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Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game Paperback – March 17, 2004
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From The New Yorker
The Oakland Athletics have reached the post-season playoffs three years in a row, even though they spend just one dollar for every three that the New York Yankees spend. Their secret, as Lewis's lively account demonstrates, is not on the field but in the front office, in the shape of the general manager, Billy Beane. Unable to afford the star hires of his big-spending rivals, Beane disdains the received wisdom about what makes a player valuable, and has a passion for neglected statistics that reveal how runs are really scored. Beane's ideas are beginning to attract disciples, most notably at the Boston Red Sox, who nearly lured him away from Oakland over the winter. At the last moment, Beane's loyalty got the better of him; besides, moving to a team with a much larger payroll would have diminished the challenge.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker
“Moneyball is the best business book Lewis has written. It may be the best business book anyone has written.”
- Mark Gerson, Weekly Standard
“Ebullient, invigorating.... Provides plenty of action, both numerical and athletic, on the field and in the draft-day war room.”
- Lev Grossman, Time
“A journalistic tour de force.”
- Richard J. Tofel, Wall Street Journal
Top customer reviews
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Despite the fact that Lewis doesn't highlight this anti-climactic conclusion on his own, the book still has enough information for the reader to get there. It is ironic that this parallels the reason Bill James' departed from Baseball Abstract and that is mentioned in the book. There is too much focus on the details that don't matter. The high level narrative and explanation are more important. Budget matters. You can get a slight advantage by exploiting inefficiencies but this takes a long time to prove out due to limited data points the out-sized impact luck has. There are lots of little nuggets of information like that hiding in this book that make it worth reading.
"Clutch hitters" and "postseason tactics" may all be 'bunk'. Risking an out for a stolen base, or a bunt may be nonsense, despite "traditionalist" belief to the contrary. Sabermetrics is catching on. There's still plenty of room for the naysayers, and they naysay, Luddite-like against technology, but it's catching on and catching on where it counts... at the GM level.
Well written and easily readable, author Michael Lewis keeps his reader's attention right to the last page. Highly recommended, read it if you're a baseball fan: even if you're not persuaded by what you read, you'll be smarter about what Sabermetrics is all about and you won't have to deal with a single: mean, variance, or standard deviation!