Efficient Markets in Everything

Sabermetrics worked but “once the casino catches on to your card-counting tricks, you can’t prosper at the table for long.”

NYTimes: The A’s, meanwhile, have tumbled back to mediocrity: the team is on its way to a losing season this year, after compiling a record of 231 wins and 254 losses over the previous three seasons. Most of the innovations introduced or popularized by Beane have been freely adopted by other organizations, thus eliminating whatever stealth advantages he once enjoyed.

… He told me baseball is moving “back to an efficient market — albeit one with some random events that don’t offer perfect efficiency — where whatever you spend, that’s where you’re going to finish.” In short, the Yankees spend a lot and make the playoffs pretty much every year. The Pirates don’t, and they don’t. There are aberrations to this pattern, but the pattern itself is unmistakable.

But the more efficient baseball becomes as a market, I asked him, the worse it is for you, right?

“Oh, yeah!” he said, and laughed.


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