I expected that this would be a book of stats and how Billy Beane used stats to make the A's great. It does include those, but the whole of the book is a lot more. The point of Moneyball is to get the greatest value out of those players that others had undervalued. So Lewis takes us through one story after another of players who were outcasts on other teams, because they didn't fit the protypical baseball mold, but paid dividends for the A's.
The book is good and the audio is well done. My only gripe is that the book threw in unnecessary profanity and even promotes it as manly -- at least according to the coach/minister of the relief pitcher mentioned.
For a baseball lover, especially a Stat Man, and particulaly for an Oakland A's fan, this book is a dream come true, a five-star holy book.
For the rest of us, it's OK. I gave it four stars because it is well-written and humorous at times. Sometimes I find myself hoping the A's win the game he's talking about, and I don't even like baseball much. Heck, I'm from Houston and didn't hardly watch any of the World Series this year.
I got this book hoping to hear about the money side of the sport, the odds and some analysis of what makes some teams win and some lose. And I got that between innings.
In some ways it's a social study, in other ways it's a sport's guy's book, in other ways it's a story about people, odds and money. And a good one at that.
I'd have given it five stars if I was a baseball fan. Since I'm not, I was hoping for less baseball talk and more sociology.
If you are a baseball fan then it is interesting to listen to how the Oakland A's and Billy Bean were able to beat the sytem and take a low income team to the top. If you are a Yankee fan(I am not) or another big market team beware that they are out to bash your team's spending for top-notch players. I am also interested in statistics and this book tells how the A's realigned baseball statistics to think about what really matters when looking for talent. The author is highly biased or is perhaps a newbie to baseball as he seems completely taken by Bean's style and touts it as the only real truth. There are a dozen different philosophies and this is a really interesting look at one of the newer ones. Definitely worth the purchase. I love the little behind-the-scenes stories about some of the popular players. Good book.
Anne in Happy Valley
Became an instant fan of Lewis' in the 1980s with Liar's Poker. It was about mortgage bonds (snore) so when I learned this one was about baseball (louder snore), I wasn't put off at all. Lewis could write about vanilla pudding and I'd read it.
Wow. What a book/audiobook. I remember seeing an interview on Charlie Rose with Michael Lewis and being a baseball (Dodgers) fan I was intrigued. Well, time passed and I signed up for audible and snatched it up as fast as I could. I finished it in less that two days and am looking forward to listening to it again. The author reads the book with the warmth and candor of a good friend. One of the best books I heard/read in quite a while. You don't have to be a statistics nut to get into what is being talked about here.
I was suprisied that Billy Bean was not the main one to transform the A's. It was Paul Dpidesto who really was the man behind the man. After reading this book I have a bit more faith in the choice the Dodgers made in their new GM.
Being a huge baseball fan I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It gave me a great insight into the business of baseball. In fact I am planning to make this book a topic of discussion in our next TM club meeting. Also as an A's fan I am so glad that we have Beane as the general manager. If only his machinations could get the A's deep into the playoffs.
So I can't say that I spend much of my time in the sports pages, especially during baseball season (it probably has something to do with growing up in Cleveland during the dismal 70s and 80s seasons), but I still love this book.
This is baseball for those who (a) love the game, (b) like the game and (c) don't care about the game and wonder why some clods do.
Michael Lewis has always been able to explain interesting arcane worlds: High Tech in the New, New Thing, Wall Street in Liar Poker... He does the same thing for baseball.
Ever wondered how the heck you put together a baseball team (unless you are the Yankees and can just buy all the talent you want)? What the old way of picking talent is? What the new way is going to be? It is all here. Paradigms are broken, heroes are vanquished and reborn, the American way is made safe for another afternoon on the field of dreams (I had to, sorry).
This book is worth your time, one little warning: it is good enough you might find yourself forgetting some of your other commitments for just a couple more minutes of this book.
Wow! I have been raving about this book for weeks. This book is perfect for anyone who likes, once liked, or is fanatic about baseball. But is also a great business book. A complete think outside the box, question everything story. This book rankes #1 on my list all time.
Michael Lewis states the following. "I wrote this book because I fell in love with a story." Well, I'm writing this review because I am in love with baseball. Even if you are not a fanatic like myself, you too will like this book. This book has excellent insight on what has been going on in baseball over the last couple years. It shows you that baseball today isn't about whom has the biggest check book, but who is smarter with their money. Plus, you'll me able to impress your friends with your knowledge of OPS.