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Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game…

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Michael Lewis

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3,454861,555 (4.21)58
Title:Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
Authors:Michael Lewis
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2004), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Moneyball : the art of winning an unfair game by Michael Lewis (2003)

  1. 10
    Dollar Sign on the Muscle: The World of Baseball Scouting by Kevin Kerrane (bostonian71)
    bostonian71: A good look at how baseball scouts work and what they look for, and an interesting counterpoint to the stats-based approach described in Moneyball.
  2. 10
    The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First by Jonah Keri (tmarlow05)
    tmarlow05: Details the rise of the Tampa Bay Rays. Shows how techniques used on Wall Street can be utilized to put together a competitive baseball team.
  3. 00
    Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall (zhejw)
    zhejw: Both books are stories of outsiders changing the conventional way of approaching a sport. Both authors write compelling narratives that draw the reader into the stories of the individuals who are at the center of this new way of looking at their sport.
  4. 00
    Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey--and Even Iraq--Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport by Simon Kuper (chazzard)
    chazzard: The authors of Soccernomics frequently refer to Moneyball, and apply similar statistical methods.
  5. 13
    Freakonomics: a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt (tcarter)

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As usual for Lewis, he mixes storytelling with a bellwether theme, here introducing an emerging social/business trend that manifests not only in sports analysis but to any competitive enterprise where divining advantage is paramount.

As I read Moneyball, I couldn't help but see how these SABR techniques might apply to all sorts of alternate domains, especially business. Of course, just as Lewis showed in baseball, the factoring and reductionism central to quantification takes a lot of the joy and gamesmanship out of any game.

In the end, I doubt I'd want to run my life this way. But it's a rare book that can elicit such personal introspection. Highly recommended. ( )
  randcraw | Nov 22, 2014 |
Quite enjoyable. I wish it wasn't so repetitive in the first half if the book. I really liked the stories about individual players and James and McCraken the most. I loved the brief discussion of chance in the playoffs. The scope of statistics could have been larger. I was also pleased by the epilogue recounting the reception of Moneyball from M.L.'s perspective. ( )
  CassandraT | Oct 10, 2014 |
How could a book about baseball statistics be so fascinating? It's written by Michael Lewis and read by Scott Brick. I thoroughly enjoyed following Billy Beane and his Oakland A's through their season and learning more about the draft, how players are moved around, and what it takes for the underdog with a low budget to try to make it against the big guys.
  Yllom | Jun 27, 2014 |
Lewis's usual hagiography. Honestly, Ricardo Rincon ain't nothing to write home about. ( )
  bradgers | Feb 6, 2014 |
The book Moneyball is the story of a man named Billy Beane, who was supposed to be one of the greatest baseball players to ever play the game. He had all the raw, natural ability to be great, but never was able to do so. He was so nervous of being great, he could not preform under the pressure. He finally retired, but instead of stepping away from the game of baseball forever, he found a way to win. He became the GM of the Oakland A's, and made them one of the most successful. Although they were one of the poorest franchises in all of sports, he was able to take young, unknown talent it and develop it to them to a big name star. In the end he is still able to catch up with the big name franchises, like the yankees, and compete with them.
  RSufyan | Jan 24, 2014 |
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Lately in a wreck of a Californian ship, one of the
passengers fastened a belt about him with two hundred
pounds of gold in it, with which he was found afterwards
at the bottom. Now, as he was sinking-- had he the gold?
or the gold him?
--John Ruskin, Unto This Last
For Billy Fitzgerald
I can still hear him shouting at me
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The first thing they always did was run you.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393324818, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:38 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

This book explains how Billy Beene, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, is using a new kind of thinking to build a successful and winning baseball team without spending enormous sums of money. The author examines the fallacy behind the major league baseball refrain that the team with the biggest wallet is supposed to win. Over the past four years the Oakland Athletics, a major league team with a minor league payroll, have had one of the best records in the country. General Manager Billy Beene is putting into practice on the field revolutionary principles to build his team that have been concocted by geek statisticians and college professors, rather than using the old scouting technique called "gut instinct." The author takes us behind the scenes with the Oakland A's, into the dugouts, and into the conference rooms where the annual Major League draft is held by conference call, and rumor mongering is par for the course as each team jockeys for position for their favored player.I wrote this book because I fell in love with a story. The story concerned a small group of undervalued professional baseball players and executives, many of whom had been rejected as unfit for the big leagues, who had turned themselves into one of the most successful franchises in Major League Baseball. But the idea for the book came well before I had good reason to write it, before I had a story to fall in love with. It began, really, with an innocent question: how did one of the poorest teams in baseball, the Oakland Athletics, win so many games? This book is a quest for something as elusive as the Holy Grail, something that money apparently can't buy: the secret of success in baseball.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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W.W. Norton

Three editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393324818, 0393057658, 0393338398

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