FT.com / Markets / Wealth - Faith in figures proves to be a big hit:
"Beane’s great contribution to baseball – he is quick to admit – has been to apply to it techniques that were first honed by investors on Wall Street. Now, to his evident enjoyment, Wall Street is interested by the lessons it can learn from the world of professional sports. "and later:
"By the time he took over as a general manager, baseball statisticians had worked out that on-base percentage – measuring the amount of the time a hitter avoids making an out and gets on base, including walks – was much more relevant to the number of runs that would be scored.Interestingly last year (i.e. 2005) the SBU financeClub met Beane on a trip to NYC when he was presenting at Bear Stearns.
Hence, there was a mispricing in the market. Players with a gaudy batting average, who hit strongly for power, were over-priced. Patient hitters who walked a lot were undervalued. So he filled his team with under-priced patient hitters. Rather than trust the observations of scouts sent out to watch youngsters playing, he would trust the numbers."