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A Century of Mistakes in Baseball by David J. Berri, Martin B. Schmidt

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A Century of Mistakes in Baseball

David J. Berry and Martin B. Schmidt

Although the “wrath of randomness” does rear its head in the study of sports, often the numbers do tell a story. Let’s start with a great story that reveals a century of mistakes in Major League Baseball (MLB).

In 1997, the Oakland A’s ranked toward the bottom in Major League Baseball, in respect to both team payroll and winning percentage. The next season, Billy Beane became general manager, and part of this story stayed pretty much the same. Specifically, the lack of spending on players didn’t change. What did change were the outcomes achieved by the A’s. From 1999 to 2002, only the New York Yankees, a team that spent three times more on playing talent than Beane, managed ...

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