Billy Beane Essay
Beane begins the film relying on a statistical hot-shot and composite character, “Peter Brand,” to choose his players — while shutting out the A’s long-term, experienced scouts. Brandt and Beane put together a team that promptly sinks to the bottom of the division. By keeping his new strategy close to the vest, Beane manages to alienate many of his employees and saps the morale of his team.
A’s coach Art Howe is shown blatantly defying Beane’s wishes. But about forty minutes into the story, Beane adjusts his style.We see him chatting with his players and coach, describing what he’s thinking and what he expects. Beane approaches Dave Justice, a 36-year-old player whom he recruited against the advice of his scouts.
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Beane admits he can’t implement his approach alone. He gets Justice’s agreement to step up and be a leader. Beane opens up to the people who are being affected by his decisions, sharing his strategy, and recruiting others to do the same. In short, he practices transparency.
Soon the A’s are climbing out of the division basement.They post a 20-game winning streak — a feat never before accomplished in baseball. Although they lose to the Minnesota Twins in postseason play, Beane’s innovative and cost-effective strategy is quickly adopted by other teams. (Including the Red Sox, according to the film. ) In Moneyball, Beane learns — and demonstrates — that a leader’s transparency builds trust, morale, and better outcomes. Today, many teams use a version of Beane’s strategy.
Most (including the A’s) are implementing a hybrid approach, blending the experience of veteran scouts with raw statistical data