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What Geeks Don’t Get: The Limits of Moneyball

Michael Lewis moderated a panel at the 2010 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference called What Geeks Don’t Get: The Limits of Moneyball.

Michael Lewis asked Morey if he believed in clutch stats, long a controversial difference between common fans – who worship the art of the clutch – and statheads – who tend to believe that the idea of clutch statistics are not definitive and conclusive.

Morey artfully answered, “We don’t make any decisions based on the belief of that.” Interestingly, Cuban disagreed, and said that that was one reason he wanted Kidd, whom he believes plays differently in “win time” than he does in the other 45 minutes of the game.

Lewis asked Morey about the risks inherent in the Moneyball movement. Morey noted that plenty of smart economists contributed the collapse of the world economy by believing so strongly in their analysis that they lost the sense of where there was risks and things could break down. He said that sports franchises ran the same risk of applying numbers indiscriminately.

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Micheal Lewis is the best-selling author of The Big Short, Liar’s Poker, MoneyballThe Blindside and most recently Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World.