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Moneyball (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Movie Tie-in Editions) [Kindle Edition]

Michael Lewis
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (997 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“You need know absolutely nothing about baseball to appreciate the wit, snap, economy . . . and incisiveness of [Moneyball]. Lewis has hit another one out of the park.” —Janet Maslin, New York Times


Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s general manager, is leading a revolution. Reinventing his team on a budget, he needs to outsmart the richer teams. He signs undervalued players whom the scouts consider flawed but who have a knack for getting on base, scoring runs, and winning games. Moneyball is a quest for the secret of success in baseball and a tale of the search for new baseball knowledge—insights that will give the little guy who is willing to discard old wisdom the edge over big money.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 more 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 2002 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 15th 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 alike. --John Moe

From Publishers Weekly

Lewis (Liar's Poker; The New New Thing) examines how in 2002 the Oakland Athletics achieved a spectacular winning record while having the smallest player payroll of any major league baseball team. Given the heavily publicized salaries of players for teams like the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees, baseball insiders and fans assume that the biggest talents deserve and get the biggest salaries. However, argues Lewis, little-known numbers and statistics matter more. Lewis discusses Bill James and his annual stats newsletter, Baseball Abstract, along with other mathematical analysis of the game. Surprisingly, though, most managers have not paid attention to this research, except for Billy Beane, general manager of the A's and a former player; according to Lewis, "[B]y the beginning of the 2002 season, the Oakland A's, by winning so much with so little, had become something of an embarrassment to Bud Selig and, by extension, Major League Baseball." The team's success is actually a shrewd combination of luck, careful player choices and Beane's first-rate negotiating skills. Beane knows which players are likely to be traded by other teams, and he manages to involve himself even when the trade is unconnected to the A's. " `Trawling' is what he called this activity," writes Lewis. "His constant chatter was a way of keeping tabs on the body of information critical to his trading success." Lewis chronicles Beane's life, focusing on his uncanny ability to find and sign the right players. His descriptive writing allows Beane and the others in the lively cast of baseball characters to come alive.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 551 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0393057658
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (August 15, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005G5PPGS
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,951 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
143 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Provides an "Aha" Experience May 23, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I never understood nor really liked baseball. I bought the book mostly to read about the inspired use of statistics, and the creative thinking that went into looking for the real keys to victory. I can safely say that while I may not have fallen in love with baseball, I will never find it boring again. If you have someone you want to turn into a fan, this book a superb gift option. The amount of detail in this book--for example, just the description of the strike zone and what different pitches and batters do to narrow the zone, what can be known about specific individual propensities and vulnerabilities associated with that little box, are truly inspirational.

This is a really excellent book. If we managed the national security budget the way Billy Bean managed the Oakland A's, we'd have faster better cheaper military hardware, and a lot more plowshares. I was also impressed by the way in which Billy Bean built a team, in which players who might not have been individual stars excelled at setting up others in a true team effort where the group as a whole is stronger than the sum of the parts. Others have written better reviews from a baseball fans point of view--as a non-baseball fan, I can attest to this book's being an "aha" experience.

See also:
Watching Baseball Smarter: A Professional Fan's Guide for Beginners, Semi-experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks
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219 of 235 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lewis, who previously wrote some of the best books on Wall Street's go-go '80s (Liar's Poker) and Silicon Valley's go-go '90s (The New New Thing), here turns his attention to professional baseball. Now, I should preface this by saying that I used to love baseball and these days it doesn't interest me much at all. There was a time when I was a total stats geek, I bought all the Bill James abstracts, played tabletop games, etc., but a combination of playing in college and the escalating money completely turned me off to the game. I knew this was supposed to be a good book but had no intention of reading it until Nick Hornby's rave review in his column in The Believer. I figured if one of my favorite British novelists liked the book, there must be something to it. I picked it up and within ten pages I was totally hooked.

