Moneyball by Michael Lewis

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Rate: 3.5/5


Medium: Audiobook


Overview (No Spoilers): When I chose to pick up Moneyball, little did I know I would be merging three of my favorite things, books, sports, and analytics. As a result, I’ve now become a fringe fan of Billy Bean and the Oakland Athletics. Of course my beloved Detroit Tigers will still be my number one team and I will continue to be annoyed at Reddick on the A’s despite the outfielder finally cutting his hair/beard. Please don’t ask me to explain my annoyance, because I really can’t place when its origin. Regardless, Moneyball is delightful and I will never look at baseball the same way again. Now when watching the Tigers and listen to the announcers I don’t take for granted what those in the booth are saying as fact due to the lessons imparted by Moneyball, such that the announcers really don’t know anything. An exaggeration I know, but a little skepticism is healthy, especially when there wasn’t any previously. In Moneyball, Lewis highlights how Bean essentially took everything pro baseball took for granted or as tradition and turned the notion on its head, despite what critics would say. He employed logic and strategy, where there was none to be found. Importantly, Lewis also delved into the statistically brilliant minds behind this new movement in baseball, e.g., Bill James, Sabermetrics, and the stats that they developed to better describe the game of baseball in an objective manner. As you can imagine my analytically mind was a sponge while listening to this book! I’d grown up playing softball and watching the Tigers, listening to my dad preach the benefits of manufacturing runs and small ball, thus you can imagine the veil being drawn back as I heard the statistical logic negating everything I’d grown up believing as pure fact. Another entertaining aspect of the book was the background of the oddball players that did not fit into traditional baseball molds, in which Lewis highlighted their back-stories and some of their initial successes in the league. I spent longer than I would like to admit going through the players named in the book and seeing how their careers faired after the printing. Overall, if you are not a sports fan or specifically a baseball fan you should probably stick to watching the movie if you find this topic mildly interesting due to the specific history behind the development of the stats being a bit dense. On the other hand, if you a baseball fan, I highly recommend giving Moneyball a read because it will change your perspective of professional baseball in an unapologetic, irrevocable way.


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7 comments

  1. I’m not a baseball fan, but I’m one of those nerds who finds the math and history behind this story incredibly interesting, so I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy it or not, but I definitely want to try reading this at some point. Thanks so much for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This book is essentially why we moved to Chicago so my husband could get a job as a baseball analyst. He played baseball all the way through college, and it’s one of those sports that stays with people. I guess that’s what makes it America’s pastime!

    Liked by 1 person

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