The Art of Winning An Unfair Game

Book - 2003
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Michael Lewis examines the fallacy behind the major league baseball refrain that the team with the biggest wallet is supposed to win. Over the past four years the Oakland Athletics, a major league team with a minor league payroll, have had one of the best records in the country
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton, 2003
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780393057652
Branch Call Number: 796.357 Lewi
Characteristics: 288 p


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nrowlands Dec 07, 2016

Michael Lewis' classic story of the man and organization that revolutionized baseball.

bibliotechnocrat Aug 29, 2016

Michael Lewis knocks it over the fence. Even though I'm not a fan of baseball, I found his descriptions of the arcane (and rather insane) practices of selecting potential players, and evaluating existing ones, to be interesting and amusing. Lewis writes well and presents a pretty powerful argument for evidence-based decision making. The personal story of Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt in the film) works well to shape the narrative, so it's not all baseball stats and oddities. I think The Blind Side might have been a bit better, but I really liked them both. Mr. Lewis, you have a new fan.

Nov 24, 2014

Excellent book. When the movie came out, I was not surprised that critics said it was not as good as the book.

Michael Lewis is a very good writer. In addition to Moneyball, I especially recommend his books Liar's Poker, and The Big Short.

Brandon97_ Jul 06, 2014

Moneyball explains why the Oakland A's, with a ridiculously low budget, was able to defeat other richer franchises by exploiting inefficiencies in the market. General manager Billy Beane and his assistant Paul DePodesta find undervalued baseball players to build a winning franchise. This was made possible through the introduction of Sabermetrics, the study of baseball statistics. A wonderful read, better with background baseball knowledge.

Jun 26, 2014

I found that having some baseball knowledge was useful and made the book more exciting to read.

May 04, 2014

Only an excessive drift between narrative and technical information drop my rating into one a full point higher.

The storytelling is marvellous, and makes me want to see the movie based upon the book again.

Dec 14, 2012

The author seeks to explain the previous success of Billy Beane's penny-pinching Oakland A's and how his success may continue when several key players depart for more financially beneficial pastures. With topics ranging from the creation of sabremetrics, behind the scenes looks at MLB, moral questions about the importance of money in relation to success, and Billy Beane recovering from the greatest mistake of his life, this book delivers the author's goal and so much more.

Aug 28, 2012

While there is a common misconception that this is a book by Billy Beane about his life, it is not. Instead it is about the struggle to find and implement new knowledge in a field where many have written off the notion. I guess Billy Beane was the only (amongst GM) who was willing to really dedicate himself to a this new system and so the book is very focused on him as a result.

Mar 16, 2012

This book is an insight into how in the Oakland A's, having comparably very little money to spend on their team in the early 2000's, ended up winning so many games. Baseball's financial inequality between the richest and poorest teams is the most disparate of all the major sports, and a team like the New York Yankees can use their sizable war chest of funds to purchase the best team possible. The Oakland A's, not having a hundred million to spend, needs to be more resourceful.

The A's general manager, Billy Beane, was purportedly the first to implement at the pro level a system of management derived almost entirely from statistical analysis alone. This appears to have begun out of financial necessity and eventually grew into a very efficient and somewhat controversial method for success.

The statistical analysis in Moneyball is putting to use the ongoing discussion going back for decades on how to break down the different outcomes of a play and assign them values. In theory, figure out which actions in a game produce the highest outcome towards the intended goal (wins) and focus on those the most.

The novel's charm, apart from its savvy business edge, is how Billy Beane's team uncovers the true talents of otherwise unknown college and minor league players.

Oct 26, 2011

I read this book because of the movie and also because I had heard about on a sports podcast that I listen to on a regular basis. The first book of Lewis' that I read was The Big Short and by the end of that one I was ready to finish it, as I felt that the subject was a tad dull and would never read another one of his books. Well, I caved. Overall I thought that it was a good read and that it had an interesting subject to talk about. But, there were times that I had to just slog through the book and read it at times. A bunch of the book flew over my head in terms of the statistics, but what was interesting to me was the history behind what would become Moneyball. I would recommend the book for those that like to read about the statistical analysis of professional athletes, especially baseball fans.

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Brandon97_ Jul 06, 2014

Brandon97_ thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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Brandon97_ Jul 06, 2014

"The pleasure of rooting for Goliath is that you can expect to win. The pleasure of rooting for David is that, while you don’t know what to expect, you stand at least a chance of being inspired."


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