Moneyball = Databall
Many a baseball fan has read or seen the movie based on the book Moneyball, Michael Lewis’ bestseller about using analytics to assemble a great baseball team. Now Nationals manager Davey Johnson is relying on data to help ensure star pitcher Stephen Strasburg has an enduring career.
Strasburg had reconstructive elbow surgery in 2010. “The idea of risking Strasburg’s long-term health for a desperate run at the 2012 World Series title is tantalizing but foolish, especially for a team built like this,” reported Tyler Kepner yesterday in the New York Times.
A Model for Risk Management The article, titled “When Precedent Dictates Prudence” might well have been titled “When Data Dictates Prudence.” Many a pitching career has been cut short by overwork. “The last three decades are littered with pitchers who endured punishing workloads before age 24 and flamed out in their 30s. For every Greg Maddux, who turned out fine, there are many more like Steve Avery, Bret Saberhagen, Fernando Valenzuela and Mike Witt,” reports Kepner. Johnson’s management of Strasburg means he’s not just a great manager when it comes to baseball, he would make a great fund manager too.