The Oakland Athletics’ “Moneyball” strategy, which was implemented in the early 2000s, was a revelation that was later documented in a book and adapted into a film. On Tuesday, Hall of Fame slugger Jeff Bagwell, who was working as a colour commentator for the Houston Astros’ broadcast, admitted that he isn’t a fan of the concept or the film.
What Bagwell is referencing is the A’s having Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito in their starting rotation in the early 2000s. All three were premier pitchers in baseball at the time, and at points all held sub-4.00 ERAs.
Bagwell stated, “I just think Moneyball is a farce.” “They had three of baseball’s top pitchers. You could have thrown anyone out there. Those three pitchers could have been on my son’s 15-year-old baseball club.”
Bagwell made it clear that he understands the concept of Moneyball, which values getting on base rather than hitting home runs. He did note that the movie left some important players out, though.
Tejada wasn’t featured much in the “Moneyball” movie, which starred Brad Pitt playing former A’s general manager Billy Beane. Instead, the film focused on secondary players like Chad Bradford, Scott Hatteberg and David Justice, who were players that the A’s took a chance on in the early 2000s.
“I ask you to go back to 2000 and look at the records they had. I think Miguel Tejada was playing shortstop too, he didn’t stink.” Bagwell added. “I like the concept of getting on base, don’t get me wrong, but to make a movie about it? And to get all this credit that they were so smart?”
The Hall of Famer even went as far to say that he believed that the Atlanta Braves in the 1990s should’ve also been credited as a “Moneyball” team since they implored a similar strategy.
“The Braves won for 15 years with Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine,” Bagwell said. “They mixed in some other great starters around them, and they had to score three runs a game. And won 15 years in a row. Why aren’t they called the Moneyball team? What’s the difference?”
The Braves possessed three of the most dominant starting pitchers in baseball in Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz and even won the World Series in 1995 along with countless National League East division titles. That’s one more World Series title than the Oakland Moneyball team won.
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