“There was no talk of ‘Moneyball’ when I was there,” says ex-A’s pitcher Mark Mulder. “You never heard anything like that.”
Mulder, a current ESPN broadcaster, made his comments while watching his former A’s teammate Tim Hudson pitch on Wednesday Night Baseball on ESPN.
“Moneyball” is the name of a book about the success the low-budget A’s achieved from 1999-2006 despite competing against teams that had the financial means to buy better players. The best-selling book was later turned into an Academy Award-nominated movie.
The term “Moneyball” represents the way the A’s searched for economic deficiencies in the marketplace that would allow them to compete despite having little money available for their payroll. (at the time they realized that players with good on-base percentages were undervalued). The movie made it seem like GM Billy Beane was in the clubhouse interacting with the players and teaching them about some of the principles, and that the media was aware of everything. Mulder doesn’t remember it that way, and he says he wasn’t aware anything special was going on in the front office.