Billy Beane knows how to build a team better than a supercomputer | Sports | .a week

so these former athletes will not necessarily be the fastest, strongest, or greatest. Sometimes even the opposite. The main criterion was not their sporting performance, but rather a significant footprint outside their original sport. They have practically nothing in common and the only thing that connects them is that their active sports activity is already history. And not only might they not be the best, they won’t even be the most popular sports. You could rather say the opposite. Because who in our country would be interested in chess or baseball? And now that you’ve been deterred enough, let’s start with the first one: Billy Beane.

a talent he couldn’t achieve

William Lamar Beane III is the full official name of the former professional baseball player. Let’s just call him Billy (not to be confused with Mr. Bean). Why start a series with an unknown player in a sport that is not very popular in our country? Don’t worry, you don’t need to know anything about baseball or sports in general to understand why it has become so successful. It’s not about his career as an athlete. And while he later became famous as a baseball team manager, it’s not really about baseball either. It is about the experience of the functioning of top sport as such. Billy has fully developed the idea of ​​such an approach to create a sports team, which is applicable in any collective sport, or maybe even outside the sport.

Billy was considered a great talent and baseball scouts predicted a great career for him. Like the NHL, also in Major League Baseball (MLB), clubs select talented players in the draft and then have the exclusive right to sign a contract with them. Billy had a choice at the time – he could go to a prestigious university (where he would continue to play baseball) or sign a professional contract with the top team New York Mets. He chose the second option and, as he later said, it was his only decision motivated purely by money. And it didn’t go so well. During his short five-year career, he struggled athletically, changed clubs and was often sent off to play in lower leagues for farm teams. His last club was the Oakland Athletics, where he ended his playing career and started working as a talent scout, also known as a scout.

“Billy put together a selection of relatively cheap players whose combination of qualities made a strong team”

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