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The most Moneyball player on the planet

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I read Michael Lewis’ Moneyball 13 years ago.  It was an exploration of key metrics missed by most of baseball and exploited by the then Oakland Athletics general manager, Billy Beane.  The lesson from the book was that while each sport has a standard set of metrics the vast majority of coaches and execs follow, if you want to over-achieve against richer opponents, you need to find different, better, metrics.

Adopt the same operational rules as everyone else and over any period, you will punch your weight, not more and no less.  Oakland (the A’s) understood this and chose a path less worn.  They sold their most saleable assets and bought better players from the unfashionable counter.   Some with awkward gaits, overweight or for various reasons just didn’t look right to the rest of elite baseball.

If Billy Beane was working in football today he would sign Leigh Girffiths in a heartbeat.  Read his recent rap sheet, he is the most Moneyball player on the planet.  The new manager is likely to take a look at the headlines and shrug, which is a pity.

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  1. FAVOURITE UNCLE on

    They were simply not good enough and no one seen it coming – we failed early & badly in every competition we entered.

     

     

    You are the master of the sweeping statement. I saw it coming and so did all the people who did not want LENNON and LAWLELL anywhere near CELTIC.

  2. Not for me

     

    Never been a regular in past 4 seasons now

     

     

    Time for a clear out with professional attitude from players brought in

  3. Wouldn’t it have been exciting if we had been one point ahead of The Rangers going in to last nights game. Them in a winning position with no minutes to go and us in a losing position with no minutes to go.

     

     

    We would have been laughing and laughing at the final outcome.

     

     

    Shame about that.

  4. JHB @ 11.42 on previous thread

     

     

     

    “Cheers – I do think that there have been mistakes & misjudgment at CEO & Board level over the last ten years, however looking at this season on its own, I simply don’t see what more could have been done to back the manager and players. They were simply not good enough and no one seen it coming – we failed early & badly in every competition we entered.

     

     

    The showing last night was predictably mediocre and typified our season.”

     

    ———————-

     

    Totally agree with your final paragraph.

     

     

    Also agree that significant money was invested (and sales foregone) to try to retain a strong squad (our money btw….not PL’s or Bankier’s or DD’s….we the customers pay to keep the lights on and the driveways warm)

     

     

    But where I take issue is where I think you contradict yourself.

     

    Many of us DID see it coming, as soon as the Shower Appointment was made public. (Thankfully with no photos!)

     

    And as you say, ‘we’ve failed early and badly’ in every competition.

     

    That’s why NFL had to go in October, before we’d completed the process of failing in the league.

     

     

    That rests, unavoidably and forever, upon his line manager, the CEO. And the Board as a wider governance body.

     

     

    Gerard retired in failure the three figures at Celtic most hated by his fan base. All exited with a whimper.

     

     

    HH jg

  5. I don’t get the article at all – but it’s Paul’s blog

     

     

    I’d like to have some focus on Lennoxtown – players fitness or lack off etc

  6. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    The way you puff this guy up at every opportunity has me concerned we’ll be depending on him next season.

  7. ‘Some with awkward gaits, overweight or for various reasons just didn’t look right to the rest of elite baseball.’

     

     

    Paul, you know that in baseball you can get get away with a BMI as ever-expanding as your batting average?

     

    Not so football in the 21C.

     

     

    Moneyball looks at risk and ROI.

     

    LG has over delivered on the former.

     

    And steadily decreased the former.

     

     

    If we’re building a team around him, this should be rebranded as HibsQuickNews

     

     

    HH jg

  8. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Griffiths needs to be at a club where he is playing every week. If that’s Celtic then things are even worse than I thought.

     

    Wonder if Jonny Hayes is in the “Callum McGregor can’t defend” camp…….?

  9. Paul says “The new manager is likely to take a look at the headlines and shrug, which is a pity.”

     

     

    Nothing like writing off a new manager’s ability to think for himself. Unless it is JK who will have his mind made up already.

  10. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    It also helps less wealthy clubs if the richest amongst them self-sabotage by appointing cronies to key positions because it serves the selfish interests of the CEO.

  11. JAMESGANG on 22ND APRIL 2021 12:36 PM

     

     

    That’s why NFL had to go in October, before we’d completed the process of failing in the league.

