As much as the last two games have sucked, I find myself constantly thinking of Moneyball - Nick Swisher vs. Kevin Youkilis, each having the seasons Billy Beane knew they would eventually (check out this and this). So originally I was hardly a fan of Moneyball - I don't really care for many aspects of it. But the attacks against it were so ridiculous, and hateful, and uninformed, that I found myself needing to defend it; and over time, I even embraced it. (Just liked what happened with the Arroyo-Pena trade. And John Kerry.)
BUT. For all the success that Swisher and Youkilis have had, there is one well-publicized decision that Beane made in Moneyball which turns out to be just flat-out wrong. Here's the quote:
...Grady Fuson, the A's soon to be former head of scouting, had taken a high school pitcher named Jeremy Bonderman. The kid had a 94-mile-per-hour fastball, a clean delivery, and a body that looked as if it had been created to wear a baseball uniform. He was, in short, precisely the kind of pitcher Billy thought he had trained his scouting department to avoid....When Grady leaned into the phone to take Bonderman. Billy, in a single motion, erupted from his chair, grabbed it, and hurled it right through the wall.Barely a year later, before he had thrown a single pitch in the bigs, Bonderman was traded to Detroit. In the deal (which sent Jeff Weaver to the Yanks), the A's also gave up Carlos Pena and Franklyn German, and got Ted Lilly, two nameless minor leaguers (who saw a total of 13 MLB at-bats), and some cash. Lilly was nothing but a league-average pitcher for the A's. Bonderman, on the other hand, has developed into an All-Star-caliber player, is an important reason why his team is leading their division, and has a salary of only $2.3M this season. Talk about monyeball - whoops.