Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game Book Review
Moneyball Book Review
“Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game”, written by Michael Lewis, tells the story of Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball organization’s implementation of new and risky strategies in order to become a better baseball team. While many professionals have doubts about the strategies, Beane takes charge in hopes that they will win the organization a championship.
Lewis starts the book in 2002, where after many losing seasons for the Oakland Athletics, General Manager Billy Beane and others in the organization realize that something needs to change for the team if they want to be able to compete with other organizations that have substantial amounts of capital for the contracts of high performing players. Beane understands that he and the Oakland Athletics organization will not be able to compete with other teams by buying star players, and that he must come up with an advanced and innovative strategy that will allow his team to be successful. After much thought and analyzation, Beane fell upon the idea of using sabermetrics as a new management strategy for his team. The book defines sabermetrics, which is also called “moneyball”, as “a strategy in which a manager crunches copious amounts of data in an effort to build a stronger team without overpaying for certain players (Lewis, 2003). Beane was first exposed to this idea while working with then, Oakland Athletics General Manager Sandy Alderson. Although this practice was not nearly 100% proven to work and there would be a large amount of risk to be assumed, after doing more research into this strategy and analyzing the current state of his team, Beane decided it was the best option for the team to pursue this strategy. The book explains how Beane used this “moneyball” strategy in an effort to build a winning team for as little money as possible. Beane attempted to do this by buying “misfit” players who were undervalued because of their baseball mechanics, behavior, and other factors, but had a high potential to succeed (Lewis, 2003). Although many were against Beane and his decision to go with this strategy because of the high risk factor, Beane stuck with his guns and put all of his energy into the countless hours of data crunching and analysis to form the best team possible with the resources that the Oakland Athletics had at hand. As the season went on, the team began to see success where they hadn’t in many years. The wins kept rolling in for the team, and the doubts that were hanging overhead began to disappear. As the season went on, the team found their way into the playoffs against the Minnesota Twins, but eventually fell to them in five games. Although Beane didn’t accomplish the team goal of winning a World Series, he drastically turned the team around with his moneyball strategy.
Finding One: Good leaders stick...