Moneyball (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Movie Tie-in Editions) [NOOK Book]

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


Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s general manager, is leading a revolution. Reinventing his team on a budget, he needs to outsmart the richer teams. He signs undervalued players whom the scouts consider flawed but who have a knack for getting on base, scoring runs, and winning games. ...

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Moneyball (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Movie Tie-in Editions)

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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


Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s general manager, is leading a revolution. Reinventing his team on a budget, he needs to outsmart the richer teams. He signs undervalued players whom the scouts consider flawed but who have a knack for getting on base, scoring runs, and winning games. Moneyball is a quest for the secret of success in baseball and a tale of the search for new baseball knowledge—insights that will give the little guy who is willing to discard old wisdom the edge over big money.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

When Moneyball was first released in 2003, sports fans as a fascinating account of how a savvy team of baseball executives bucked conventional wisdom and found success. Business readers enjoyed it as the exciting new book by Michael Lewis, the author of Liar's Poker and Next. Now a new wave of readers will be seeking it out as the original behind the Aaron Sorkin film to be released on September 23rd. With a cast including Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, this movie tie-in paperback and NOOK Book promise to reignite interest in one of the best reviewed nonfiction books in recent years.

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.
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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393341454
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/15/2011
  • Series: Movie Tie-in Editions
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Movie Tie-in Edition
  • Sales rank: 61,481
  • File size: 730 KB

Meet the Author

Michael  Lewis
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 and three children.

Biography

Twenty-four year-old Princeton graduate Michael Lewis had recently received his master's degree from the London School of Economics when Salomon Brothers hired him as a bond salesman in 1985. He moved to New York for training and witnessed firsthand the cutthroat, scruple-free culture that was Wall Street in the 1980s. Several months later, armed only with what he'd learned in training, Lewis returned to London and spent the next three years dispensing investment advice to Salomon's well-heeled clientele. He earned hundreds of thousands of dollars and survived a 1987 hostile takeover attempt at the firm. Nonetheless, he grew disillusioned with his job and left Salomon to write an account of his experiences in the industry. Published in 1989, Liar's Poker remains one of the best written and most perceptive chronicles of investment banking and the appalling excesses of an era.

Since then, Lewis has found great success as a financial journalist and bestselling author. His nonfiction ranges over a variety of topics, including U.S./Japanese business relations (Pacific Rift), the 1996 presidential campaign (Trail Fever), Silicon Valley (The New New Thing), and the Internet boom (Next: The Future Just Happened). He investigated the economics of professional sports in Moneyball (2003) and The Blind Side (2006); and, in 2008, he edited Panic, an anthology of essays about the major financial crises of 1990s and early "oughts."

Good To Know

Michael Lewis attended Isidore Newman School in his native New Orleans, LA -- a private college prep school that counts among its more distinguished alumni historian Walter Isaacson, children's book author Mo Willems, singer Harry Connick, Jr., and famous pro-football siblings Peyton and Eli Manning.
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    1. Date of Birth:
      October 15, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Orleans, LA
    1. Education:
      Princeton University, B.A. in Art History, 1982; London School of Economics, 1985

Table of Contents

Preface
Ch. 1 The Curse of Talent 3
Ch. 2 How to find a Ballplayer 14
Ch. 3 The Enlightenment 43
Ch. 4 Field of Ignorance 64
Ch. 5 The Jeremy Brown Blue Plate Special 97
Ch. 6 The Science of Winning an Unfair Game 119
Ch. 7 Giambi's Hole 138
Ch. 8 Scott Hatteberg, Pickin' Machine 162
Ch. 9 The Trading Desk 188
Ch. 10 Anatomy of an Undervalued Pitcher 217
Ch. 11 The Human Element 244
Ch. 12 The Speed of the Idea 263
Epilogue: The Badger 281
Acknowledgments 287
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Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Michael Lewis

Barnes & Noble.com: Moneyball concerns Major League Baseball's Oakland Athletics and the team's revolutionary general manager, Billy Beane. What made you want to write this book?

Michael Lewis: The realization first that the Oakland A's were working with so much less money than the teams they were beating. That follows on the fact that for players to become an Athletic, the players had to have something wrong with them (because the team could not afford the more expensive players). If there wasn't something wrong with them, they would not have been on the A's. When I realized they were this glorious collection of underdogs, I completely fell in love with this story.

B&N.com: What was the most compelling thing about Billy Beane, the A's GM?

ML: That he had this disastrous experience as a pro player and had set out as a GM to find players who were the opposite of himself.

