When a certain book was published in 2003, the game of baseball was turned completely upside down.

Written by Michael Lewis, the book eventually led to an Academy-Award nominated film that featured Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.

These days, "Moneyball" can be found everywhere.

In a world of constant cost-cutting and strong emphasis to do more with less, a number of teams from all levels have borrowed from the book’s principles that matter-of-factly dismiss many of the game’s longtime regulations.

Thanks to modern statistical analysis known as sabermetrics, some of the basic strategies many managers held dear for more than a century are now considered by some to be comically flawed.

Stolen-base attempts?

Analytics say they do more harm than good.


Modern data proves giving up an out to advance a runner is a very bad idea.

Fortunately, the old-school fundamentals haven’t gone the way of the Edsel in Northeast Ohio.

Many high school baseball and softball teams I cover still treat the stolen base and the sacrifice bunt as the holy grail.

And no one seems to stick it to the modern-day statisticians more than the Hudson baseball team.

Whether it was longtime skipper Chuck Schilling or current head coach Buddy Dice, the Explorers have proven time and time again, the so-called archaic schemes that have been around since the game was created are still highly effective.

Hudson has made 20-win seasons in the 21st century a regularity and the Explorers do it with the same approach every year: They put on bunting clinics, steal a bunch of bases and rely on a plethora of arms to keep opposing hitters at bay.

This spring has been no exception.

As usual, the Hudson ballplayers have been fidgety on the base paths. They also have been bunting as if their lives depended on it.

And like many of their other spring seasons this millennium, the Explorers have a surplus of hurlers.

The result?

Hudson is 11-0 after edging Akron Archbishop Hoban 4-3 Friday at The Ballpark at Hudson.

The Explorers only had seven hits and just three of them went for extra bases.

Nonetheless, Hudson, staying true to its longtime dogma, stole five bases, executed a beautiful bunt single and took advantage of two throwing errors to score a pair of runs.

How did one of those aerial miscues take place?

If you know the Explorers, the answer is quite simple. It happened on a — wait for it — successful double steal.

No bunting or no taking the extra base?

Allow Hudson to retort.

Being inactive on the bases and simply taking what the pitcher gives them has never been the Explorers’ style. As a matter of fact, they deride such suggestions.

Need proof?

In a 6-1 win over North Royalton earlier this month, Hudson boldly stole a whopping 10 bases.

Perhaps the small-ball tactics are critically endangered these days.

As for the Explorers, these alleged defective philosophies will continue to be fruitful as long as Dice is in charge.

When you wear the blue and white uniform, you don’t stand pat. If you decline to square up in the batter’s box, you may want to consider joining another team.

And if you want to go station to station based on what your teammate does, you’ll likely find yourself glued to the bench.

Creating havoc and consternation has been the Explorer way for as long as I can remember. And it’s not going away anytime soon.


In Hudson, there’s a certain religion that passionately preaches against this modern-day mantra.

It’s called "Buddyball."

Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, faceto@recordpub.com or @FrankAceto_RPC.