- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (March 17, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393324818
- ISBN-13: 978-0393324815
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,324 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.
Lewis, as he does in his other famous books on finance, dispels many myths that somehow perpetuate themselves due to ignorance and tradition. Baseball, due to its popularity and long history, undoubtedly caused him more exasperation from insiders than his other books. Reading his Epilogue describing the storm of protest from baseball's aristocracy, my first reaction was surprise. In hindsight, though, it's only natural that the "Club" or "Women's Auxiliary", as he puts it, would be indignant when the little boy said the "King had no Clothes". I'm surprised he wasn't burned in effigy.
To a long time fan like me, though, it was a tour of infinite wisdom and innumerable "Eureka!" moments. The idea that you shouldn't bunt? On base and slugging percentage over batting average? Really? Now that I've "drank the Kool-Aid", though, it seems so logical that the only wonder is that baseball was allowed to meander its way aimlessly so long. As usual, Lewis gives deserving credit to those who cried foul on overrated baseball statistics long before he took his pen in hand.
Now, it seems, most of professional baseball has bought the wisdom at least in principle. My casual observations of the change in terminology during broadcasts and at the game has now been validated and explained. There's just so much one can do, though, with a careless billionaire hellbent on spending his money foolishly on a shiny bauble.
Anyone who has an interest in professional sports, particularly baseball, will find this book fascinating. Lewis is a master of non-fiction storytelling and this one describes a true paradigm shift that has forever changed the game.