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The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First Hardcover – March 8, 2011
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“Jonah Keri has given us a fascinating look at how the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays became winners. THE EXTRA 2% is a captivating book if you love baseball, but it’s an even more captivating book if you love success.” —Joe Posnanski, senior writer, Sports Illustrated
“Tampa Bay winning the American League East ahead of the Yankees and the Red Sox twice in three years is one of the most underappreciated sports accomplishments of the last twenty years. Jonah Keri has written a combination business book and wonderful collection of anecdotes that should allow the reader to easily answer the question ‘What was Tampa Bay thinking?’ as well as understand how difficult it will always be for a team in that market to open its competitive window for longer than three years at a time.” —Peter Gammons, three-time National Sportswriter of the Year
“The Tampa Bay Rays—with their ma-and-pa-sized budget—have gone head to head with baseball’s two superpowers, the Yankees and the Red Sox. In the superb THE EXTRA 2%, Jonah Keri explains how and why in a way that will remind readers of Michael Lewis’s Moneyball.”
—Buster Olney, senior writer, ESPN The Magazine, and author of How Lucky You Can Be
“All baseball fans ever ask for is hope: hope not only for a season out of their dreams, but also for leaders smart enough and imaginative enough to figure out how to make those dreams reality. In THE EXTRA 2%, Jonah Keri not only presents this blueprint followed to perfection but does so with a brilliant page-turner of a book that will satisfy fans of both baseball and first-rate writing.” —Mike Vaccaro, columnist, the New York Post
“There are a million ways to build a World Series team, but no one has ever built one quite like the Wall Street escapees in Tampa Bay. After reading Jonah Keri’s brilliant account of the Rays’ rise from laugh track to payback, I found myself thinking, ‘The heck with Moneyball. Give me Equityball.’ ” —Jayson Stark, senior writer, ESPN.com
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Top Customer Reviews
First, there really is NOT much there. It seems like it would have been a better magazine article. There is heavy repetition that is not really needed.
There are no interesting secrets, no revelations, not even a real idea of how the team works.
Tropicana Field is heavily featured; the general discussion of stadium building is interesting but how many times can the author complain about the Trop? Really, I think a reader would "get it" early in the book.
The history of the team is interesting - perhaps a history of the Rays would be a better work.
Inevitably, this will be compared to Moneyball. Face it, the author's premise/thesis is designed to appeal to fans of that work. However, this work is nowhere nearly as involved, or as interesting as Moneyball.
You do not get a lot of player info; more of this would bring the story to life. Yes, there are some anecdotes, particularly re: Garza and Longoria but not enough to really get an idea of the management mindset.
Overall, I do not regret buying this, and do not want to dissuade you, but it could have really been something great. I feel that a great book could be written about this team, but this is not it. In the meantime, this will have to do.
If there is one real nitpick I can come up with about the book, it is that you don't hear much from Stu Sternberg, Andrew Friedman, or Jonathan Silverman. However, seeing as how Billy Beane has finished in the AL West cellar the last few years, maybe the Rays brain trust simply didn't want to reveal too much. After sabermetrics was introduced to the wider baseball community, Billy Beane lost his competitive advantage; it is understandable that the Rays were wary of revealing too much. Also, I would have LOVED if Keri had gotten access to Vince Naimoli; he seems like a fascinating (read: insane) man.
Overall, this is not a perfect book; it can get a bit repetitive at times and there is not quite as much access to the protagonists of the book as I probably would have liked.Read more ›
It tells the in-depth, behind-the-scenes story of how the lowly Tampa Bay Rays went from being the laughing stock of Major League Baseball to the best run, most forward thinking franchise in the game today. He tells the history of the expansion Devil Rays going through poor ownership, poor management to, almost overnight, turning into a well-oiled machine through a complete change in the franchise's culture: new ownership, new manager, focusing on the newest metrics, and completely revamping their minor league system and drafting style.
Keri's writing style is easy to read, very informative, and occasionally funny. He's an engaging writer who, from this point forward, I will make a point to read whatever he puts out.
Whether you are a Rays fan or not, you will enjoy this book. Even if you don't particularly enjoy baseball, I still think you would enjoy this book. Fantastic, fascinating read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved the conversation on St Petersburg journey to get a ballpark.Published 6 months ago by Sean Carey
I've been a fan of the Tampa Bay Rays since their early days, when they were still referred to as the “Devil Rays”. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Andrew Kuligowski
Awesome, insightful, and interesting read. I love the inside scoop and insight from players, executives, etc. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Matt Strope
The Extra 2% is a charming book that touches on many aspects of business while being disguised as a true underdog story in the baseball world. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jonathan
Keri is an interesting writer, but I came away wondering what the 2% solution actually was. Yes, the Rays did some smart things (actually, avoided doing the same old dumb stuff),... Read morePublished 12 months ago by S. Bassin
Solid book with great insight into the Tampa Bay organization.Published 12 months ago by Slow Reader
A very insightful book about the transformation of a dormant baseball franchise into a well-run organization that gives itself a chance to compete against the likes of the Yankees... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Patrick Malave