µ Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game ¾ Download by ¹ Michael Lewis This just didn t wow me like I thought it would I guess I just like the play on the field better than the behind the scenes action.
It breaks your heart, A Bartlett Giamatti wrote of baseball in a piece called The Green Fields of the Mind It is designed to break your heart And so it does, year after year Baseball, as has often been noted, is a game predicated on failure The game s best hitters only succeed in roughly three out of ten at bats A 162 game season presents a tremendous sample size, which should iron out aberrations and yet year after year, entire seasons come down to a single bad bounce or mistimed swing or hanging curve or missed call You can spend an entire summer of lazy days drinking beer and cheering for your 100 win team, only to watch them sputter and die in a five game series in October It doesn t seem fair, sometimes Michael Lewis s Moneyball is about a man who tried to crack the code, to find the secret to winnin Billy Beane, General Manager Of MLB S Oakland A S And Protagonist Of Michael Lewis S Moneyball, Had A Problem How To Win In The Major Leagues With A Budget That S Smaller Than That Of Nearly Every Other Team Conventional Wisdom Long Held That Big Name, Highly Athletic Hitters And Young Pitchers With Rocket Arms Were The Ticket To Success But Beane And His Staff, Buoyed By Massive Amounts Of Carefully Interpreted Statistical Data, Believed That Wins Could Be Had By Affordable Methods Such As Hitters With High On Base Percentage And Pitchers Who Get Lots Of Ground Outs Given This Information And A Tight Budget, Beane Defied Tradition And His Own Scouting Department To Build Winning Teams Of Young Affordable Players And Inexpensive Castoff Veterans Lewis Was In The Room With The A S Top Management As They Spent The Summer Of Adding And Subtracting Players And He Provides Outstanding Play By Play In The June Player Draft, Beane Acquired Nearly Every Prospect He Coveted Few Of Whom Were Coveted By Other Teams And At The July Trading Deadline He Engaged In A Tense Battle Of Nerves To Acquire A Lefty Reliever Besides Being One Of The Most Insider Accounts Ever Written About Baseball, Moneyball Is Populated With Fascinating Characters We Meet Jeremy Brown, An Overweight College Catcher Who Most Teams Project To Be A Th Round Draft Pick Beane Takes Him In The First Sidearm Pitcher Chad Bradford Is Plucked From The White Sox Triple A Club To Be A Key Set Up Man And Catcher Scott Hatteberg Is Rebuilt As A First Baseman But The Most Interesting Character Is Beane Himself A Speedy Athletic Can T Miss Prospect Who Somehow Missed, Beane Reinvents Himself As A Front Office Guru, Relying On Players Completely Unlike, Say, Billy Beane Lewis, One Of The Top Nonfiction Writers Of His Era Liar S Poker, The New New Thing , Offers Highly Accessible Explanations Of Baseball Stats And His Roadmap Of Beane S Economic Approach Makes Moneyball An Appealing Reading Experience For Business People And Sports Fans AlikeJohn Moe Having the misfortune of being a Kansas City Royals fan, I thought I d had any interest in baseball beaten out of me by season after season of humiliation Plus, the endless debate about the unfairness of large market vs small market baseball had made my eyes glaze over years ago so I didn t pay much attention to the Moneyball story until the movie came out last year and caught my interest enough to finally check this out.
Despite being a small market team and outspent by tens of millions of dollars by clubs like the Yankees, the Oakland A s managed to be extremely competitive from 1999 through 2006 They did this when their general manager Billy Beane embraced a new type of baseball statistics called sabermetrics that had been championed by a stat head f In honor of the MLB postseason, I am resurrecting a book review that I wrote back in 2009.
I hardly know where to begin in attempting a review of Michael Lewis Moneyball The Art of Winning an Unfair Game It isn t that I don t think that the book is well written, because it is It isn t that I disagree with the conclusions that are reached in the book, because, for the most part, I don t What bothers me, as a recovering baseball fanatic, is that I don t enjoy the game that utilizes the approaches that are proposed in this book.
Moneyball describes how the general manager of the Oakland A s, Billy Beane, has been able to use sabermetrics statistical analysis originated by Bill James and others to intelligently draft players and win games.
According This is a good book, but not as good as I thought it was going to be Sometimes I find technical writing to be a bit repetitive and this definitely leans toward technical non fiction than biography I was hoping for of a human interest story here because even though Billy Beane takes up a large chunk of the story, it isn t really a story about Billy Bean per se Moneyball was published in 2003, only a year after John Henry bought the Boston Red Sox Before that time, very few people in baseball had ever heard the term sabermetrics, never mind tried to implement it into a strategy for drafting and trading players very few people, that is, besides Billy Beane What s fascinating about Beane is how much he had to struggle against the tide in order to apply the statistical approach of sabermetrics to his managing of the Oakland Athletics Of course, given the payroll of the A s in t It was a better story before I knew the whole story Almost every book on randomness I have read had a reference to Moneyball and I had built up my own version about this story I had even told a few people that version and it imagined everybody doing what Billy Beane was doing, and Billy Beane doing some sort of probability distribution among all players and randomly picking his team, winning emphatically, and thus proving that a truly random pick of players is the equivalent of a true simulation of the market and just like how no considered selection of stock picks can ever outperform the market in the long run, a truly random representation of the baseball market cannot be outperformed by the interventionist methods of other teams over a long season That is the story I wanted to hear My apologies to any
Michael Lewis hit this one out of the park I love his writing style he is able to explain complex and insider ideas to a layperson, and he makes it interesting That skill is as valuable to a reporter as a baseball player s on base percentage was to the Oakland Athletics.
The story follows the Oakland A s during the 2002 baseball season, which was when their general manager, Billy Beane, was following a different set of principles for assembling a team than the majority of the league Beane and his assistant, Paul DePodesta, were applying sabermetrics, which meant they were looking for players with certain qualities that the rest of the league had undervalued This was critical because the Oakland A s had very little money back then their payroll was about 40 million, compared to the New York Yankees payroll of 126 million The stats Beane and DePodesta were I read Moneyball at a time when I wasn t reading too much besides preschool kids books and reread it for the baseball book club I am a part of on good reads Michael Lewis follows the story of general manager Billy Bean and his 2002 Oakland As, a low budget baseball team that managed to win their division going away What is remarkable is that Bean built his team focusing on sabermetrics, not home runs and RBIs He knew he did not have money to compete with the Yankees of the world and assembled a team of Harvard brainiacs to read stats in order to then assemble the best low cost baseball team his money could buy An amazing thing happened the As team of damaged players won 20 games in a row on their way to a division title The east coast establishment took notice and offered Bean a job at season s end He declined and these