The Diachronic Barber Pole Observations of a Recovering Hockey Exile

Baseball GM

July 12, 2009, by Homme De Sept-Iles


Having kept the team close enough to hope, Billy could now go out and shop for whatever else he needed to get to the playoffs.  When he set off on this shopping spree, he kept in mind five simple rules:

1. “No matter how successful you are, change is always good.  There can never be a status quo.  When you have no money you can’t afford long-term solutions, only short-term ones.  You have to always be upgrading.  Otherwise, you’re fucked.”

2. “The day you say you have to do something, you’re screwed.  Because you are going to make a bad deal.  you can always recover from the player you didn’t sign.  You may never recover from the player you signed at the wrong price.”

3. “Know exactly what every player in baseball is worth to you.  You can put a dollar figure on it.”

4. “Know exactly who you want and go after him.”  (Never mind who they say they want to trade.)

5. “Every deal you do will be publicly scrutiinzed by subjective opinion.  If I’m (IBM CEO) Lou Gerstner, I’m not worried that every personnel decision I make is going to wind up on the front page of the business section.  Not everyone believes that they know everything about the personal computer.  But everyone who ever picked up a bat thinks he knows baseball.  To do this well, you have to ignore the newspapers.”

Billy Beane rules for the day …
Moneyball by Michael Lewis (Norton, 2004)

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