Today, in most sports more money equals more wins. So I was immensely amazed to find out that in the 2002 season of American baseball, the nation’s lowest-salaried Major League Baseball (MLB) team put together a 20-game winning streak, despite beginning the season with 11 consecutive losses. I believe ‘Moneyball’ is a movie nobody should miss out on.
The movie focuses on the character of the Oakland Athletics’ general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), who is driven by his hatred of losing. In the previous season, he powered the Oakland Athletics to the world series, only for them to lose, and even have their three best players poached away by richer ball clubs. When faced with a tight budget, and tasked with rebuilding the team, Bean was persuaded by a recent Yale graduate, Peter Brand. He theorized that hiring undervalued players using an algorithm based on statistics will bring them success. Beane took this bargain, and with a foolhardy team, he went on to achieve one of the greatest successes in baseball history.
An inspiring quote from the movie by Billy Beane is, ‘I hate losing more than I love winning’. This just shows us the kind of strong mentality a winning coach must have. Whenever I am playing any sport and losing, I remember this quote, as it motivates me to push forward and do my best for the team.
In my opinion, what makes Moneyball so exceptional is not its script or actors. For me, it’s the plot that shows that statistical analysis does not ruin the game, but rather revitalizes it. The story of Moneyball proves the importance of both big data and big ideas. Over the years, Beane’s Moneyball theory has had a lasting legacy in baseball, allowing teams with significantly lower budgets to choose players that would allow them to successfully compete against big-market teams.
As students, Moneyball will teach you about the power of numbers, brains, the unsentimental use of statistics, and the success that comes from doing this differently. With the world evolving and statistics destined to play a key role in the future, learning about the power of numbers could prove to be essential for all of us. Not only will you obtain a great amount of knowledge, but Moneyball also showcases all the behind-the-scenes drama of managing and building a championship team. It is one of the most thrilling, exotic, and enthralling movies I have ever seen. Whether you’re a sports fan or not, this movie is a must-watch.
Krishna is a staff reporter.
Edited by Asha.