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Moneyball In Other Sports

Here's a couple of articles on the application of moneyball philosophies in soccer.  It's interesting to see how far and wide the impact of the Michael Lewis book has been on other professional sports and the field of sports economics.

Brian Phillips discusses the debate over whether advanced statistical analysis can be successfully applied to soccer in his Slate article: http://www.slate.com/id/2282752/pagenum/all/#p2.  The article also mentions Billy Beane and Wolff's San Jose Earthquakes.  Many in soccer oppose the use of advanced statistics, and while I disagree with them, they have better arguments on their side than the Joe Morgans of the world.

Last fall, New England Sports Ventures, the sabermetrically inclined owners of the Boston Red Sox, bought the storied English football club Liverpool. They installed as their "director of football strategy" an executive named Damien Comolli, a Frenchman known for using unconventional scouting metrics to discover undervalued talent. Suddenly, the English press flooded with articles about Moneyball and baseball wonks and the "whirring internal cogs" of the computers that, at Liverpool and maybe throughout the game, were about to replace soccer's age-old human focus with an American-style reign of algorithms.

Jason Davis of Match Fit USA discusses how the moneyball philosophy is behind NESV's Liverpool's most recent spat of big money transfers (selling Fernando Torres to Chelsea for 50 million pounds and buying Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll): http://www.ussoccerplayers.com/ussoccerplayers/2011/02/is-liverpool-playing-moneyball.html

 

No great player is so undervalued that only a statistical analysis will undercover them. The Red Sox are able to “win with Moneyball” because they have the funds necessary to sign the type of player that can to make up for the system’s shortfalls.

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