Moneyball by Michael Lewis

Moneyball

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...


Details Moneyball

TitleMoneyball
ISBN9780393324815
Author
Release DateMar 17th, 2004
PublisherW. W. Norton Company
LanguageEnglish
GenreNonfiction, Sports and Games, Sports, Baseball, Business, Economics
Rating

Reviews Moneyball

  • Brina
    2012-07-24
    I read Moneyball at a time when I wasn't reading too much besides preschool kids books and reread it for the baseball book club I am a part of on good reads. Michael Lewis follows the story of general manager Billy Bean and his 2002 Oakland As, a low budget baseball team that managed to win their division going away. What is remarkable is that Bean built his team focusing on sabermetrics, not home runs and RBIs. He knew he did not have money to c...
  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2016-02-24
    “The pleasure of rooting for Goliath is that you can expect to win. The pleasure of rooting for David is that, while you don’t know what to expect, you stand at least a chance of being inspired.” This book came out in 2003, and the movie version came out in 2011; yet, it is amazing to me that despite the success shown by the Oakland As under the guidance of Billy Beane, baseball, for the most part, is still focusing on the wrong things. Jus...
  • Will Byrnes
    2008-10-25
    This is one of the best baseball books I have ever read, and that is saying something. Lewis’ focus is on Billy Bean, the GM of the Oakland Athletics. Because Oakland is a small-market team, Bean must use his brain to tease out the players who can help his team, at a reasonable cost. This makes him a sort of anti-Steinbrenner. Lewis goes into some detail on how Bean manages to field competitive teams almost every year under dire fiscal constrai...
  • Kemper
    2012-04-19
    Having the misfortune of being a Kansas City Royals fan, I thought I’d had any interest in baseball beaten out of me by season after season of humiliation. Plus, the endless debate about the unfairness of large market vs. small market baseball had made my eyes glaze over years ago so I didn’t pay much attention to the Moneyball story until the movie came out last year and caught my interest enough to finally check this out.Despite being a sma...
  • Jason
    2011-11-03
    This is a good book, but not as good as I thought it was going to be. Sometimes I find technical writing to be a bit repetitive and this definitely leans more toward technical non-fiction than biography (I was hoping for more of a human interest story here)—because even though Billy Beane takes up a large chunk of the story, it isn’t really a story about Billy Bean per se.Moneyball was published in 2003, only a year after John Henry bought th...
  • Matt
    2016-03-01
    “It breaks your heart,” A. Bartlett Giamatti wrote of baseball in a piece called The Green Fields of the Mind. “It is designed to break your heart.” And so it does, year after year. Baseball, as has often been noted, is a game predicated on failure. The game’s best hitters only succeed in roughly three out of ten at bats. A 162-game season presents a tremendous sample size, which should iron out aberrations; and yet year after year, ent...
  • Diane
    2013-07-22
    Michael Lewis hit this one out of the park. I love his writing style -- he is able to explain complex and insider ideas to a layperson, and he makes it interesting. That skill is as valuable to a reporter as a baseball player's on-base percentage was to the Oakland Athletics.The story follows the Oakland A's during the 2002 baseball season, which was when their general manager, Billy Beane, was following a different set of principles for assembli...
  • Riku Sayuj
    2011-10-25
    It was a better story before I knew the whole story. Almost every book on randomness I have read had a reference to Moneyball and I had built up my own version about this story (I had even told a few people that version!) and it imagined everybody doing what Billy Beane was doing, and Billy Beane doing some sort of probability distribution among all players and randomly picking his team, winning emphatically, and thus proving that a truly random ...
  • Howard
    2014-06-07
    In honor of the MLB postseason, I am resurrecting a book review that I wrote back in 2009.I hardly know where to begin in attempting a review of Michael Lewis’ Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. It isn’t that I don’t think that the book is well written, because it is. It isn’t that I disagree with the conclusions that are reached in the book, because, for the most part, I don’t. What bothers me, as a recovering baseball fanat...
  • David
    2017-03-29
    For the most part, the is a fun book to read about the general manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team. The first half of the book was very enjoyable. Toward the end, though, it became a bit repetitive. It's not that the author repeats himself--he does not. It's just that the stories about hiring and trading for good baseball players started to sound all the same after a while.Billy Beane was the general manager during the late 1980's, ear...
  • Alex Ristea
    2015-03-28
    I read the book and then immediately watched the movie, and I can confirm that (once again) the book is better than its silver screen counterpart, even when its written by the legendary Aaron Sorkin.A little about why this book was important to me personally. I am not a baseball fan, but I do work in professional sports, and specifically deal with analytics to now measure things which used to be very hand-wavvy.This book can actually be a nail-bi...
  • Caroline
    2008-04-30
    A couple cons:The writing’s a little heavy-handed in places, which might just be a hazard of writing about baseball. Ex: “The batter’s box was a cage designed to crush his spirit.” Plus, as a poet, I always feel guilty reading books like this when I could/should be reading Proust or Shakespeare…But:Overall, I really enjoyed Moneyball, and I’m glad I read it. Even though it’s focused on the emergence of new baseball-thinking, Moneyb...
  • Shane
    2008-04-22
    Moneyball is a book that shook the world of professional baseball, but not necessarily in the way it should have. Let me explain...Moneyball is framed around the story of Billy Beane, a hot prospect who never panned out in the majors, who became general manager of the Oakland A's in 1997. Since that time, the A's, while consistently having one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, have been one of the best teams in the game. How is this possible? T...
  • Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
    2016-10-05
    Really enjoyed this, partly because reading a baseball book in October when your team is in the playoffs gives you a great high and partly because I was surprisingly and honestly fascinated by the science of sabermetrics. Science and math have never been my strong points, but like Jurassic Park or The Martian, I was nevertheless intrigued. Coupled with the handful of recognizable players scattered through the book, I had a good time with this one...
