Art of Winning an Unfair Game is a
book authored by Michael Lewis about how Billy Beane the general manager of the
baseball team Oakland Athletics applied statistics to improve the quality of
his baseball team and revised his team of baseball players using drafted
players. Although the panel of experts of Oakland Athletics intensively criticized
Beane’s method, application of statistics to the performance of his team
ultimately helped the team win 20 games in a row from August 13 to September 4,
2002. Although initially ignored as a medium to predict performances of players
and wins, statistics today has become an important part of the baseball world.
Although I knew nothing about baseball in the
beginning of the semester, watching a preview of the movie with Brad Pitt as
Billy Beane sparked interest in me to learn more about the application of
statistics in baseball. Even though I was aware that statistics could be
applied in just about everything we deal in our daily lives, I was unaware that
it could make such a difference even in the world of sports like baseball. As
the career, success, and utility of a baseball player is measured in terms of
how much money he makes, the rejected and rookie players are not considered
valuable in big teams like Yankees, Boston Red Sox, etc. Therefore, the amount
a player is paid becomes the most important determinant in whether the player
will perform well or not. Oakland Athletics being a team with small budget of
$40 million and players rejected by other teams, had basically nil to little
chances of winning the series. Lewis’s question and answer about whether the
continuous record-breaking wins was whether pure luck or truly the magic of
application of statistics compelled me to think about just how much such an
important measure is ignored in our everyday activities.
(Image via Google Images)
Billy Beane rejected the methods used by scouts and
challenged their method by using st
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