Nonfiction Book Review

As Beane himself admits, his tactics are great for the regular season, but don’t mean squat in the playoffs. You think you have all the time in the world to get things done, and then suddenly you don’t. 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.

The Oakland Athletics had the third-lowest team payroll in the league (about $40 million) marginally higher than that of the Montreal Expos, whose franchise was transferred to the Washington Nationals in 2005. This sample is done by Scarlett with a major in Economics at Northwestern University. All the content of this paper reflects her knowledge and her perspective on Moneyball The Art Of Winning An Unfair Game and should not be considered as the only possible point of view or way of presenting the arguments. One baseball team’s experiences prove that you can overcome obstacles to success—including deep pockets—by playing smarter. Lewis is the master of explaining complex and insider ideas to a layperson.

moneyball: the art of winning an unfair game

The strategy utilized by Beane and his proponents may produce a more efficient style of baseball, about that I am in no position to quibble. It may be the only way that a small market team like the Oakland A’s can compete with the deep pockets of the New York Yankees and other large market teams (the ‘unfair game’ mentioned in the book’s subtitle).

I think readers who like stories about underdogs would also enjoy it, because it shows how a poor team was able to change the institution of baseball. It’s a great book not just for sports fans, but for anyone who likes stories about people trying to shake up an established way of doing things. And if you’re a math geek or have a thing for hard nosed business deals, there’s a lot to like here. By framing the story in terms of the people involved, Lewis keeps it relatable in human forex analytics terms and not just a dry recitation of on base percentages. By re-evaluating their strategy in this way, the 2002 Athletics, with approximately $44 million in salary, were competitive with larger market teams such as the New York Yankees, who spent over $125 million in payroll that season. Because of its smaller budget, Oakland had to find players undervalued by the market, and their system has proven itself thus far. The approach brought the A’s to the playoffs in 2002 and 2003.

Other Players

It’s become bigger than it should be–it’s no better or worse than some of Lewis’s other profile-type books–but is a solid, interesting read. It also had some great quotes on the mindset of Billy Beane (“He’d flirted with the idea of firing all the scouts and just drafting the kids straight from Paul’s laptop”) and the team he managed (“The Oakland A’s are baseball’s answer to the Island of Misfit Toys”). In 2002, Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s, decided to do something so radical as to have the appearance of utter insanity. Has phenomenal insight on the inner workings of the front office of baseball.

moneyball: the art of winning an unfair game

In 2001, the Seattle Mariners won 116 games, a modern record, after losing superstars like Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson. Seattle spent more than the A’s, but a lot less than the Yankees. The Anaheim Angels won the World Series with a mid-level payroll. While no one can quarrel with the A’s triumphs over the last Foreign exchange reserves three years, the team has–dare I say it–a winning tradition, having won four World Series titles since moving to Oakland, including one in 1989 during the free agent era. And Beane, for all his success as GM, has yet to win a pennant, let alone a World Series. After all, the foundation of the team’s success is three star pitchers.

Lists With This Book

I mean, you got a guy like Dusty Baker – a freaking manager – who doesn’t like walks because they “clog up the bases.” This kind of wrongheaded institutionalized dogma makes it difficult for fresh views to gain traction. The popularity of Moneyball helped bring the stat geeks into the mainstream. Today, advanced statistics are the norm, and even casual baseball articles make reference to wins above replacement , weighted on-base average , and fielding-independent pitching . Michael Lewis’s Moneyball is about a man who tried to crack the code, to find the secret to winning an “unfair” game. That man is Billy Beane, the general manager of the small market Oakland Athletics. In 2002, the A’s were coming off a tremendously successful season in which they’d won 102 games. After the season, however, they lost three key free agents, including all-around masher (and later-admitted PED user) Jason Giambi.

”Billy uses his poverty to camouflage another fact, that he wants these oddballs more than the studs he cannot afford,” Mr. Lewis writes. And he must do this with fake ingenuousness, because ”it is the nature of being the general manager of a baseball team that you have to remain on familiar terms with people you are continually trying” to cheat. league payroll, have had one of the best records in the country. Not only is it the first look inside the most successful franchise – sure, there’s the Yankees, but when historians look back, it will be Beane’s A’s that are remembered as the innovators. Even non-baseball fans will enjoy the crisp writing and phenomenal story-telling. Lewis’ previous books are a high standard, but Moneyball may be even better.