  • Eric
    2011-09-28
    I found this book extremely interesting, especially since I didn't read it until eight years after it came out, meaning I knew how all the draft picks and other players mentioned in the book panned out (a topic on which a good deal has now been written). Only my rule of always reading the book before seeing the movie prompted me pick it up now, a decision I don't regret.The book had some interesting tidbits I wasn't aware of, such as where the te...
  • Jason
    2008-09-06
    I fucking hate watching sports. Hate it.Then how is it that this book, about applying pertinent statistical analyis to creating baseball teams and playing basesball, so captivated me? It's a testament to a) the skill of the author, Michael Lewis, but also b) the unequivocal appeal of the underlying story: how hard it is to change the status quo (and how one can succeed despite that) and the man Lewis profiles, Billy Beane.A fantastic narrative fo...
  • Ryan
    2012-01-24
    Boy did I read Michael Lewis' Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game at the right time: January.(The off-season.)Over the last two years, I've made a real effort to learn about sports. Hockey? Not a problem. The NBA? A gossipy league, but I think it's more popular because of it. The NFL? Short but sweet. No matter how hard I try -- I'll score the game, I'll eat the peanuts, but I draw the line at chew -- I just cannot develop an interest in...
  • Patrick
    2007-12-17
    If you're a baseball fan, you'll really appreciate this book. It is more or less a primer on the way the emphasis on statistics has come to prominence in many circles around the sport, and provides insight into some of the seemingly more arcane terms around the sport, such as OBP, OPS, VORP, etc. It's really quite valuable in that regard.It has also come to represent the term for the organizations that embrace this approach to scouting, although ...
  • Nancy
    2009-02-26
    I know next to nothing about baseball, and less than that about statistics, but this book about applying new statistical thinking in baseball to the selection of a winning team (the Oakland A's) was absolutely riveting reading for me. Michael Lewis is just that good.
  • Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)
    2016-10-30
    A wee bit all over the place and rambling but more than made up for by the fascinating subject matter.
  • Scott Rhee
    2016-03-23
    As a writer, Michael Lewis has that amazing ability to write about one thing but actually be writing about something else entirely. Sometimes it’s meanings within meanings, and it often requires a deeper read between the lines.“Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” is, ostensibly, about the economics of baseball, how baseball can be looked at as a financial microcosm of the real world: the wealth inequalities between major league te...
  • Jokoloyo
    2018-02-01
    The major taxing of this book is not the baseball terms, but there are so many people appeared in the book, and the similarities in names are not helping. For example, the main protagonist is Billy Beane, and there is another important character whose name is Billy James. That's my only concern when reading this book. Some people maybe not comfortable with the writing style in this book, jumping from one subject to another without smooth main sto...
  • Big League Manager
    2012-01-31
    Well, its kind of about baseball. Its more really about Billy Beane and how terrific a GM he is and, as an extra bonus, he is so much like the swell guys on Wall Street who have it all figured out. Well kinda. You see, the Oakland Athletics were/are a "poor" ballclub. They do not have the cash of teams like the Yankees or Red Sox so they can not afford much in the way of scouting and even if they do scout they do not have the money to sign the be...
  • Wayland Smith
    2018-03-23
    This is a book that's not quite what it seems, or not wholly, anyway. It's mostly about Billy Beane, manager of the Oakland A's, and his unique method of recruiting players. Where most baseball teams rely on scouts and "wisdom" like "This guy is good looking," Beane uses some hard data by way of stats, and looks at them in a way most other baseball professionals can't seem to bring themselves to. While it's an interesting look inside baseball, th...
  • Kali Srikanth
    2012-10-27
    Billy Beane raises his right hand up- “There are rich teams, there are poor teams, there is 50 feet of crap and then there is US.” reaches the table level. Thirty pages into book I knew this book is going to be completely different from movie version only time to decide if it’s engaging or uncompelling. So I thought I would find a way to supply my patience fuel for another thirty pages or so, then I shall confidently decide on quitting or n...
  • Ben
    2009-04-17
    To most people, this book is about stats, how some stats are inadequate, and moreover, how important stats are ignored. But that's not why I like this book. The real story for me is how people with fewer means succeed. It is more than an undercurrent in the book, and it is sadly ignored by most readers. The Oakland A's took baseball's detritus--fat guys, skinny guys, short guys--and composed championship-caliber teams with them. Moneyball to me i...
  • Joshua Guest
    2012-07-20
    If you haven't already seen the movie, you ought to see the movie. And after you have seen the movie, you ought to read the book. I loved the film adaptation, it adds magic and melancholy to the story. This book stands out to me not because it's a good underdog story (though it is a very good underdog story), and not because it's a good non-fiction story (and it is a very good non-fiction story), but because of the symbolic power and universality...
  • Nooilforpacifists
    2013-11-27
    Simultaneously among the top 10 sports books and the top 10 economics books. Without Lewis's typical Princetonian smugness.
  • Alisa
    2017-08-01
    The inside story of the unlikely success of the Oakland Athletics 2002 team at the hands of General Manager Billy Beane and his unconventional talent evaluation methodology that enabled him to field a division winning team at bargain basement salaries. The history of baseball statistics and analysis was actually pretty interesting. I'm no mathlete but the theory behind it was thought provoking. Success on the field is sometimes calculated and asc...
  • Mehrsa
    2018-04-18
    This would probably have been a more interesting read if I had read it a while back--before the movie and before all the other books I've read that cited to it. Or maybe if I knew anything at all about baseball. Still, no one writes about Michael Lewis and this is a very interesting book. Although I am not sure the conclusions still stand. I've read and heard some pushback on purely statistical draft picking. Though the theory that we are too bia...