Well, it has been a long while since I’ve done a book review so here goes everybody. This weeks book is Moneyball from Michael Lewis.
This Non-Fiction book following the 2002 Oakland A’s, where the author seeming had full coverage to interview anyone on staff to discuss the unusual way the General Manager Billy Bean added and removed players to his ball club. Billy and his right-hand man (Paul) and implemented the idea of Sabermetrics. It was a statistical measure (not on the Box Score) created by Bill James to evaluate talent.
For non-ball players, this idea was revolutionary (especially for Fantasy Leauge players), but the ballplayers and scouts felt differently.
The scouts thought the only way to determine talent was to see them on the field, but sabermetrics put a spin on the whole idea. It evaluated talent purely on statistics and not on any visual observation.
Billy and his statistician were on to something.
They saw on-base percentage as a more valuable stat a player could have than batting average. The two determined that getting on base (in whatever way possible) is more valuable than just putting the ball in play to maybe get out. Walks were a stat mentioned throughout the book, they even mentioned how a guy is “The Greek God of Walks.”
The reason the A’s had to use such “odd” measures, was because they had no money to spend. They were forced to pick up unproven or washed up talent, which always rose an eyebrow of each and every scout.
That season these guys put together a team with a low salary that competed with the team with the highest salaries, the New York Yankees.
This was such a fun book, reading I couldn’t help but think of Brad Pitt’s voice whenever Billy Bean spoke. His sense of humor was priceless.
Another of my favorite bits of the story was the nostalgia factor. I was a huge fan of baseball from 1998-2008, and that tenure was mentioned throughout the book. Reading names like Jeremy Bonderman, Prince Fielder, Ray Durham, Jeff Francis, Zach Greinke and Cliff Floyd all had me rolling due to my knowledge of said players from video games from the era.
It was a good book where it had me convinced that there is something more, something better for me to look forward to. Heck, the book almost had me convinced that I should search for a front office job in baseball to make something better. Deep down THAT’S my dream to build a business or a company better and this book reminded me of that.
This makes me wonder if there’s a sabermetrics to Self-publishing. HMM?
I give this book a 4 out of 5 due to me not reading it a decade ago.
Now I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the book.
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