Saturday, December 24, 2011

Trade-off of the Day: Moneyball.

A great scene from Moneyball (Ratings: 7.9/10 on imdb):
- Okay, good. What's the problem?

- Look, Billy, we all understand what the problem is. We have to...

- Okay, good. What's the problem?

- We have to replace three key players in our lineup.

- Nope. What's the problem?

- We gotta replace these guys with what we have...

- No. What's the problem, Barry?

- We need 38 home runs, 120 RBI's and 47 doubles to replace.

- No. The problem we're trying to solve is that there are rich teams and there are poor teams, then there's 50 feet of crap, and then there's us. It's an unfair game. And now we've been gutted. We're like organ donors for the rich. Boston's taken our kidneys, Yankees have taken our heart. And you guys sit around talking the same old "good body" nonsense like we're selling jeans.

If you are a problem solver, you recognize the situation immediately. Most of the time people can't solve the problem because they don't know the problem they are trying to solve.

The situation everybody seems to accept is that you can't put together a high-performing baseball team on a low budget. That is, the scouting staff takes for granted the trade-off between team quality and money you have to spend buying the players. The smaller the budget, the worse the team. Having an ok team is the best they can do under the circumstances.

Desperate for success, Billy looks for and finds a way to break the trade-off.

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