B&N.com: What did Beane do as GM for the Oakland A's that was so different from what other GMs did?

ML: Well, he embraced a very new idea of baseball knowledge. If you rethought the game, you could find secrets about it and find inefficiencies about the game and the way players were valued. It was his willingness to think like an innovator in what is a very traditional sport that gave him an advantage.

B&N.com: How did he compensate for the team's small payroll -- one of the lowest payrolls in baseball -- to build teams that competed with and could defeat most of the teams that had payrolls over $100 million?

ML: By finding undervalued players and by not paying the market price for superstars. Billy Beane makes his living off the misperceptions of baseball players that other general managers have. He is always selling players at a high price and buying them too cheaply.

B&N.com: How has Beane influenced baseball and the big-spending teams like the Yankees and Red Sox?

ML: The Oakland model has had two obvious consequences: The Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox are now reinventing themselves in the tradition of the A's. When the A's consider a player, they look closely at on-base percentage. So, on-base percentage is becoming something people are paying attention to. Also, they look at the hitter's discipline. Other than that, the Oakland attitude really has not spread to other teams. If you study it, you can find new knowledge, and you can do well. Most other franchises just do what they always used to do.

Baseball is actually a very screwed-up industry. I was a mole inside a front office and clubhouse. The response from other organizations to the Oakland method is outrage. Where else would that happen in any industry? Other industries would welcome the change. In baseball, there is resistance to the idea that someone knows something everybody else does not know. People who evaluate baseball players, the scouts, generally, are motivated by their desire to preserve their good standing within the fraternity. They don't want to make waves.

B&N.com: How did Beane use numbers in a way that was so revolutionary?

ML: The Oakland A's built a model to explain where runs came from. Lots of people outside baseball did this, but people inside baseball didn't do it. In their model, they said walks, singles, doubles, and triples each have a certain effect on run production. They assigned weight to each kind of event. They tested this model. If they have so many of this or that, they have so many runs by the end of the year. These various components have extreme value. Walks are a lot more valuable than people thought. The A's can find players who are otherwise unexceptional, except for walking, and insert them into the lineup. It's analysis, not numbers alone.

B&N.com: What was the most challenging thing about writing this book?

ML: It was breaking down the resistance in the clubhouse and getting to know the players. Hanging around among naked men. I needed to get more than quotes, needed to visit them in the off-season. That was hard to do.

B&N.com: What was it like talking to Beane and the players?

ML: It was exhilarating, because I felt like I was seeing this completely novel approach in building a baseball team from the inside. I did it in a season. The team broke a 50-year-old record for consecutive wins in the American League (20). It was exhilarating. It took a while for them to understand what I was doing. Writing this kind of a book is a bit like dancing. You have to get used to your partner. It was awkward at first, but then it became natural.

B&N.com: What particularly impressed you about baseball culture, so to speak, in the Major Leagues?

ML: Nobody talks with anybody else. Huge amounts of communication are nonverbal. I could tell the front office things that it didn't know about what players were thinking, and vice versa. There is so much information that is not exchanged. This is what happens when muscular men gather. It is not cool to talk.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 441 )
Rating Distribution

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(236)

4 Star

(131)

3 Star

(36)

2 Star

(16)

1 Star

(22)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 445 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Whole New Way of Looking at Baseball Statistics

    Moneyball is way more entertaining than it has any right to be. It follows the story of the low-budget Oakland A's and their unorthodox general manager Billy Beane as they use statistics and the scientific method to succeed against teams with much larger payrolls. Lewis is a very entertaining writer, at times laugh out loud funny, who has turned what could have been a very dry subject into a real page turner. I read this in one day, which is unusual for me with non-fiction. Highly recommended, especially in the dead of winter when the beginning of baseball season seems so far away.

