The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
 
Dodgers GM DePodesta To Try "Moneysurgery" Approach on Gagne's Elbow
Originally posted 6/20/2005

Eric Gagne reacts to a save, tearing a ligament in his pitching arm in the process
LOS ANGELES - Dodgers general manager and former Billy Beane disciple Paul DePodesta announced this week that the team will try what is known as the "Moneysurgery" approach on the injured elbow of All-Star closer Eric Gagne. "They're talking about Tommy John surgery," DePodesta said, referring to the career- saving surgery named after the former All-Star who pitched well into his 40s, "but we think we can get the same result a lot cheaper and more efficiently."

As an assistant to Oakland A's GM Billy Beane, DePodesta was a prominent character in Michael Lewis's 2004 best-seller Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, which chronicled Oakland's success in competing with larger-market teams on a limited budget. The philosophy emphasizes certain statistics in favor of what is thought by "moneyball" adherents as an over-reliance on traditional scouting methods.

"It's not about finding the most expensive doctor or using the best equipment," DePodesta said about Gagne's treatment. "It's just about getting that accessory tendon from his left arm or, in some cases, his leg or toe, and getting that tendon threaded through holes drilled into the bone above and below the elbow. We think we can get that done for around $350 bucks, and use the savings to upgrade our starting rotation for the stretch drive."

"I'm a little nervous about it," Gagne said, "but Paul assured me that it would be okay. We won the division last year, so I guess he must know what he's doing. Although I think he's going to do the surgery himself, and I'm not sure he's qualified. He told me to make sure that I show up for the procedure 'piss-drunk,' so that worries me a little bit."

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