ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel


Updated on September 15, 2012
what price glory?
what price glory? | Source

After concerns dealing with food, shelter, and a way of life, there is nothing more important than baseball. As such, the game cannot be reduced to numbers. Yet, in the early 2000s, statistics minded baseball people took a step in this mis-direction and produced stunning results. The Oakland A's won twenty straight, a record untouched in over a hundred years, and also won a come-from-behind division championship. Then the Yankees crushed their hopes and why? Because the Pinstripes were a $100+ million team and the A's less than $40m. At least that was the thinking, according to these wayward mathematical theorists.

Billy Beane (General Manager, Oakland Athletics) became their champion, however, when he tried against the odds to acquire undervalued players, who, for whatever reason, did not command the awe and respect that ballclubs throw money at. At the time, Oakland had already become just such a team. True enough, it had stars, but only Cleveland and a few others not in the running were stingier. The thing of it is, the team was already an outperformer before Mr. Beane took charge. It was winnning as many games as some of the big spenders. And not all of the latter were top dogs. In the movie, Beane's own story as it relates to the primary story is woven in with flashbacks. It seems as if he had wanted to go to Stanford on a scholarship but wound up with the Mets, who picked him after Darryl Strawberry. Ten years later, he chose scouting rather than another stint in the minors.

Eventually, in life, book, and film, the employment of statistical analysis leads to a number of weird transactions and managerial decisions. Beane dumps some of his best players to acquire less valued players from other teams. He prohibits bunting and stealing. Enormous emphasis is placed on on-base percentages at the expense of others, such as basic fielding and hitting. While this is happening, the movie scintillates with some very interesting dialogue. One learns how a batter's odds diminish numerically if he gets a strike on the first pitch. It seems self-evident that had it not been Beane, someone would have probed the possibility that a more impersonal approach toward ballplayers would yield pennants. With victories costing upwards to three million dollars per, winning becomes a much more serious enterprise.

The 1981 strike that ran from June to August disgusted many avid fans. But there is no stopping the game. It changed and adapted and so did the spectators. Sabermetrics, after the Society for American Baseball Research, is perfectly acceptable, if diabolical. An entire season can be played in the absence of any trace of heart and soul and generate good box office. It has not happened yet, but it could. And if it did, would anyone notice? Every ticket holder represents so many bucks, and attendees as well as at-home watchers can be analyzed as well. It seems as if they like fireworks, loud music, and health-minded food stuff. Indelible images of the Bambino chowing down on hot dogs no longer cut the mustard.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)