Reflection Two of Moneyball- Chapters 4–5

I was surprised after reading chapter four. I didn’t suspect a basis for Billy’s ideas. Surprisingly, it revealed that Billy was taught how baseball statistics should be a breakthrough in winning games. Many of these ideas had been thought of before, just nobody had the resourcefulness to integrate it into the draft pick. The basis for many of Billy’s ideas was thought of by Bill James, a writer with an interest in baseball. Moneyball was fascinating in that it included several excerpts from his abstracts and the story of his long time mission to become a writer.

Bill James noticed that the best players were being skipped right over or weren’t receiving a fair paycheck. It’s funny how history repeats itself and unfair judgement on players continues in modern sports. For example, it doesn’t make sense when Bradley continues to play as the starting midfielder for the U.S. Men’s Soccer team. He has a lower pass percentage, a lower shot percentage, and a slower time than many of the substitutes. This suggests that he is not the best player to put on the field. Why is the substitute not playing? His past playing record and the bias view that the media places on him, gives Bradley an unfair advantage. Also, it helps when your dad used to be the coach for the team. Billy, a manager, and Bill James, an avid baseball fan, both wanted to fix this problem back in 20th century baseball.

Moneyball is great in how the book introduces many points of view to this major event. We see the story from the players’, general managers’, scouts’, and fans’ perspectives. The author was able to change his point of view to any of these. The most important view to me was from Bill James, who the author has introduced in these chapters.

Bill James is an odd character. His struggles are his biggest successes. It takes a strong person to do that. Bill’s goal to become a writer was never clouded by how other people saw him. The abstracts that he had first written would have never been what they were if he hadn’t stayed tenacious. When he realized the fans were getting the wrong meaning from his work, he gave up. He truly wanted to be a writer that brought knowledge into a subject that not many people thought about. Baseball was the first subject he thought about when he started writing.

Overall, the history is very interesting. I wish it hadn’t dragged on so long about the findings of Bill James. It sometimes took away from the main plot line. The statistics however, did elaborate on how the scouts were ignorant when picking players in the draft.