Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

4.2 445
by Michael Lewis
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

“You need know absolutely nothing about baseball to appreciate the wit, snap, economy . . . and incisiveness of [Moneyball].
Lewis has hit another one out of the park.”
—Janet Maslin, New York Times
See more details below

Overview

“You need know absolutely nothing about baseball to appreciate the wit, snap, economy . . . and incisiveness of [Moneyball].
Lewis has hit another one out of the park.”
—Janet Maslin, New York Times

Editorial Reviews

People
“[The] most influential book on sports ever written. If you're a baseball fan, Moneyball is a must.”
New York Observer
“Stunning....[Lewis's] explanations of the science of baseball...are spellbinding.”
The New York Times Book Review
“One of the most enjoyable baseball books in years.”
Weekly Standard
“May be the best book ever written on business.”
The New Yorker
The Oakland Athletics have reached the post-season playoffs three years in a row, even though they spend just one dollar for every three that the New York Yankees spend. Their secret, as Lewis's lively account demonstrates, is not on the field but in the front office, in the shape of the general manager, Billy Beane. Unable to afford the star hires of his big-spending rivals, Beane disdains the received wisdom about what makes a player valuable, and has a passion for neglected statistics that reveal how runs are really scored. Beane's ideas are beginning to attract disciples, most notably at the Boston Red Sox, who nearly lured him away from Oakland over the winter. At the last moment, Beane's loyalty got the better of him; besides, moving to a team with a much larger payroll would have diminished the challenge.
The New York Times
Whether Billy Beane is a prophet or a flash in the pan remains to be seen. In either case, by playing Boswell to Beane's Samuel Johnson, Lewis has given us one of the most enjoyable baseball books in years. — Lawrence S. Ritter
Time
[An] ebullient, invigorating account of how an unconvential general manger named Billy Beane rebuilt the A's, a team with the second lowest payroll in baseball, into a team that won 103 games last year -- as many as the filthy-rich Yankees.
Publishers Weekly
Lewis (Liar's Poker; The New New Thing) examines how in 2002 the Oakland Athletics achieved a spectacular winning record while having the smallest player payroll of any major league baseball team. Given the heavily publicized salaries of players for teams like the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees, baseball insiders and fans assume that the biggest talents deserve and get the biggest salaries. However, argues Lewis, little-known numbers and statistics matter more. Lewis discusses Bill James and his annual stats newsletter, Baseball Abstract, along with other mathematical analysis of the game. Surprisingly, though, most managers have not paid attention to this research, except for Billy Beane, general manager of the A's and a former player; according to Lewis, "[B]y the beginning of the 2002 season, the Oakland A's, by winning so much with so little, had become something of an embarrassment to Bud Selig and, by extension, Major League Baseball." The team's success is actually a shrewd combination of luck, careful player choices and Beane's first-rate negotiating skills. Beane knows which players are likely to be traded by other teams, and he manages to involve himself even when the trade is unconnected to the A's. " `Trawling' is what he called this activity," writes Lewis. "His constant chatter was a way of keeping tabs on the body of information critical to his trading success." Lewis chronicles Beane's life, focusing on his uncanny ability to find and sign the right players. His descriptive writing allows Beane and the others in the lively cast of baseball characters to come alive. (June) Forecast: Lewis's reputation, along with extensive national promotion, first serial in the New York Times Magazine and a 13-city tour should help the book hit bestseller lists throughout the baseball season. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Forbes Magazine
One of the best baseball--and management--books out. It chronicles and examines the extraordinary success of the Oakland Athletics' general manager, Billy Beane, who is a colorful mix of genius, discipline and emotion. If you ever come across anyone connected with professional baseball and want to witness an interesting sight, just mention Beane and this book--there will be gurgling, sputtering, angry mutterings. (13 Oct 2003)
—Steve Forbes
Library Journal
