I was thinking about something last night that I wanted your opinion on.
Over the past decade, we have seen two books reach national best-seller status that focused on two small-market baseball teams and how they succeeded despite the financial hand they were dealt.
Moneyball, written by Michael Lewis, focused on the Oakland A’s and Billy Beane and how they used advanced statistics to become one of the most successful teams in the late 90s and early 2000s. The Extra 2%, by Jonah Keri, takes a look at the Tampa Bay Rays and how three Wall Street executives took a dormant franchise and turned them into a winner.
Both are great reads and I can understand why they received the notoriety they received.
So here is my question: Why haven’t there been any books written about the success of the Florida Marlins? With all due respect to the A’s and Rays, they never won anything.
The A’s made the postseason four times in a seven-year span from 2000 to 2006, but never made it to the World Series and only made it to the ALCS just once (they got swept, by the way). The Rays have made the playoffs two out of the past three seasons, but lost their only World Series appearance in 2008.
On the other hand, the small-market Marlins have won two World Series titles since 1997. If you want to argue their first World Series title was won with players who were bought and paid for, I can certainly buy that. But their 2003 World Series title was won with homegrown talent and some veterans like Ivan Rodriguez, Jeff Conine and Ugueth Urbina.
The 2003 Marlins were what the Moneyball A’s and The Extra 2% Rays wish they could have been—World Series champs.
So why is it that the Marlins have a reputation as a “cheap” franchise and the A’s and Rays are considered groundbreaking and trendy?
I would love to hear your feedback on this topic…