This is The New York Times best-selling book behind the major motion picture starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Opening this autumn, Moneyball is the story of the Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt). He has an epiphany: all conventional baseball wisdom is wrong. Reinventing his team on a budget, he needs to outsmart the richer teams.
The Oakland Athletics have a secret: a winning baseball team is made, not bought. In major league baseball the biggest wallet is supposed to win: rich teams spend four times as much on talent as poor teams. But over the past four years, the Oakland Athletics, a major league team with a minor league payroll, have had one of the best records. Last year their superstar, Jason Giambi, went to the superrich Yankees. It hasn't made any difference to Oakland: their fabulous season included an American League record for consecutive victories.
Billy Beane, general manager of the Athletics, is putting into practice on the field revolutionary principles garnered from geek statisticians and college professors. Michael Lewis's brilliant, irreverent reporting takes us from the dugouts and locker rooms-where coaches and players struggle to unlearn most of what they know about pitching and hitting-to the boardrooms, where we meet owners who begin to look like fools at the poker table, spending enormous sums without a clue what they are doing. Combine money, science, entertainment, and egos, and you have a story that Michael Lewis is magnificently suited to tell.
About The Author
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."
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Comments about Moneyball:
This book is a lesson in life. The fundamentals used by Billy Bean and his team can be applied to all aspects of business and careers. There are parts of the book that gets bogged down in statistics, but one doesn't need to understand or be interested in them to enjoy the book. If you are part of a team, business or sport this book is a must read.
It is well written and researched.
Comments about Moneyball:
Love the great choice of titles and user friendly online store
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
[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.
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.
Steve Forbes - 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)
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.
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
"...the best and most engrossing sports book I've read for years. If you know anything about baseball, you will enjoy it four times as much as I did, which means you might explode." Nick Hornby "...his grandest tour de force yet." Tom Wolfe "...the most riveting sports book of the year." The Observer "[Lewis has] a gift for pithy observation and a wonderful turn of phrase..." The Times Literary Supplement
Number Of Pages: 317
Published: 22nd August 2011
Dimensions (cm): 20.9 x 14.5 x 2.056
Weight (kg): 0.261