Audible has been a friend, a companion, and even a connection with my daughter as the process of physical recovery continues.
Okay the title is a bit hyperbolic but in a sense is true. This book changed people's perception of the the way the game is played. Billy Beane was once a star high school player; a five tool guy (the ability to run, catch, throw, hit and hit with power.) He was the highest rated player in the draft. Alas it was not to be; he was never able to let his talent lead. He ended up a journeyman, borderline major leaguer. So to paraphrase Michael Lewis he went in search for the anti Billy Beane.
As Assistant General Manager his boss Sandy Alderson had recommended the works of Bill James. James was a baseball fan who had, on his own gathered more statistics than those generally released by MLB had worked a new formula for judging the effectiveness of baseball players. He had determined that the two most effective stats for judging everyday players was on base percentage and slugging percentage not batting average or runs batted in.
Now that wasn't totally new. Earl Weaver the manager of the Baltimore Orioles from 1968 through 1982 had preferred players who hit for power and got on base via the base on balls. For that matter Connie Mack the A's manager from the first year of the team's existence 1901 to the the early 1950's always at least one player who worked counts and took a lot of bases on balls. James went into more detail and published his findings building a core group of followers.
Beane; faced with a limited budget came up with the concept, if not the name Moneyball. With less capital available the A's needed to be more efficient with the money they spent on players. This book was written in 2002 and in the years since Beane and the A's have continued to be a playoff team despite being in the bottom five in payroll every year.
One of the major points in the book was Beane's legendary temper of which there were stories going back to his playing days in the Rookie leagues.
These days every team in the big leagues concentrates on things like base on balls, pitches seen per at bat, and running up the pitch count of the opposing teams starting pitchers. There was a huge backlash among many of the baseball insiders in the aftermath of the book's release but many of those attitudes have passed as the A's have continued to be competitive and successful. In short though the book's information is no longer startling or even unique it's still a good read or listen. Five stars.
Putting books on the back burner.
I'm not as baseball fan, but I like the game of stats and trading players as if they were just cattle, but instead of feeding grass, they get big contracts. I remembered watching something on 60 Minutes on Bill James, "Stat Man".. I wanted to know more. As a non baseball fan, I kept reading this title because Micheal Lewis does a decent job as explaining the game without going into extra innings. Lewis also does an good job on telling the story on the players, like Chad Bradford and how he progress to the Major's and his struggle to stay on top. Bradford's story alone is worth the credit for this book. Wonderful story. Can't wait for the movie.
The book explains how math is used to make optimal baseball decisions in a great story format; entertaining sports read.
I'm not a baseball fan, but I love data analysis and this book can be enjoyed by anybody. It has the Cinderella-Story baseball narrative like any sports movie, but also focuses on how success came from shunning conventional wisdom and instead turning to the computational statistics. The book isn't too mathy, so great for a general audience. (There's also a lot of nerding out, for fantasy sports fans or data-crunchers!)
This book was simply bought "for later", but once I sampled it I couldn't put it down.
Calculated, thrilling and perfectly read. Like liar's poker. You'll want to read this book 14 times. 7 audio & 7 times with your eyes. It's just that good!
Avid reader, but new to Audible.
No, not better, but clearly complementary.
Billy Beane. He's what holds it all together. While I enjoyed the forays with the players, Beane is fascinating.
All of them. His delivery is excellent.
Already done, and done well. But this is so much better.
Enjoyed this so much more than I expected. I was thoroughly entertained and I learned a lot.
I probably wouldn't listen to another book narrated by Scott Brick, but I'd be willing to take a look other books written by Michael Lewis (See below).
Sure. Moneyball was well written, however, it seems to be written for baseball fanatics. I read it because I'm a Continuous Improvement fanatic. If Mr. Lewis wrote another book about another topic I'm interested in, I'm sure it would be good.
Some narrators are actors, or at least animated. Scott Brick's performance was mediocre, which takes away front the book.
Yes! The movie is why I bought the book.
Michael Lewis writes in a most compelling way. His storytelling, while delving into somewhat peculiar topics, is amazing. Looking forward to his new book!
This is my first audiobook in adulthood. I therefore dont know exacly how narrators are supposed to sound. I felt the narration was a little too emotionless. I would have preferred the narrator to convey more emotion and feeling. He had a pleasant voice, and overall the narration was good.
The movie manufactures some drama that was not there in the book or real life. You need to be a baseball though to enjoy because it is a breakdown of the mathematics of sabremetrics and how the Oakland A's used a new approach to counter their lack of budget.