Statistics are certainly useful but can be manipulated, especially when taken out of context. A mayor might tout his or her success by saying that the number of violent crimes in the city was down 10 percent in the past year. But what if, in the first few years of the mayor's term, violent crimes rose 30 percent, compared to the period before he or she took office?
Synopsis[ edit ] The central premise of Moneyball is that the collective wisdom of baseball insiders including players, managers, coaches, scouts, and the front office over the past century is subjective and often flawed. Statistics such as stolen basesruns batted inand batting averagetypically used to gauge players, are relics of a 19th-century view of the game and the statistics available at that time.
Before sabermetrics was introduced to baseball, teams were dependent on the skills of their scouts to find and evaluate players. Scouts are experienced in the sport, usually having been players or coaches. Rigorous statistical analysis had demonstrated that on-base percentage and slugging percentage are better indicators of offensive success, and the A's became convinced that these qualities were cheaper to obtain on the open market than more historically valued qualities such as speed and contact.
These observations often flew in the face of conventional baseball wisdom and the beliefs of many baseball scouts and executives. Because of its smaller budget, Oakland had to find players undervalued by the market, and their system has proven itself thus far.
The approach brought the A's to the playoffs in and Lewis explored several themes in the book, such as insiders vs. The book also touches on Oakland's underlying economic need to stay ahead of the curve; as other teams begin mirroring Beane's strategies to evaluate offensive talent, diminishing the Athletics' advantage, Oakland begins looking for other undervalued baseball skills, such as defensive capabilities.
Distribution of team salaries in Moneyball also touches on the A's' methods of prospect selection. Sabermetricians argue that a college baseball player's chance of MLB success is much higher than a traditional high school draft pick. Beane maintains that high draft picks spent on high school prospects, regardless of talent or physical potential as evaluated by traditional scouting, are riskier than those spent on more polished college players.
Lewis cites A's minor leaguer Jeremy Bondermandrafted out of high school in over Beane's objections, as an example of the type of draft pick Beane would avoid.
Bonderman had all of the traditional "tools" that scouts look for, but thousands of such players have been signed by MLB organizations out of high school over the years and failed to develop. Lewis explores the A's approach to the MLB draftwhen the team had a run of early picks.
The book documents Beane's often tense discussions with his scouting staff who favored traditional subjective evaluation of potential rather than objective sabermetrics in preparation for the draft to the actual draft, which defied all expectations and was considered at the time a wildly successful if unorthodox effort by Beane.
Moneyball traces the history of the sabermetric movement back to such people as Bill James now a member of the Boston Red Sox front office and Craig R. Lewis explores how James's seminal Baseball Abstractpublished annually from the late s through the late s, influenced many of the young, up-and-coming baseball minds that are now joining the ranks of baseball management.
Nevertheless, Moneyball changed the way many major league front offices do business. When the Mets hired Sandy Alderson — Beane's predecessor and mentor with the A's — as their general manager after the season, and hired Beane's former associates Paul DePodesta and J.
Ricciardi to the front office, the team was jokingly referred to as the "Moneyball Mets". Lewis has acknowledged that the book's success may have hurt the Athletics' fortunes as other teams accepted sabermetrics, reducing Oakland's edge.
Since the book's publication and success, Lewis has discussed plans for a sequel to Moneyball called Underdogs, revisiting the players and their relative success several years into their careers, although only four players from the draft played much at the Major League level.
People discussed in the book[ edit ] Moneyball also covers the lives and careers of several baseball personalities. The central one is Billy Beanewhose failed playing career is contrasted with wildly optimistic predictions by scouts.
Players and people discussed in Moneyball: Oakland farm system[ edit ] Nick Swisherthe prospect the traditional scouts and statisticians agreed upon.Billy Beane: Who is he?
What is Moneyball? Why Barnsley? What’s his net worth? BARNSLEY set tongues wagging earlier this week when it was announced that a . Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.
Moneyball is the best business book Lewis has written. It may be the best business book anyone has written.” Mark Gerson - Weekly Standard. By playing Boswell to Beane's Samuel Johnson, Lewis has given us one of the most enjoyable baseball books in years.
America's pastime has returned to the big screen and it is more witty and elegant than ever. Moneyball is the inspiring story of the Oakland A's, a team that was all but bankrupt but managed to beat the odds through intelligence and perseverance.
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This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of Moneyball by Michael Lewis. Moneyball is a narrative with a powerful, universal theme: the perseverance of the underdog.
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Sabermetrics, the search for objective knowledge about baseball through statistical analysis, has taken over the national pastime. The authors argue that this approach began as a useful corrective but has .