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Chapter 5. Baseball: Thinking Outside th... > John W. Henry Enters the Game

John W. Henry Enters the Game

Many trend followers started trading on their own with small accounts. They grew slowly as independents and were often renegades, unlike the more conventional traders on Wall Street who still “earn their spurs” at Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley. Their nature and their strategies are polar opposites of the traders who inhabit a Wall Street world built on commissions. Like Billy Beane’s view of baseball players, trend followers, realize that large amounts of cash do not guarantee wins. Strategy and smarts beats capital nine times out of ten.

Trend Following’s connection with baseball and numbers picked up even more steam with John W. Henry’s hiring of Bill James, the quintessential baseball “quant,” or numbers guy, for over 20 years. Bill James, the consummate outsider, was brought on to enrich Henry’s Red Sox club with his unique numbers-based view of baseball. James’ views might be too harsh for the majority of professionals and fans in the baseball world. For example, he is excruciatingly blunt in his negative assessment of folks like Don Zimmer, the loveable-looking former bench coach for the Yankees:


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