Therefore, the procedure to decide which players should be selected earliest is very important . According to Lewis there are two main theories that are being used to narrow the selection process. The results may not have supported the hypothesis because both groups of athletes had to make adjustments to professional baseball. Therefore, the college players may take a longer time to alter their approach to hitting and thus hindering their productivity at the plate.

Analysis Of The 2002 Major League Baseball Draft

I still have a lot of nostalgia for Gary Carter and the Miracle Mets of 1986, and if the Royals hadn’t been playing against them last year, I would have been rooting for them in the World Series. I have to say that Terry Collins’ comments about basically comparing statistics to voodoo was disappointing to me.

moneyball: the art of winning an unfair game

Like other teams, the A’s had hits and misses, even with their analytical approach. The first two of the A’s picks — both of which were widely sought by other teams and both of whom are still playing — have fared much better in the majors. Pitcher Joe Blanton, the team’s second pick, has a WAR of 9.7, while the WAR for outfielder Nick Swisher, Oakland’s first selection, is 22.3. Michael Lewis’s Moneyball, published in 2003, is one of those books. Still, I have to admit that for over 300 pages, Lewis had my interest.

I once read that the best non-fiction books transcend their subject, and I think Lewis has produced that caliber of non-fiction here. According to Lewis, people like Beane—idea people, outliers with highly innovative new ways of doing things—must fight their way past almost-unstoppable barriers of ignorance, anti-intellectalism, and traditionalism. For every Beane, forex analytics Steve Jobs, or Bernie Sanders, there are countless millions who may have had revolutionary ways of changing health care, education, the economy, the environment, etc. who simply gave up trying. Smart people who think outside the box are so much fun to read about. And, it is also about the psychology behind coaching players, and hyping up their self-confidence.

Send me a message on the most convenient digital medium at your disposal or join my Facebook Page. Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson combined for 56 wins for the A’s in 2001 and 57 in 2002. They were scouted by the stupid old non-mathematical geezers Lewis disparages, and they’re barely mentioned in his book.

Book Reviews

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 . Only my rule of always reading the book before seeing the movie prompted me pick it up now, a decision I don’t regret. If any of the myriad of scouts had asked him what he really wanted to do—go to college, for one—his life may have been drastically different. Unfortunately, Beane’s baseball career was a series of trades to teams who didn’t know what to do with a decent player who didn’t really want to be there. Another interesting story was that of A’s first baseman Scott Hatteberg.

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  • For example, many smaller city market teams, must spend their money wisely to ensure the best outcome; whereas, a larger city market team has more income that is expendable .
  • The results may not have supported the hypothesis because both groups of athletes had to make adjustments to professional baseball.
  • For example, one relevant limitation was the number of participants used in the study.
  • Lastly, college baseball players may have the opportunity to gain more experience with the wooden bat when competing in collegiate summer leagues.
  • Seattle spent more than the A’s, but a lot less than the Yankees.

I personally felt that as a fan of the Oakland Athletics, it was blasphemy that I have not read the book of the legendary season. Some of the business aspects Lewis touches upon in the text is what statistics they use to sign players and techniques that Billy Beane, The A’s General Manager, uses when inquiring trades with other teams. Using extensive statistical research, Beane incorporated a scientific moneyball: the art of winning an unfair game approach for managing his team’s finances and guiding its hiring strategies. Beane created a system of evaluating statistical data that more accurately reflected a player’s ability to contribute to a team’s winnings rather than the traditional, subjective scouting methods. Beane determined that two stats—on-base percentage and slugging percentage—were most directly linked to baseball success.

Still, it’s a great flick for anyone who has a soft spot for stories about underdogs. Jacking up home runs might equal playoffs, but it doesn’t seem to equal winning world championships. Jose Bautista hit several dramatic home runs in the playoffs, including the famous bat flip home run, but despite those fence clearing bombs, they were unable to advance in the playoffs. B. J. Upton, now known by his birth name of Melvin Upton, Jr. – cited as an example of “bad high school” draft pick.

New Topicdiscuss This Book

What these geek numbers show—no, prove—is that the traditional yardsticks of success for players and teams are fatally flawed. Even the box score misleads us by ignoring the crucial importance of the humble base-on-balls. This information has been around for years, and nobody inside Major League Baseball paid it any mind. And then came Billy Beane, General Manager of the Oakland Athletics. But, really, they love to see a booming home run, even by a guy with a low on-base percentage.