This is Steve Smith and you’re listening to Check It Out. Baseball season is upon us and it doesn’t matter if it’s little league, high school, college or the pros, the sights, smells and sounds are alive and well. Fans come in many different shapes and sizes because discrimination doesn’t exist in baseball. When it comes to cheering for a specific team, a lot of times people like to cheer for the “underdog” and in the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis, we get a good look at how Billy Beane and the underdogs, the Oakland Athletics, were able to win a lot of games despite being one of the poorest teams in Major League Baseball. Billy Beane was a great high school baseball player in the 1980s. Scouts from many different teams came to watch him play and was told by some that he would be a world-class player. When he graduated he signed a contract with the New York Mets. But he soon lost his talent and was overshadowed by his teammates. Later Billy became a talent scout for the Oakland Athletics and eventually the general manager. As the GM, he would use a new mathematical strategy that would revolutionize the baseball industry. Billy’s new strategy was based around Sabermetrics. Invented by Bill James, Sabermetrics is the application of statistical analysis to baseball records, especially to evaluate and compare the performance of individual players. Billy and his coworker Paul DePodesta were making moves within the organization. Whether it was trading or drafting new or old players, there was a reasoning behind every move and in the end, it paid off for this underdog like team. Nowadays teams adapted the use of sabermetrics and are now using it for their own pleasure. You can check out this book along with other books about baseball at the Sioux City Public Library located in downtown Sioux City.
Support for Check It Out comes from Avery Brothers.