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Publisher's Summary

Moneyball reveals 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 giant offices of Major League teams and the dugouts. But the real jackpot is a cache of numbers collected over the years by a strange brotherhood of amateur baseball enthusiasts: software engineers, statisticians, Wall Street analysts, lawyers, and physics professors.

In a narrative full of fabulous characters and brilliant excursions into the unexpected, 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?

©2004 Michael Lewis (P)2011 Random House

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No need to be a baseball fan

Moneyball is a fascinating look at how the manager of the Oakland A's used statistical methods to assemble the best baseball team he could given his limited budget.

Although I had heard excellent reviews of this book I avoided it for some time as I have no interest in baseball. I'm glad that I finally decided to give Moneyball a try. Despite my complete lack of baseball knowledge (I recognized the names of exactly three of the baseball players mentioned in the book - Babe Ruth, Bonds and Strawberry) I found the book both interesting and enlightening. Lewis does a great job of explaining what you need to know to see how players had been undervalued and why. On top of this, the stories he tells about the players and the managers are compelling and often humorous.

I loved listening to this book so much that I'm already thinking about listening to it again. Very highly recommended.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Book, Outstanding Narration, Sloppy Edit

A well written and gripping story,even for those not especially interested in baseball.

But for those of us that love the game, it is a delight. The rethinking of the analysis of baseball statistics -- some of which have been untouched since 1859 -- make the nerds with the athletic ability of a convenience store, such as myself, to be intellectually fulfilled.

I've always been an admirer of Scott Brick, a consummate professional in the narrator bullpen.

But, oh, my -- the editing. For Audible, usually a benchmark of releasing a top drawer products, to have let this one out it its condition is....regrettable.

There are at least five (I stopped counting) places where the narration repeats two sentences. There are at least five (I stopped counting) places where the narration repeats two sentences.

Please, Audible -- pull the masters on this one, put an intern in a studio for nine hours or so, and clean it up -- you'd look so much less lazy and foolish. Please, Audible -- pull the masters on this one, put an intern in a studio for nine hours or so, and clean it up -- you'd look so much less lazy and foolish.

56 of 59 people found this review helpful

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The best sports and business book I've read.

By now I'm sure most of you have seen the movie, which was excellent. I read this book maybe 5 times before the movie came out and at least 3 time since. So what's my point...

First, it is written by Michael Lewis, perhaps the best nonfiction author of this century. He is the master of finding remarkably entertaining true life stories, whether the subject is sports or business. He reminds me a bit of Andrew Tobias with his wit and irony.

Second, despite the undeniable success of the moneyball revolution in baseball, the book and the methods it reveals is still scoffed at by the majority of Major League Baseball and virtually ignored by virtually all of ameture baseball. It was a David versus Goliath story in 2000 and remarkably, it remains so today.

Thirdly, it is a masterpiece about business, how we evaluate success and how we should always be thinking outside the box.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Great book that will open your eyes

I am what I consider a pretty intelligent "student of the game", but this book opened my eyes and made me realize what I was really missing! I have followed and used the conventional baseball statistics without fully understanding how limited the typical stats are. Even if you are a casual fan, this book is a great read. It not only explores the raw data that proves a baseball player's true worth, but it is also an insight into the brilliant minds of the people who changed the game.

As a Tampa Bay Rays fan for the last 12 years, I can truly appreciate what Billy Beane, Paul DePodesta, and the non-traditional baseball guys have done for small market teams!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding book

This is one of the best books about baseball ever and is a "must read" for anyone wishing to understand the game better. It takes the reader/listener into what is actually happening during the games and the season (hint: it is not what most broadcasters blather on about). Michael Lewis manages to make even the most mundane parts of baseball interesting and the interesting parts are riveting! As one reviewer I read put it, it is "bad news bears for MBAs."

With all that said though, the production was disappointing. As others have pointed out it does occasionally repeat sentences (an odd experience that is distracting when you are listening closely). The other problem I had was his mispronunciation of names of baseball players. The names of people are integral to the book and I think it does not do the individuals justice to mispronounce their names. I usually enjoy Scott Brick's narrations but this one was somewhat disappointing.

Overall, though, it is well worth it to listen to or read this book. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in baseball, business or life.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kendra
  • Milbridge, ME, United States
  • 01-02-12

This Book Is a Winner

What made the experience of listening to Moneyball the most enjoyable?

Okay, confession, I saw the movie first. That was good, but the best part of the movie is that it stirred me to want to read the book. Okay, so I listened to it, and it's fabulous. If you even remotely appreciate the game of baseball, you'll love this book.<br/><br/>Lewis has artfully tracked all the historical threads from their origin through to their connection with Billy Beane and what he proved was possible when you weren't the best bankrolled franchise in major leage baseball. <br/><br/>I didn't realize that all the fantasy league play was based on this whole new world of statistical analysis.<br/><br/>Lewis writes a good book. Even though it's nonfiction, I have to call it creative nonfiction. It keeps you interested in the story and what's going to happen next, which is why (I think) the movie follows the book so well.<br/><br/>But don't be satisfied just watching the movie. The background to this story is another story all together and equally interesting.<br/><br/>This book is a solid home run.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Hoboken, NJ, United States
  • 09-14-11

Great book, even if you don't like baseball

I'm not really a baseball fan, but I totally enjoyed the book. I love Michael Lewis's ability to make even the most arcane topic, like the baseball draft process, sound spine tinglingly exciting. I think Brad Pitt will be fantastic in the role, but I am glad I read the book before the movie came out. Even if you hate baseball, you will enjoy the rich characters in this book.
Wonderful reading by Scott Brick--he is the best!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve
  • Lenexa, KS, United States
  • 08-11-11

Old School vs. New School

"Someone in the Kansas City Royals front office, please read this book!!!!

As for the rest of us, this book is primarily about baseball, but also about how observant outsiders can provide insight that the insiders are blind to. Or in other words, how the old school resists the new school despite the proof the latter demonstrates and the former lacks."

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Great warm up for baseball season

If you could sum up Moneyball in three words, what would they be?

Math, baseball and personality

Any additional comments?

A very fun listen that introduced me to the world of baseball. Very much enjoyed it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The Book That Changed Baseball

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful