxes and 10,000 more seats can be added if the team moves up a league (or becomes home to a soccer team or whatever). A truly modular stadium would hopefully be more interesting than this, but at least the A's could do something like built a smallish and relatively minimal stadium that could grow if ownership decides they're no longer the Devil Rays West.

The other idea is something the A's are apparently already doing, selling general admission access instead of regular season tickets. The author's point there is that if you might be able to sell every general access token, when maybe you couldn't sell those horrible seats in Section ZZZ. Someone's still going to sit in section ZZZ, but it'll be because they got to the ballpark late and nothing else was available. This is how a lot of sporting event tickets used to work, so I guess everything old is new again.
   5. Bug Selig Posted: November 28, 2019 at 04:37 PM (#5904397)
The Oakland A’s. Team Moneyball. The organization out of all human organizations in all human societies in all of human history that is most famous for turning life into a math problem.
Please tell me that you are aware of NASA.
   6. The Run Fairy Posted: November 28, 2019 at 05:35 PM (#5904405)
I got excited by the byline. I really liked Arneson's writing at Catfish Stew/Baseball Toaster, and hoped he was writing regularly again. Unfortunately his last post before this one is from August 2017, so it doesn't seem like that's happening.

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