Book Review: Moneyball

With the movie coming out I realized somehow I’d missed reading Moneyball by Michael Lewis. It’s the story of how the Oakland A’s, a team with a very small budget, are able to compete with teams that have the money to get the best players. It’s about statistics which might seem dry, but it’s really about letting go of what you know and thinking it through again, kind of the proverbial out of the box thinking. At the heart of it is asking the question “what matters” and in baseball runs matter more than anything else. Obvious? Maybe not as much as you think.

I liked the book, liked the characters, yet there was a part I didn’t like – converting employees/people into resources. It’s hard to call it evil, many get a chance to play (work) that they wouldn’t have otherwise, and then end up making more because of it, but…troubling for me. Maybe I hope too much for perfection!

The book is worth reading just to learn about how ‘closers’ (relief pitchers) are valued and what their real value is. Reading about general manager Billy Beane calling various other GM’s and making deals, trying to figure out the best play – just have to admire the guy.

Whether you like baseball or not there are some really good lessons in the book. If you don’t care about lessons you’ll find a good story, so either way,it’s worth reading.