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Billy Beane, general manager of MLB's Oakland A's and protagonist of Michael Lewis'sMoneyball, had a problem: how to win in the Major Leagues with a budget that's smaller than that of nearly every other team. Conventional wisdom long held that big name, highly athletic hitters and young pitchers with rocket arms were the ticket to success. But Beane and his staff, buoyed by massive amounts of carefully interpreted statistical data, believed that wins could be had by more affordable methods such as hitters with high on-base percentage and pitchers who get lots of ground outs. Given this information and a tight budget, Beane defied tradition and his own scouting department to build winning teams of young affordable players and inexpensive castoff veterans.

Lewis was in the room with the A's top management as they spent the summer of 2002 adding and subtracting players and he provides outstanding play-by-play. In the June player draft, Beane acquired nearly every prospect he coveted (few of whom were coveted by other teams) and at the July trading deadline he engaged in a tense battle of nerves to acquire a lefty reliever. Besides being one of the most insider accounts ever written about baseball, Moneyball is populated with fascinating characters. We meet Jeremy Brown, an overweight college catcher who most teams project to be a 15th round draft pick (Beane takes him in the first). Sidearm pitcher Chad Bradford is plucked from the White Sox triple-A club to be a key set-up man and catcher Scott Hatteberg is rebuilt as a first baseman. But the most interesting character is Beane himself. A speedy athletic can't-miss prospect who somehow missed, Beane reinvents himself as a front-office guru, relying on players completely unlike, say, Billy Beane. Lewis, one of the top nonfiction writers of his era (Liar's Poker, The New New Thing), offers highly accessible explanations of baseball stats and his roadmap of Beane's economic approach makes Moneyball an appealing reading experience for business people and sports fans alike. --John Moe --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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ISBN-10:  0393324818
ISBN-13:  978-0393324815
Author:  Michael Lewis
Genre:  Professional & Technical, Business & Investing, Sports
Publisher:  W. W. Norton & Company
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review by . February 03, 2008
First, Moneyball was not written by Billy Beane, as many people who have not yet read it (myself included) often describe it in a convenient but incorrect form of shorthand.    Second, Moneyball isn't about Billy Beane, although he is a prominent character who certainly deserves a full-length biography or could write his own fascinating memoir.    Third, Moneyball isn't about Bill James and sabremetrics, although the new genre of statistics-based baseball …
review by . September 01, 2010
Pros: Interesting account of front office life and statistics     Cons: Wanders and jumps around too much     The Bottom Line: The real game is money!     The Golden Rule: Whoever has the gold makes the rules. So goes the saying that is one of the more prominent laws of Murphy. In the world of Major League Baseball, this is divine law, carved in stone with bolts of lightning from on high. Or at least Major League Baseball commissioner Bud …
review by . April 15, 2006
Baseball is a funny game, Joe Garagiola wrote. Also upsetting, thrilling, boring, redeeming, and traditional, often all in one nine-inning stretch. Something you don't hear so often is that baseball is scientific, not at least until Michael Lewis blew the lid off this dirty secret in his 2003 book, "Moneyball."    Lewis follows one Billy Beane, a one-time hot prospect for the New York Mets who unaccountably never found success in the big leagues until he even more unaccountably …
review by . April 27, 2004
Being a British naturalised Kiwi, I could not possibly know (or, to be honest, care) less about baseball. Nonetheless, I found this to be a fascinating book, and have been recommending it to everyone I meet. It contains a fundamental truth of investing that anyone could use, useful precisely because most people (like the low-scoring reviewers on this site) think they know best. If every armchair sports fans thinks they know better than the others, it stands to reason that most of them are wrong.The …
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