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 itbefore 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?
With these words Michael Lewis launches us into the funniest, smartest, and most contrarian book since, well, since Liar's Poker. Moneyball is a quest for something as elusive as the Holy Grail, something that money apparently can't buy: the secret of success in baseball. The logical places to look would be the front offices of major league teams, and the dugouts, perhaps even in the minds of the players themselves. Lewis mines all these possibilitieshis intimate and original portraits of big league ballplayers are alone worth the price of admissionbut the real jackpot is a cache of numbersnumbers!collected over the years by a strange brotherhood of amateur baseball enthusiasts: software engineers, statisticians, Wall Street analysts, lawyers and physics professors.
What these geek numbers showno, proveis 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.
Billy paid attention to those numbers with the second lowest payroll in baseball at his disposal he had toand this book records his astonishing experiment in finding and fielding a team that nobody else wanted. Moneyball is a roller coaster ride: before the 2002 season opens, Oakland must relinquish its three most prominent (and expensive) players, is written off by just about everyone, and then comes roaring back to challenge the American League record for consecutive wins.
In a narrative full of fabulous characters and brilliant excursions into the unexpected, Michael Lewis shows us how and why the new baseball knowledge works. He also sets up a sly and hilarious morality tale: Big Money, like Goliath, is always supposed to win...how can we not cheer for David?
The great part of this book is how a baseball team works. It points out that, when our resources are not as abundant as others, we have to play smart games. Since tt is impossible to compete with rich teams in their ways, we have to find ours.
And the last thing is --
I don't believe that Billy Beane really thinks the role of pitchers is not as important as hitters. Is this his trick to coax those rich guys into putting less attention to potential pitchers?
Michael Lewis is simply amazing! Another page turner from him even though I know little about baseball.
In Chinese there is a saying 千里馬常有，而伯樂不常有 (roughly translated as "those who can spot good players are more precious than good players themselves"). Billy can really spot good players and it is always amazing to see how a team with tight budget can beat the giants.
However, as teams know of Billy's strategy, it would become more and more difficult for him to trade for good players.
Really like how Lewis picked what to show the readers. very engaging. But still I found some details are more than necessary, as in some other books by him eg. personally I think the part about Chad is too long and not so related to their record victory....Continua
I pick up this book because it is written by Michael Lewis. As expected, this book is very entertaining, to an extend that a reader who has little knowledge in baseball like me sacrifices his sleeping hours in reading the book at midnight!
After reading the people picking skill of Billy Beane, I can't help pondering how much traditional wisdoms in our daily life is really a wisdom! Is it a game of prioritizing process vs outcome? Maybe we should learn, not what to do to get a result, but what one should never do....Continua
A very entertaining read. Though the focus was economics, the inefficiency in major league baseball market and how the Oakland A’s, Billy Beane, exploited that inefficiency, my main interest to the book lay in the people. Beane’s big league career as a player, the 2002 draft, Fucking A trade, Scott Hatteberg and all that. I love the way he tells a story. It really gets me emotional. There were several times when reading the book my eyes went teary. It’s said that not everything in the book are factual and some truths were bent to make the book more entertaining. It doesn’t matter, to me at least. I’m most happy (and content) if you give me good stories. I don’t care if it’s a true one or fairy tale.
I have to admit that I skipped most of the statistics part, cos even though I believe it, I haven’t got the slightest interest in it. And as much as I like Billy Beane (for he’s described like a maniac in the clubhouse,) I can never enjoy the fact that they trade people like goods (this applies everywhere in the world, not just Oakland A’s), however efficient and necessary it is. Alas, I’ve accepted the fact that I’m not the type to make big money....Continua