"Yeah—and you're in it."
Rizzo, 22, hit .331 for Triple A Tucson this season with a whopping 1.056 OPS. (He has appeared in 44 games for the Padres, hitting .130.) Kelly, 21, was 11--6 with a 3.98 ERA in Double A. Fuentes, 20, hit .275 in Class A ball with a .342 OBP and 41 stolen bases. They are among the most important assets for the future of the Padres. But as general manager of small-market San Diego, Hoyer knows a run as long as Beane's Athletics put together—eight straight winning seasons, averaging 94 wins per year—might not be possible for such teams today. Market inefficiencies are harder to find and are more fleeting, especially because the teams with money added intellectual muscle. "The joke on Moneyball was, Where was the chapter on having three of the five or six best pitchers in the game?" Hoyer says, referring to Oakland's young aces Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito. "But I don't think people give [the A's] enough credit. You're not going to have that long a leash anymore.
"Look at the Red Sox. They had 15 All-Stars on the team Opening Day. They've been the best team in baseball hands down acquiring draft picks. They are a very stable organization with very good coaches and not a lot of churn. What Theo does better than anyone is constantly push you to think in different directions. He wants as much background stuff and makeup information as anyone. Always asking for more is probably his best quality."
Back in 2002, as Lewis and Beane were collaborating, Epstein worked with Cherington, Craig Shipley, now the senior vice president of player personnel and international scouting, and their fellow whiz kids in the basement of Fenway on a project of their own. There was no established Red Sox Way, so they set out to define it: They began writing a player-development manual. "Everything from bunt plays to how we want our hitters to be selectively aggressive at the plate," Epstein says, "to what requirements we have to be a starting pitcher to how you throw your bullpens—every fundamental and every philosophical idea." They also wrote a companion manual, on scouting, because "what the scouts look for has to match up with your development philosophy."
Those manuals became the foundation for the Red Sox Way. No book or movie is in the works.