Sunday, October 22, 2006

An Article Well Worth Reading

Commenter tc posted this link the other day and it is a fascinating article on baseball’s bias toward power-hitting and its implications. The article, by Michael Lewis (Moneyball) is from the NY Times magazine archives and should be available to readers even without a Times Select account. Give it a try; you will be rewarded. Thanks, tc.

Absolutely, Power Corrupts


Tom G said...

For what it's worth, I am not a Times Select subscriber and I was able to access it.

Tom Goodman said...

Great. The piece deserves wide attention and will reward those those who read it through.

tc said...

Glad you enjoyed the article. It really struck me at the time and has ideas that continue to impact the way I think about the game.

When I searched on the Times site it looked like it was on the "outside" - hopefully it will stay there.

RickSchuBlues said...

There's a particularly illuminating fragment contained within this article which backs up the point Jason at BL was trying to make about the Tigers' prudent assembly of their roster, and how the Phillies nee to become an organization more adept at scoping out the 'in-betweens' Chris Coste, for instance.

"The relatively new ability of big-league front offices to translate minor-league statistics into major-league equivalents has exposed another layer of confusion: a lot of players who make it to the major leagues are essentially interchangeable with those who don't. As Paul DePodesta, [former] general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, puts it: 'A very small percentage of the players in the big leagues actually are much better than everyone else, and deserve to be paid the millions. A slightly larger percentage of players are actually worse than players who are stuck in the minors, but those guys usually aren't the ones getting the big money. It's the vast middle where the bulk of the inefficiency lies -- the player who is a 'known' player due to his major-league service time making millions of dollars who can be replaced at little to no cost in terms of production with a player making close to the league minimum.' Just beneath a thin tier of truly great big-league ballplayers is a roiling inferno of essentially arbitrary promotions and demotions, in which the outcomes are determined by politics, fashion, misunderstanding and luck."

Oisín/Wizlah said...

Very interesting article with a lot of food for thought. So now even if you aren't tempted to take illegal performance enhancers, your career will still be distorted by coaches who try to get you to swing differently? Great. I also had not realised that the so-called stringent minor-league testing doesn't do out of season testing. Fabulous. Bulk up in the offseason, hit the season clean.

Finally, the descriptions of crafty tactics involving condoms is nothing new - its an old tried and tested (agh!) gambit employed elsewhere. It does of course beg the question - why isn't this planned for when the testing procedures were drawn up.

Its stuff like that which makes dick pound of WADA sound like a very sane man.