    17 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A shot to make it big

    The book Moneyball is about a professional baseball player, Billy Beane, who was a good player in high school and college. Out of college, he was drafted by Oakland Athletics. Beane decided he wanted to become the General Manager of the A¿s after he had played for them for a few years. As a player, he learned that he did not want to be an actual baseball player; he wanted to be the person who picked the players that would make the team. When he became the General Manager for the Oakland Athletics, he developed a strategy to form a baseball team out of players that other teams did not necessarily want. Beane used players¿ high school and college statistics to choose the good players that he wanted and ones that would sign for less money.<BR/>Though there were many parts that I liked and disliked, one of the big things that I liked about this book was that it taught me a new way to look at how baseball players are chosen for a team. It showed me what coaches look for in a strong player and that it¿s not necessarily all talent; it is how many runs they produce, bases they steal. Even though this book is really good, the language is not appropriate for young readers, it contains inappropriate words. The hardest part about this book was understanding all the numbers and formulas he used. Since there were so many numbers, it distracted me from what the book was actually about, how he built the Oakland A¿s. That was the only dislike I really had reading this book. Other than the numbers, the book was really interesting.<BR/>I believe the main message in this book is that you don¿t have to be the richest team to get the better players for your team. Even though the Oakland A¿s pay roll was really low compared to the Yankees huge pay roll, the A¿s knew the best way to make a good team without spending a lot of money on players. Beane used player statistics to find who the best players were and ones that would sign for less money. <BR/>I would suggest this book to a specific group, people who like baseball and math. This book is all about numbers, probability, playing and managing baseball. It was a great book.

    14 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very enjoyable read for almost anyone

    I'm neither a fan of baseball or statistics, but Michael Lewis has the ability to explain both of them in such a compelling way, I couldn't put it down. I read it after watching the movie, and found a much more nuanced chronicle in the book. Well worth the read, especially if you enjoyed the movie.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 5, 2011

    Great Read!!!

    I purchased my nook never having been much of a book reader at 38, but in the hopes of becoming one. This was the 1st book I downloaded and finished it in less than a week. It kept my attention that much and i have been known to have the attention span of a gnat. It's not just a book about baseball, but about business economics, evaluating talent and an individuals character as well. Inviting people to think outside the conventional wisdom. I would recommend it to anybody. Baseball fan or not.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    good Great Learned things about baseball that i would never have known

    Amazing

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2011

    As a baseball fan,i loved this book

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2011

    Interesting!!!!!

    I am not a baseball fan at all, personally, I think the sport is downright boring. However, I throughlly enjoyed this book. It has rekindled my interest in baseball. I know find myself watching games anf paying attengion to stats.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2010

    Thoroughly enjoyable, easy read

    This was the best book relating to sports that I've ever read. It gives great insight into how one team (the Oakland A's) used unique decision making to compete against teams with grossly larger payrolls. I especially liked the behind the scenes look it gave to some of the tough evaluations that need to be made by a professional sports team's front office, and the untraditional formulas employed by Billy Beane and his staff to reach them.
    While I cant imagine any baseball fan not enjoying this book, I would suggest that it a good read for the nonsports fan as well, as many of the ideas discussed in relation to running a basball team can be correlated to just about any form of businees.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2011

    Great read!

    I really like this book. Great for baseball fanatics.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Moneyball

    The author got caught up describiNG tHE mind numbiNG statistics used in major league baseball I found myself skipplng pages to get to the part about the players

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    Read If You Like Baseball, Math, or Good Books

    Baseball, I love. Statistics... I could leave. Lewis somehow makes both halves of this book interesting.

    Don't get me wrong, it's not really a book about crunching numbers... it's a story about the science behind a sport, the brains who take that science to the next level, and the brawns who sometimes dogmatically resist them.

    A very interesting read.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2010

    Michael Lewis knows Billy Beane

    A look at one of the poorest teams in baseball, the Oakland A's, and how their general manager Billy Beane makes them contenders every year. It shows you how they scout, draft, and play the game, only to name a few things. He does things his way, and nobody is going to change that, and he does them well. One of the most criticized books in the baseball world since Ball Four, and a real winner. Lewis is an extraordinary writer who should do sports as much as he does Walstreet. A MUST read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    Play ball

    Good story, well written and an entertaining intro to baseball stats.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2012

    Great book

    This book teaches you the importance of baseball. Its very emotional and sensative.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    Wow

    One of the best books iv ever read

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Great book but dont really like baseball

    Lol

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    What!

    Whoever wrote boring most likely did not read it

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2011

    Highly recommend

    If your a baseball fan with an outsiders perspective of the game, its a must read. My only concern is that we only received insight to part of who Billy Beane really is.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2011

    Loved it.....

    I knew Michael Lewis had written several very good books. I've seen him interviewed and I couldn't wait to read the book before the movie came out. He did a great job of telling the story of how the baseball establishment had totally "dropped the ball" so to speak when it came to evaluating talent and building a team.
    I highly recommend this book.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    Eye opening look at baseball

    In this book Lewis gives the reader a look inside the art of sabermetrics, a relatively new science surrounding the staistics of baseball, and how it was first adopted by a real team. Perfect summer reading for baseball fans.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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