     

     

    That rests, unavoidably and forever, upon his line manager, the CEO. And the Board as a wider governance body.

     

    ——————

     

    I think with hindsight you have a valid point. At that time of the season and with Covid determining & dominating everything, I’m just wondering who we would have attracted. It may well have been JK for a longer time.

     

     

    I do attach some blame to NL, however overwhelmingly I blame the players – I think they were/are demoralised and we don’t know the why. There must be an underlying reason why a group of players become so ineffective so quickly. In situations like this,with individual players, it usually boils down to money and/or dissatisfaction with where they are currently playing. Perhaps when this group breaks up we might hear some stories.

     

     

    Regarding who knew what & when we needed a change of direction. I remember on these very pages many saying that 10iar was “in the bag” – that Shane Duffy was the piece of the jigsaw that would ensure it….and that not one of the Ibrox squad would get into our first team.

  12. I paid for Aberdeen TV last night. Every time I’ve watched club tv when we’ve played away this season I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve not missed the 18 angles of every incident, the stupid graphics, ads and most of all the bullshit from the commentators and pundits. Commentators who’re late back from half time break because they’ve been for a jobby, ex players who don’t hide their support for their team in the box. It’s been much more like being at the game.

     

     

    Watching the epl these days is an awful experience. I get a headache after ten minutes from the fake crowd noise, var is the most sterile thing ever, you don’t get to watch the game properly because every incident gets picked over for too long, and you have to listen to Gary Neville. There’s nothing real about it, we’re told what we should think and think about, debate endlessly in a binary fashion the “talking points”

     

     

    Last night the Aberdeen commentators were clearly wanting Aberdeen to win but were still able to give credit to Celtic where it was due. They got on with the game, they didn’t bang on endlessly about the controversial moments or talking points. I finished the game, shut my laptop and didn’t have any more of a headache than I would normally get after watching Celtic these days

     

     

    If we can’t put money into the game by going we should, if we can, avoid putting money into the pockets of the streamers and their advertisers. Posting links to illegal streams doesn’t help anyone in Scottish football. It doesn’t help our host either.

     

     

    The relevance to Paul67’s article is their attitude to Leigh Griffiths. “LG does what he does” was the comment from both commentators. He’s worth persevering with, if we don’t someone else will get the benefit for his exceptional finishing. Our terrible recent chance conversion rate shows what can happen when you don’t have a natural finisher on the pitch

  13. Leigh Griffiths could (still) be our Jamie Vardy – he is five years younger and has similar qualities – the difference is that Vardy is the complete professional, Griffiths is not – I will leave it at that.

  14. The American bloke just copied BC at NF in the late seventies.

     

    He won the EC with a back 4 of VA / LL / KB / FC.

     

     

    You cannot get any more unfashionable than that.

  15. Paul 67

     

     

    Money ball? bigger worries than letting Leigh Griffiths run down his contract next season IMO

     

     

    We’ve sold two full backs for a combined £36M net and have been knocked out of the cup and dropped points in the last two games, winding up the season with loan players where real invincibles used to play.

     

     

    If Leigh Griffith’s had turned up fit from the start of the season he might have contributed when we needed it most, and I don’t think he’s done 90 minutes anyway.

     

     

    Root and Branch Treatment CSC

  16. squire danaher on

    MADMITCH on 22ND APRIL 2021 1:12 PM

     

    The American bloke just copied BC at NF in the late seventies.

     

     

    He won the EC with a back 4 of VA / LL / KB / FC.

     

     

     

    You cannot get any more unfashionable than that.

     

     

    ——

     

     

    Is there a prize if ye guess all the initials ??

  17. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    That unfit, demotivated, brainless wee guy is only good for one thing.

     

     

    Scoring goals.

     

     

    Activate the contract extension clause.

     

     

    Now.

     

     

    Hail hail

     

     

    Keep The Faith

     

     

    We’re Not Half of Anything

  18. Non-football post but a cause close to CQN’s heart. Please scroll by if you wish.

     

     

    Tonight at 19.00 Mary’s Meals will be running a live YouTube session:

     

     

    Join us live for an update from Malawi, news from some of the other countries where we work, inspirational stories from our volunteers here in the UK, and details on the different ways you can get involved in our mission.

