Thursday, September 21, 2017

Moneyball hits it out of the park

“You have $40 million dollars to spend on twenty-five baseball players. Your opponent has already spent $126 million on its own twenty-five players, and holds perhaps another $100 million in reserve. What do you do with your forty million to avoid humiliating defeat?”

That is the question posed by Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.

In today’s baseball, money is king. Teams such as the New York Yankees spend hundreds of millions of dollars to put together a team that can compete and win. However, over the last several years there has been one anomaly: the Oakland Athletics. With a substantially smaller payroll than teams such as the Yankees, they have been able to stay competitive in a game that wasn’t designed for them.

Moneyball examines the reasons behind this strange phenomenon. The book brings you behind the scenes of the Athletics during the 2002 season and shows you the inner workings of a team that relies on sabermetrics rather than conventional baseball wisdom.

The mad scientist behind all this is the A’s general manager, Billy Beane. Throughout the book, Beane’s genius mind is shown time and time again, not to mention that Beane himself is a very interesting character.

As a sports book, it is written perfectly. This was surprising, considering Lewis is mostly a business writer. Perhaps the only issue for some people with Moneyball is the proliferation of language at some points. Despite that fact, Lewis turns in a great book that is a must read for any sports fan or business-minded person.

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