Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
Moneyball The Art of Winning an Unfair Game Author:Michael Lewis "One of the best baseballand managementbooks out....Deserves a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame."ForbesMoneyball is a quest for the secret of success in baseball. Following the low-budget Oakland Athletics, their larger-than-life general manger, Billy Beane, and the strange brotherhood of amateur baseball enth... more »usiasts, Michael Lewis has written not only "the single most influential baseball book ever" (Rob Neyer, Slate) but also what "may be the best book ever written on business" (Weekly Standard). I wrote this book because I fell in love with a story. The story concerned a small group of undervalued professional baseball players and executives, many of whom had been rejected as unfit for the big leagues, who had turned themselves into one of the most successful franchises in Major League Baseball. But the idea for the book came well before I had good reason to write itbefore I had a story to fall in love with. It began, really, with an innocent question: how did one of the poorest teams in baseball, the Oakland Athletics, win so many games? With these words Michael Lewis launches us into the funniest, smartest, and most contrarian book since, well, since Liar's Poker. Moneyball is a quest for something as elusive as the Holy Grail, something that money apparently can't buy: the secret of success in baseball. The logical places to look would be the front offices of major league teams, and the dugouts, perhaps even in the minds of the players themselves. Lewis mines all these possibilitieshis intimate and original portraits of big league ballplayers are alone worth the price of admissionbut the real jackpot is a cache of numbersnumbers!collected over the years by a strange brotherhood of amateur baseball enthusiasts: software engineers, statisticians, Wall Street analysts, lawyers and physics professors. What these geek numbers showno, proveis that the traditional yardsticks of success for players and teams are fatally flawed. Even the box score misleads us by ignoring the crucial importance of the humble base-on-balls. This information has been around for years, and nobody inside Major League Baseball paid it any mind. And then came Billy Beane, General Manager of the Oakland Athletics. Billy paid attention to those numbers with the second lowest payroll in baseball at his disposal he had toand this book records his astonishing experiment in finding and fielding a team that nobody else wanted. Moneyball is a roller coaster ride: before the 2002 season opens, Oakland must relinquish its three most prominent (and expensive) players, is written off by just about everyone, and then comes roaring back to challenge the American League record for consecutive wins. In a narrative full of fabulous characters and brilliant excursions into the unexpected, Michael Lewis shows us how and why the new baseball knowledge works. He also sets up a sly and hilarious morality tale: Big Money, like Goliath, is always supposed to win...how can we not cheer for David?« less
Recently entered the financial services field and this was recommended reading. Good real world example where knowledge is significant factor in success (with a special nod to mathematics and statistics). For aspiring athletes, lots of focus on players that have profound positive impact yet would have traditionally been overlooked for the major leagues. Interesting read.
Jerry R. reviewed Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game on
Helpful Score: 1
I did like this, after seeing the movie, which I though brushed over some of the statistics and thoughts behind this change in baseball, I had to read the book. I found it to be interesting and an enjoyable read, though still did not explain as much as I wanted behind the change pro sports. The analytics that have overtaken all sports.
This was a really interesting look into the application of economic techniques to running a baseball team. In order to compete against teams with much more money, Billy Beane, the manager of the small market Oakland A's, began to look at aspects of the game which were undervalued by the majority of MLB.
The ideas in this book have led to a major revolution in how baseball teams are run and is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the inner workings of Major League baseball teams.
Well written book, shows the complexity of Billy Beane and others. I haven't seen the movie, and I suspect I won't because the moviewriters probably made the story saccharine. I'm one that believes that Billy Beane is helping ruin the game.
If you have any interest in baseball, this is a must read! My only criticism is that it didn't get into too much detail on any of the new "advanced" statistics. Hope the upcoming movie can live up to the book it is based on.