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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mike Magnante, Moneyball to Algebra Class - 181

Check out the revisited Mike Magnante feature from June 2011: Mike Magnante, Numbers Man

Mike Magnante's career has been one defined by numbers - as a player whose career was revived and ended by the numbers and calculations of Moneyball and one that continues today with the numbers and calculations of a high school algebra teacher.

Magnante made his debut with the Royals April 22, 1991, after spending three seasons in the minors. He would be on a major league roster at some point every year through his final one in 2002.

His early numbers inexplicably favored mid-season action, in July and August and that's how managers used him. By 2000, Magnante had moved on to Houston, then Anaheim. That's when Billy Beane and his Moneyball machine zeroed in on him. The decision to finally let him go, when the Moneyball calculations went against him, is chronicled in Michael Lewis' book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.

Magnante pitched his final game July 29, 2002, having played in 12 major league seasons as a relief pitcher. He tossed in a total of 484 games and had a career ERA of 4.04.

These days, he's taking a different approach to numbers, as a high school algebra teacher near Los Angeles.

The Moneyball chapter dealing with Magnante can be found here:
The book can be found here:

1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed: 21/880
Major Leaguers: 10
Never Made the Majors: 11
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 4
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 8

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