The basis for the book is the question of how the Oakland A's, one of baseball's poorest teams as measured by payroll, managed to win so many games in the first few years of the new millennium. Lewis's potentially boring answer revolves around inefficiencies in the market for players, but he weaves this story around the A's General Manager, Billy Beane. Now, if you have some axe to grind with Beane, you might as well not read the book, 'cause Lewis tends to be rather fawning in many places. Still, Beane's own background and mediocre career form the perfect framework upon which to build this story about evaluating baseball talent. Beane was a hugely athletic, "can't miss" prospect, who turned down a joint football/baseball scholarship from Stanford to sign with the New York Mets out of high school. His pro career turned out to be utterly undistinguished, and this disconnect is what drove him to seek new methods of scouting and evaluating baseball talent.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Insights May 8, 2003
Format:Hardcover
I can't recommend this book highly enough. Not only is it the first look inside the most successful franchise - sure, there's the Yankees, but when historians look back, it will be Beane's A's that are remembered as the innovators. Even non-baseball fans will enjoy the crisp writing and phenomenal story-telling. Lewis' previous books are a high standard, but Moneyball may be even better. I'm still amazed that Beane allowed so much access - either Lewis is every bit as persuasive as Beane or Beane has something up his sleeve! The true star of the book may end up being Paul DePodesta, who will likely be the next great GM, following JP Ricciardi and Theo Epstein as "Beane Counters" and likely the men that saved baseball. I can't speak for the rest of Baseball Prospectus, but this has to be the best baseball book not written by us in the last decade.
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72 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book explaining what baseball GMs should do March 3, 2008
Format:Paperback
For a former baseball player Billy Beane is a rare bird as a baseball GM. He used real baseball statistics, the kind the sabermetricians use to make great trade and bring a strong team back to Oakland. He had a great advantage over other GMs because he took advantage of their ignorance and tendencies to rely on the somewhat biased eyes of basebll scouts. What Michael Lewis did with this book was to show the world of baseball how Billy Beane did it and now I am sure that other GMs like Brian Cashman at New York and Theo Epstein in Boston are catching on. I don't know how much Steve Phillips put into action when he was the Mets GM. His lack of great success there indicates that he [robably didn't follow it enough. But now as an ESPN commentator he definitely mentions it. This book si so good that the term moneyball now means the strategy that Billy Beane used. So the title of this book became a baseball term! This book is a must for managers, general managers and owners of professional baseball teams. It is also great for the fans and the fantasy baseball enthusiasts.

Along with Mike Schell's books and the ones like "Curve Ball" written by Albert and Bennett this is one of the most thoughtful and scientific books on the game of baseball, how to win at it and how to build a successful team. The other books I mentioned were written by professional statisticians. It is the great success of the statistical science of sports, sabermetrics that we are now witnessing a scientific and statistical approach to baseball and other sports that had been lacking for many years.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Recommended as a business book. Great direction on challenging the status quo.
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and entertaining.
Bought this as a Christmas gift for my son. We read it together. Soo good. We both really enjoyed it. I had no idea about the financial side of building a sports team. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Joyce M. Davidson
5.0 out of 5 stars baseball must-read
From a winning standpoint, irrefutable. From a product/entertainment standpoint, who wants to go watch no-names? Still, very interesting read, with great vignettes.
Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars More dork, less Pitt
If you really liked the nerdier/analytical parts of the movie, you'll love this book.
Published 7 days ago by BigCliff
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly fascinating and original
I loved this book. I am, of course, a fan of baseball, but I don't think you have to be one to enjoy this book. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Dr. Knowitall
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Read
What an incredible story, not just in how the analytics were used, but also a personal triumph for a whole bunch of underdogs. This made me want to go out and calculate something!
Published 7 days ago by Kate Liburdi
3.0 out of 5 stars it can be a bit boring a difficult to follow
This book was more interesting that I thought it would be, but if you aren't well versed in the mechanics of MLB, it can be a bit boring a difficult to follow. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Nicole
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Must read for anyone in the analytics or economics fields (and probably a few others). I'm not even into baseball anymore but couldn't put this down. Read more
Published 9 days ago by James A. Santos
5.0 out of 5 stars Two things I enjoy, baseball and math
Two things I enjoy, baseball and math, are woven together beautifully in this book. Even someone who doesn't like baseball can appreciate the brutally honest story of how baseball... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Gus Karau
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Rather boring and full of unnecessary details. Over rated.
Published 15 days ago by Samuel T. Ono
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More About the Author

Michael Lewis, the author of Boomerang, Liar's Poker, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, Panic, Home Game and The Big Short, among other works, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Tabitha Soren, and their three children.

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