     

     

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeiTb-SmlO6oStslhA5GqSw

     

     

    I recently read Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow’s book “Give” which explores the dilemmas faced by a growing charity. Expansion, professional approach to fund-raising to match demand, responsibility for the conduct of more and more people who become associated with the charity, temptation to get involved in non-core areas, recruiting the best people to run the “business” in a market where they could earn much higher salaries elsewhere.

     

     

    Mary’s Meals has avoided the pitfalls by maintaining its true charitable mission and ethos.

     

     

    A lot of the book examines the meaning of “charity” and comparing with behaviour of people from the global charities in places like Haiti where they moaned about their accommodation to stay whilst the place had fallen to bits around them. And, of course, the “charity for (womens’) favours” abuse of their position of power over the local people.

     

     

    Quite simply, this book shows what charity really means and that it can be delivered effectively under its true meaning.

     

     

    It is certainly one of the most uplifting books I have ever read.

  19. BOURNESOUPRECIPE on 22ND APRIL 2021 1:17 PM

     

     

    I think Griff benefited least from a months long unsupervised “holiday”. A short break and a structured pre season and training program might see him back to his sharpest

  20. squire danaher on 22nd April 2021 1:19 pm

     

     

    You’ll be in the big black book and called childish names for that ya rascal.

  21. Paul I have been reading this blog for 10 years. In that time I have agreed with a large % of the articles you have posted, even when others are venting/ board bashing.

     

     

    This article (oddly) has absolutely infuriated me. Griffiths is a ned who hasn’t been fit for 3 years. He can still score goals at an SPFL level…..the same way a fat Kris Boyd could score goals for Killie at 34/ 35.

     

     

    Is that the level we aspire to though? A few years ago we had Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard. Now you’re telling us a soon to be 31 year old Griffiths is the answer. Shocking stuff!!

  22. The quality of the Aberdeen ppv was very good with no technical issues. It’s been the same with others such as Ross County and St Mirren. Only £12.99 for last night,. OK it was painful viewing.

     

     

    What has Griffiths actually done wrong? He was playing up to the game were Neil Lennon supposedly had a go at him.

  23. Interepreting for Mad Mitch

     

     

    Brian Clough – BC

     

    Notts Forrest – NF

     

     

    European Cup – NC

     

     

    Viv Anderson – VC

     

    Larry Lloyd – LL

     

    Kenny Burns – KB

     

    Frank Clark – FC

     

     

    I claim my prize

  24. JHB @ 1.08

     

     

    It have been news to you. And therefore hindsight comes into play.

     

     

    For many others, it was simply the coming together of what was evident – improving sevco, deteriorating Celtic.

     

    The 20 point gap was beyond worst expectations. But that was the dramatic endpoint of an unravelling process that the custodians watched grow before them.

     

     

    A bit like the titanic somehow making it to New York and immediately leaving for open ocean again. Bankier et al’s performance at the AGM was surreal, given the emerging emergency we were all seeing develop.

     

     

    HH jg

  25. One of Madmitch’s less cryptic puzzles

     

     

    Work back from 2 European cups in the late seventies

  26. The quality of the Aberdeen ppv was very good with no technical issues. It’s been the same with others such as Ross County and St Mirren. Only £12.99 for last night. OK it was painful viewing.

     

     

    Remember the good old days, not so long ago, when we ran over the top of them at Pittodrie?

  27. BOURNESOUPRECIPE @ 1:11

     

     

     

    We’ve sold two full backs for a combined £36M.

     

    ————

     

    Probably nearer £30m after Man City get their kickback on Frimpong, however you are basically right.

     

     

    We are heading for a loss of c£15/20m this season even with the sale of Frimpong. Without the transfer of KT that could have been £45m less of course the £3m for Bolingoli (£42m), who would not have been required.

     

     

    We traditionally don’t run with anything like that level of debt and so it is likely that summer sales will be used to reduce it substantially. Edouard, Ajer & Christie will command less in fees than they might have done a year ago – that is the conundrum.

  28. squire danaher on

    SHAUNAMURA on 22ND APRIL 2021 1:32 PM

     

     

    Surely you mean PS?

     

     

    With GB and TW up front and midfield of MON, AG, IB and JR, not to mention the £1m man TF

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