‘Moneyball’ Swimming: Learn to Analyze Your Training
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on February 26th, 2014

In late 2011, the Chicago Cubs hired the ‘baseball genius’ Theo Epstein away from the Boston Red Sox, where—while still in his 20s—he’d led the Red Sox to two. Epstein instead of being a former player guy was an Ivy Leaguer strong in the analytical skills increasingly valued in building pro sports teams.

Yet after Epstein was hired,  the Cubs suffered through the worst two consecutive seasons in a long and sorry history. The team hasn’t gone to the World Series since 1945 and has had a winning record in only 19 of the 70 seasons since. Yet the 2012 and 2013 Cubs surpassed even their most hapless predecessors in number of games lost in consecutive season.

But this interval of losing seems to be the essence of the Epstein Plan, with losing in the short term begetting winning seasons in the longer term.

The Cubs traded away experienced players who were just good enough to keep them mediocre in return for unproven, but promising, minor league prospects. The Cubs farm system is now among the best in baseball. If a moderate number of these prospects develop into solid players—and one or two become real stars—they’ll have a modestly-salaried, but highly-competitive, roster they could keep intact for five or more years.

 

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