Moneyball - OAKLAND A'S of 2002

The famous Oakland team of 2002—whose members achieved a 20-game winning streak and were featured in the book and film "Moneyball"—included these pitchers: Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder. Image, copyright, Oakland A's, all rights reserved; provided here as fair use for educational purposes.


In 1984, Bill James made the following observation in his Baseball Abstract:

When I started writing I thought if I proved X was a stupid thing to do that people would stop doing X.  I was wrong.

Many people inside the world of Major League Baseball, particularly the scouts whose job it is to find new talent, thought that sabermetrics was - to use Bill’s word - "stupid."  That attitude was obvious during Oakland’s 2002 amateur draft.

Faced with a lack of sufficient funds to hire new talent, Billy Beane knew that he and his scouts would disagree on amateur hires for the A's.  The scouts wanted to use their normal selection principles - how they "felt" about a player and what they’d "personally observed" he could do.  Wasn't their input more reliable than meaningless statistics regarding young men who were not yet part of Major League Baseball?

And as for the year's starters ... the same arguments applied.  How could numbers on a laptop compete with personal intelligence when it came to picking 25 men who would form Oakland's 2002 major-league team? 

Beane, however, saw things differently.  Applying sabermetrics - a kind of baseball science - might give the A's a chance to win against the "rich teams" with the highly paid stars. 

At the end of all the arguments, including summer trades, the following were among the key players of Oakland's 2002 team which was managed by Art Howe:

Pitchers                            Infielders                      Outfielders

15 Tim Hudson               3  Eric Chavez             7  Jeremy Giambi          

44 Billy Koch                 5  Ray Durham            23 David Justice

21 Cory Lidle                10 Scott Hatteberg       12 Terrence Long

20 Mark Mulder              2  Carlos Peña            47 John Mabry

75 Barry Zito                  4  Miguel Tejada

What these players and their teammates accomplished, in the 2002 season, was nothing short of amazing.


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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Sep 01, 2011

Updated Last Revision: Jan 30, 2016

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"OAKLAND A'S of 2002" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 01, 2011. Jul 19, 2018.
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