Those Pesky Oakland Athletics (Moneyball, The Texas Rangers, and “Thinking Differently”)
I keep coming back to it, and I do so this morning because I’m nervous. The “it” is the brilliant book by Michael Lewis, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. It is about the Oakland Athletics, and how they are able to compete against the “big boys’ with much less money than those big boys.
So this morning, the Texas Rangers are still in first place, with a shrinking number of games to go, and those pesky Athletics are only two games back, with the second best record in the American League. Only the Rangers have a better record in the League.
And here are the payroll numbers for 2012 (see the full list here):
Billy Beane: The problem we’re trying to solve is that there are rich teams and there are poor teams, then there’s fifty feet of crap, and then there’s us. It’s an unfair game. And now we’re being gutted, organ donors for the rich. Boston has taken our kidney’s, Yankees takin’ our heart and you guys are sittin’ around talkin’ the same old good body nonsense, like we’re selling jeans. Like we’re looking for Fabio. We got to think differently.
I wish the Rangers could coast a little. But they can’t. There is always someone, some company, some other team, maybe in a garage somewhere, on a shoestring budget, thinking differently, nipping at the heels of companies and teams with more money and more resources. And, apparently, the more resources a company has, the more tempting it is to quit “thinking differently.”
I hope the Athletics come up short, and the Rangers go all the way. But it is pretty amazing how they are doing this year with so much less.