How the Oakland Athletics stay on top in baseball without a lot of dough: Norton's biggest book this season. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A solid piece of iconoclasm: the intriguing tale of Major League baseball's oddfellows—the low-budget but winning Oakland Athletics. Here's the gist, that baseball, from field strategy to player selection, is "better conducted by scientific investigation—hypotheses tested by analysis of historical baseball data—than be reference to the collective wisdom of old baseball men." Not some dry, numbing manipulation of figures, but an inventive examination of statistics, numbers that reveal what the eye refuses to see, thanks to ingrained prejudices. As in most of Lewis's work (The New New Thing, 1999, etc.), a keen intellect is at work, a spry writing style, a facility to communicate the meaning of numbers, an infectious excitement, and a healthy disdain for the aura and power of big bucks. Such is the situation here: The Oakland A's have a budget that would hardly cover the Yankee's chewing tobacco. Their General Manager, Billy Beane, and his band of Harvard-educated assistants, are the heirs of Bill James (of whom there is an excellent portrait here). They creatively use stats to discover unsung talent—gems not so much in the rough as invisible to the overburden of received wisdom—a guy who will get on base despite being shaped like a pear or control the strike zone even if his fastball can't get out of third gear, measuring the measurables to garner fine talent at basement prices. At least for a few seasons, until the talent's worth is common knowledge and off they go to clubs who can pay them millions. And the A's win, and win and win, not yet to a Series victory, but edging closer. The story clicks along with steady momentum, and possesses excellent revelatorypowers. There’s a method to the madness of the Beane staff, and Lewis incisively explains its inspired, heretical common sense. Has Lewis spilled Beane's beans? Maybe so, but considering the mulish dispositions of baseball's scouts and front offices, they'll miss the boat again. First serial to the New York Times Magazine; author tour
Garry Trudeau
“Michael Lewis's beautiful obsession with the idea of value has once again yielded gold.... Moneyball explains baseball's startling new insight; that for all our dreams of blasts to the bleachers, the sport's hidden glory lies in not getting out.”
New York Times - Janet Maslin
“You need know absolutely nothing about baseball to appreciate the wit, snap, economy and incisiveness of Lewis's thoughts about it....Moneyball moves nimbly between sheer exuberance and strategic wiles.”
Time Magazine
“Ebullient, invigorating...provides plenty of action, both numerical and athletic, on the field and in the draft-day war room.”
Tom Wolfe
“Moneyball is [Lewis's] grandest tour de force yet.”
Slate - Rob Neyer
“The single most influential baseball book ever.”
Janet Maslin - New York Times
“Lewis has hit another one out of the park.... You need know absolutely nothing about baseball to appreciate the wit, snap, economy and incisiveness of [Lewis's] thoughts about it.”
Rob Neyer - Slate
“The single most influential baseball book ever.”
Mark Gerson - Weekly Standard
“Moneyball is the best business book Lewis has written. It may be the best business book anyone has written.”
Lawrence S. Ritter - New York Times Book Review
“By playing Boswell to Beane's Samuel Johnson, Lewis has given us one of the most enjoyable baseball books in years.”
Lev Grossman - Time
“Ebullient, invigorating.... Provides plenty of action, both numerical and athletic, on the field and in the draft-day war room.”
Richard J. Tofel - Wall Street Journal
“A journalistic tour de force.”
Nick Hornby - The Believer
“I understood about one in four words of Moneyball, and it's still the best and most engrossing sports book I've read in years. If you know anything about baseball, you will enjoy it four times as much as I did, which means that you might explode.”
Baseball America Editors
“You have to read Moneyball.... Amazing anecdotes... an entertaining, enlightening read.”
Washington Post
“Engaging, informative, and deliciously contrarian.”
Newsweek
“Anyone who cares about baseball must read Moneyball.”
Wall Street Journal
“Another journalistic tour de force.”
San Jose Mercury News
“An extraordinary job of reporting and writing.”
New York Times
You need know absolutely nothing about baseball to appreciate the wit, snap, economy and incisiveness of Lewis's thoughts about it....Moneyball moves nimbly between sheer exuberance and strategic wiles.— Janet Maslin
New York Times Book Review
“One of the most enjoyable baseball books in years.”
Slate
The single most influential baseball book ever.— Rob Neyer

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393338393
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
08/22/2011
Series:
Movie Tie-In Editions Series
Edition description:
Movie Tie-in Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of Liar’s Poker, The Money Culture, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, Panic, Home Game, The Big Short, and Boomerang, among other works, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Tabitha Soren, and their three children.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
October 15, 1960
Place of Birth:
New Orleans, LA
Education:
Princeton University, B.A. in Art History, 1982; London School of Economics, 1985

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >