Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Kudos for the Braves

At this stage in the season, it's always fun reading articles from outlets covering teams that have had disappointing years comparing their teams to the Braves. Here is this year's entry from Los Angeles.

Paul DePodesta, a Harvard-educated economist and one of the protagonists of Moneyball, has nothing but nice things to say about the Braves, referring to them as a "model." One the one hand, he can't be expected to say anything else, given that his team is below .500 and the Braves have the second-best record in the National League right now. On the other hand, if he is stating genuine admiration for a team that allegedly emphasizes scouting over statistical analysis, then that's further evidence that the dichotomy between the two schools is not as broad as was once thought. The Braves did make some Moneyball mistakes this year, like overrating the importance of saves in trading for Dan Kolb or ignoring the statistical declines of Brian Jordan and Raul Mondesi. However, they've been a perfect Moneyball team in the sense that they've gotten cheap production from their farm system, rather than overpaying free agents or mortgaging the future by making big trades.

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