Review: Moneyball

Editorial Review -

I wrote this book because I fell in love with a story. The story concerned a small group of undervalued professional baseball players and executives, many of whom had been rejected as unfit for the big leagues, who had turned themselves into one of the most successful franchises in Major League Baseball. But the idea for the book came well before I had good reason to write it—before I had a story ... Read full review

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tjl - LibraryThing

I've never really been a big fan of baseball. That said, I really enjoyed this book. He does an excellent job of portraying the various people in the story. He spends the time for most of them going ... Read full review

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User Review  - phyllis2779 - LibraryThing

Since I like both baseball and rational decision making, I really enjoyed this book. The book was as good as the movie, maybe even a little bit better because it was more realistic. The only thing I ... Read full review

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User Review  - BraveNewBks - LibraryThing

Personally I really enjoyed this, but I would recommend it only for those who either used to collect baseball cards or currently engage in fantasy baseball leagues, as the focus on baseball stats ... Read full review

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User Review  - Olivermagnus - LibraryThing

This was my neighborhood bookclub's selection and to tell you the truth I had pretty low expectations. It turned out to be better than I expected. I'm not a huge baseball fan but I did follow the game ... Read full review

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More Than Just a Book About Baseball
As he is apt to do, Michael Lewis has written book that, on its surface, appears to be about a relatively narrow subject -- in this case, Billy Beane's and his
minions' unorthodox approach to running the Oakland Athletics. In reality, the book is about much more. Lewis shows us how a small group of persons willing to challenge the traditional ways of thinking in one of America's oldest sports was able to produce outsize results for an organization that possessed little in the way of financial resources. While almost all will find it entertaining, all the "oddballs" out there who enjoy the challenge of finding new and better ways of analyzing and executing will find it to be inspirational as well. 

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Moneyball 1
The book “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis is a very interesting baseball book that is about a lot more than baseball. This is the story of Billy Beane, the General Manager of the
Oakland Athletics, professional baseball team and their amazing performance during the 2002 season. Beane proves to be a dynamic personality and is quite entertaining as we follow him through his rise as the leader of the A’s and learn of his own personal history that makes him who he is.
Early in the book we are given some back ground on Mr. Beane that becomes very important in later in the book. He himself was a very gifted athlete growing up in Southern California. Sam Blalock, Billy’s high school baseball coach said “he had yet to see another athlete of Billy’s caliber.” When speaking about the raw talent he possessed. He was very successful in every sport that he played but was also a very good student who wanted to attend Stanford University. He did attract the attention of the University earning the offer of a joint Baseball and Football scholarship. This was disconcerning to many of the baseball scouts that watched him, questioning his motivation to play professional baseball. Eventually, against his better judgment, he takes a deal from the New York Mets and gives up the scholarship from Stanford. A harsh lesson is learned at this point when Beane attempts to continue his education while playing pro baseball, Stanford University withdraws his admission. He realizes that he has lost his value to the school since he will not be playing sports for them.
Beane’s life-path is further complicated when his professional baseball career falls short of expectations. He becomes an example of what he would later come to study, the super talented high school star that washes out in the pros. Later, as a front office executive, he would begin to become aware of the likelihood of failure for the players who are drafted out of high school. It is Beane’s own history, and disappointment in what could have been, that makes him a very smart baseball executive.
Things begin to take shape in the story when Beane, who is already interested in “sabermetric” baseball, hires a young assistant Paul DePodesta. Sabermetric is the name given the statistical study of baseball by Bill James author of a baseball newsletter, “Baseball Abstract” in the late seventies. DePodesta is described as, “looking and sounding more like a Harvard graduate than a baseball man” which in fact he was. Depodesta studied Economics at Harvard University and was specifically interested in the uneasy border between psychology and economics. Together they began to change the way the traditional baseball men evaluated players. Common stats like runs-batted-in and batting average were less important to them, instead they looked at new measuring tools like on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Using a computer to track this new information they were able to analyze players in a new way and find talent in people that traditional baseball overlooked. This unconventional, statistical, way of measuring talent and predicting talent lead them to assembling the 2002 A’s with the second smallest payroll in all of professional baseball.
The baseball side of this story reaches its climax as we witness the A’s incredible 20 game winning streak, even though in the opinion of Beane, they are making many old fashioned mistakes along the way. More interesting is the human side of the story involving Beane himself. He has become a master
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of developing baseball talent and realizes that he, himself, is now a valuable commodity. Once again, as when he was a young high school talent, he is faced with making a choice. The offer that comes from the Boston Red Sox would make him the highest paid GM in history, and would catapult Depodesta and others on his staff to new heights. It seems as though this is a no-brainer for him to take the job in Boston but yet he seems reluctant. This culminates with him turning down the job

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Do not know much about Baseball. But the strategy they used sure is a good one and can apply almost to anything. It will take some patient to finish this movie. A good one if you dig it.

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A good baseball book involving Billy Beene , legendary baseball front office guy.

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wdwilson3 - LibraryThing

The best baseball book I've ever read, and I've read plenty. Read full review

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