Ever since Moneyball hit bookshelves, the Oakland Athletics have been known as leaders in the trend of turning major league baseball into an exact science more than an art, an effort famously spearheaded by general manager Billy Beane's emphasis on obscure, commonly ignored statistics. Now, A's first base coach Tye Waller is taking Moneyball to the next level with the help of FileMaker, the database software for which MC Services is Wisconsin's only Platinum Certified Developer.
Waller has used FileMaker to create a massive database of Oakland players and opponents in order to spot trends that would go unnoticed by many experienced scouts. He's compiled information on where batters are likely to hit the ball, how big a lead a base runner can take depending on who's pitching, and many more facts that even the most passionate of Oakland fans would find overwhelming — although they're certainly enjoying the results.
The A's have been at or near the top of the American League West all season long, and with one of MLB's most effective pitching rotations, they're looking like one of the top candidates to win what would be their first World Series in the Moneyball era, despite having the majors' sixth-lowest payroll. Team manager Bob Melvin readily admitted to CNET that the FileMaker database known as the 'Tye Solution' has played a key role in their success, calling Waller "our IT coach."
Waller can access the information from an array of Apple devices, but has to print out his charts before games because MLB doesn't allow any technology more advanced than the bullpen phone in the dugout. In a sport that has often been accused of going kicking and screaming into the modern era, Waller is an outlier, but he remains confident that baseball will catch up to him.