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Baseball - Moneyball -

The central premise of Moneyball is that the collected wisdom of baseball insiders (including players, managers, coaches, scouts, and thefront office) over the past century is subjective and often flawed. Statistics such as stolen bases, runs batted in, and batting average, typically used to gauge players, are relics of a 19th-century view of the game and the statistics available at that time. The book argues that the Oakland A's' front office tookadvantage of more analytical gauges of player performance to field a team that could compete successfully against richer competitors in Major League Baseball (MLB).

Rigorous statistical analysis had demonstrated that on-base percentage and slugging percentage are better indicators of offensive success, and the A's became convinced that these qualities were cheaper to obtain on the open market than more historically valued qualities such as speed and contact.

A mathematical solution In baseball, it has become fashionable to value a player based on the saber-metric statistic WAR, or wins above replacement, which indicates how many more wins a player would generate for a team compared to a readily available replacement. Baseball is a statistically rich field, which makes deriving an abstract value such as WAR possible, though there is no clearly established formula. In business, it's more difficult to measure a CEO's performance in comparison to the average replacement, but we can devise a rudimentary system. CEO Muhtar Kent took the helm of Coca-Cola in July 2008. Since then, Coke shares have risen 62% -- slightly better than the returns of the S&P 500 at 56%. Compared to its rivals, Coke outperformed Pepsi, which appreciated 36%, but fell short of Dr. Pepper Snapple's growth of 175%. Based on share appreciation, Kent seems to have done a perfectly acceptable job.

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