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Compliance lessons from the best team in baseball

Tom Fox | July 30, 2018

The Man from FCPA is a life-long Houston Astros fan. A recent book by Sports Illustrated writer Ben Reiter, “Astroball: The New Way to Win It All,” chronicled the rise of the Astros from literally the worst team in baseball to World Series champions. The book tells the story of how two people—Jeff Luhnow, the former director of scouting for the St. Louis Cardinals, and former NASA rocket scientist Sig Mejdal—changed the fortunes of the franchise and turned it into a winner. 

Team owner Jim Crane had the foresight to buy into Luhnow’s vision and the wherewithal to put up with people like me who were unpitying in their criticism of the Astros and their plan. It turns out they did have a plan and, more importantly, they executed it. 

The plan was to use data analytics to evaluate talent, then use another set of data to help develop that talent once the Astros had acquired it. The next...

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