Moneyball Part 1

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! This past weekend was one of my favorites in Charlottesville so far. We somehow managed to squeeze a lot into a short period of timecooking, crafting, Halloweening, birthdaying, and a movie.

Saturday we saw Moneyball with Brad Pitt. Moneyball is the true story of Billy Beane, the General Manager of the Oakland As who is frustrated that his $40 million dollar payroll has to play against big leagues like the Yankees and their $121 million dollar payroll. When increasing his payroll isn’t an option, he stumbles upon a young, Yale grad who has theories, calculations, analysis, and ideas about putting together a team that change everything Billy’s ever known about baseball. Together, they set out to change the way the recruiting, hiring, coaching, and the game are handled and put together a team that is totally unprecedented.

The result? After a major string of losses, amidst the criticism and jeers, the As eventually get to the point of a historic 20 game winning streak. They ultimately don’t make it to the World Series, but their style forever transformed baseball. Two years later, the Red Sox FINALLY won a World Series using the same strategy that the As introduced to baseball.

I hope my attempt at summarizing the movie does it a hint of justice. I promise it’s a must see. Here’s a link to the trailer for more. As I sat there, two themes emerged that I LOVED.

The first? Billy Beane wasn’t afraid to step out and take a risk.

In a lot of ways, Billy reminds me of my boss who I admire as a true visionary and leader. She always reminds me that, “we can’t keep doing business as usual and expect to see different results.”

Often if you want to see real impact, you have to approach things differently and can’t be afraid to shake things up.

In Billy Beane’s case, he went against what all the baseball experts were saying and tried something new. With an $80 million dollar payroll difference against some of the major teams who were scooping up his major players, he didn’t really have many other options. He has to step out and think differently.

Even though his moves were unprecedented, and didn’t take off right away, Billy did not waver in his decision and saw it through until they started seeing the real results.

Oftentimes in our faith, God might call us to take a risk that seems totally crazy, but in the end, totally worth it. The examples I always look back on are David and Joshua.

In David’s case, God told him to defeat a giant using only a rock and a slingshot. How crazy is that? People thought he was losing it, but David obeyed God. The result? A Divine Defeat against Goliath.

In Joshua’s case, God told him to gather the Israelites and march around the walls of Jericho for 7 days. Do you think the people thought Joshua was a little crazy? Yet Joshua, didn’t question God’s methods and he diligently obeyed. The result? On the 7th day when they blew the trumpets, the walls tumbled down and the Israelites were able to take the city.

Sometimes God calls us to do things that sound totally crazy and certainly not what we planned, but we have to trust that He always, always knows what He’s doing. Even when people think we’re setting ourselves up to fail, even when initially we’re not seeing the results we want, don’t give up on God and His vision. He has a plan!

My (daughter), give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways…There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”
Proverbs 23:26, 18

Theme number 2 from Moneyball coming tomorrow, stay tuned!