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Before 2012, owner Jim Crane hired GM Jeff Luhnow and director of decision sciences Sig Mejdal, formerly of NASA, and the duo now lead a nine-man sabermetrics staff that includes a medical risk manager and a mathematical modeler. Their unwavering devotion to gaining an edge with defensive shifts has commish Rob Manfred considering a leaguewide ban.
In 2006, owner Leslie Alexander tapped Daryl Morey, a littleknown SVP of operations and information for the Celtics, as GM to relaunch the Rockets, who employed multiple analysts before most teams had even one.
"He has a vision," says Sixers forward Robert Covington.
"We're going to turn this around." While not as drastic as the Sixers' scorched-earth model, Houston has made metrics the foundation of its revival.
Using Moneyball means, the Sox have since won three crowns, spending smartly on overlooked stars, valuing OBP and slugging over batting average, and abusing opponents' rotations by milking at-bats and raising pitch counts.
Sure, the Yanks' 22 straight winning seasons owe, in part, to deep pockets.
Still, even after Oakland's brain drain -- Mets VP Paul De Podesta ("Peter Brand" in the movie) and Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi -- Beane continues to thrive with buy-in from manager Bob Melvin, whose teams have averaged 93 wins a season since '12 and ranked No. Now the Hawks, with two Stanley Cups in that span, are seen as pioneers in Corsi and Fenwick ratings, which value players by possessions, not points.
Bowman says next-level metrics have given Chicago a sharp edge on a league that, like the NFL, is slow to adapt: "I use them a lot, but I don't talk about it a lot-it's not about me, it's about how it helps us." The Lakers infamously had the only NBA front office without a rep at the 2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, and their old-school approach hasn't progressed much.
"Analytics have been an important component of who we are since I walked in the door 15 years ago," says owner Mark Cuban, an early adopter of adjusted plus-minus.
Beane, the Rays were the first MLB team to go all-in on analytics and reach the promised land.
Since 2008, when it appeared in the World Series, Tampa Bay has been No.
Roland Beech, VP of basketball strategy and founder of 82games.com, was the NBA's first bench "stats coach" when Dallas won the 2011 title, and Cuban's faith in tech company Catapult, which gauges player workload to keep vets like Dirk Nowitzki healthy, is so strong he invested several million dollars in it just last year.
Moneyball is alive and well in Oakland, but since that seminal book was published in '03, the league has upped its investment in sabermetrics, closing the gap on Billy Beane. In 2009, GM Stan Bowman became one of the first NHL execs to hire an outside analytics firm -- half a decade before 2014's "Summer of Analytics" hit the ice.