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Moneyball II

The more I think of it, the more I realize that "Moneyball" perhaps wasn't the best title for that last column. It was catchy, and it kind of got you thinking in the direction I was talking about, but only in the stereotypical sort of way that a lazy column writer would use (which is often an apt description of me, but oh well).

The term "moneyball" is actually pretty controversial and highly misinterpreted. I'll admit, I didn't even read the book, nor to I understand all the aspects of it. However, what I understand of it is that it involves looking into statistical trends and measuring performance with more than just the eyes of scouts. Some people (mostly scouts) bristle at the notion that mere numbers can tell the whole story. I mean, Mark Blount was still one of the league leaders in FG% this year. That and $5.95 will buy you a cup of coffee, but that's about it.

Still, I don't believe that the Statheads would say that numbers are the beginning and end of the analysis process. John Holinger (ESPN Insider) is a prime example of a guy that looks deep into numbers to get a feel for a player's true value to the team. His articles on volume shooting and defense were quite interesting (provided you had a half hour or so to really read it and think about it). The idea is to take what you think you know about players and prove or disprove it based on the analysis.

If Danny is smart, he's already got someone that is breaking down the numbers and really looking into the trends. He should be figuring out what the numbers tell us that our eyes might miss. Just like he has that guy to give him better understanding of people's brain-type. Which is another highly misinterpreted practice. The fact that a guy might have the same brain type as Michael Jordan means absolute diddly squat. Brain typing is just the practice of using the Myers Briggs testing to see how certain people interact with other individuals so you can better understand how to encourage better communication. I took a workshop on it once and it really gave me a better understanding for why one of my co-workers was really getting on my nerves. I made changes to the way I approached that individual and it helped a great deal.

In addition, I'm sure Danny has a capologist (or someone with that as part of their job description) who runs the numbers and can understand the reasons why it is so difficult to trade a BYC player. And we haven't even gotten to the army of assistant coaches at Doc's disposal. Danny knows the value of surrounding himself with people that can help him. I think that is why Danny didn't get rid of Chris Wallace when he came in. Especially when he was still under contract, why not keep him around and utilize his talents?

Basically, the modern pro sports franchise cannot be run the way Red ran things (where he was the coach, scout, GM, and marketing department all rolled into one). It almost needs to be run like a corporation (finance, marketing, research & development, etc.). Ultimately, Danny has to make the critical decisions (and even some non-critical ones), but it won't be for lack of information.

I'm glad our CEO got a 3 year extension from the board of governors. I see our stock rising and the stakeholders are already seeing the benefits of his strategic paradigm. I think the only corporate-speak term I left out was "synergy" and I couldn't think of a corporate title for the coach. Oh, I've got it, the CEO and Chief Operating Officer have a great synergy to their approach. Ok, if you really wanted this type of humor, you'd be at the Dilbert site. You get the point. I'm done rambling.