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Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Just before the 2002 season opens, the Oakland Athletics must relinquish its three most prominent (and expensive) players and is written off by just about everyone--but then comes roaring back to... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Book Provides an "Aha" Experience

I never understood nor really liked baseball. I bought the book mostly to read about the inspired use of statistics, and the creative thinking that went into looking for the real keys to victory. I can safely say that while I may not have fallen in love with baseball, I will never find it boring again. If you have someone you want to turn into a fan, this book a superb gift option. The amount of detail in this book--for example, just the description of the strike zone and what different pitches and batters do to narrow the zone, what can be known about specific individual propensities and vulnerabilities associated with that little box, are truly inspirational. This is a really excellent book. If we managed the national security budget the way Billy Bean managed the Oakland A's, we'd have faster better cheaper military hardware, and a lot more plowshares. I was also impressed by the way in which Billy Bean built a team, in which players who might not have been individual stars excelled at setting up others in a true team effort where the group as a whole is stronger than the sum of the parts. Others have written better reviews from a baseball fans point of view--as a non-baseball fan, I can attest to this book's being an "aha" experience. See also: Watching Baseball Smarter: A Professional Fan's Guide for Beginners, Semi-experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks

A Gripping Story and Balanced Analysis Even for the Non-Fan

As a fantasy baseball devotee and a regular reader of Rob Neyer's columns on, I was excited to see how a non-specialist, Lewis, would react to the quirks of the baseball world. Lewis's reaction is the defining baseball book of this generation. Lewis masterfully weaves together A's GM Billy Beane's personal story and conversion to statistical analysis with theory and reasoning behind that analysis. Lewis also does a superlative job describing the other side: the baseball old timers who distain number-crunching and instead look for intangibles when scouting ballplayers. Why look into how well the hitter controls the strike zone if you can simply see if he has "the Good Face". Imagine an accountant eschewing numbers to see if a company just looked right, just felt right in her gut; well, that's how baseball did, and mostly still does, operate.Not some esoteric tome, but a terrifically engrossing and informative book. I think even my mom would like it.

Amazing Insights

I can't recommend this book highly enough. Not only is it the first look inside the most successful franchise - sure, there's the Yankees, but when historians look back, it will be Beane's A's that are remembered as the innovators. Even non-baseball fans will enjoy the crisp writing and phenomenal story-telling. Lewis' previous books are a high standard, but Moneyball may be even better. I'm still amazed that Beane allowed so much access - either Lewis is every bit as persuasive as Beane or Beane has something up his sleeve! The true star of the book may end up being Paul DePodesta, who will likely be the next great GM, following JP Ricciardi and Theo Epstein as "Beane Counters" and likely the men that saved baseball. I can't speak for the rest of Baseball Prospectus, but this has to be the best baseball book not written by us in the last decade.

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