Moneyball is a quest for something as elusive as the Holy Grail, something that money apparently can't buy: the secret of success in baseball. The logical places to look would be the giant offices of major league teams and the dugouts. But the real jackpot is a cache of numbers collected over the years by a strange brotherhood of amateur baseball enthusiasts: software engineers, statisticians, Wall Street analysts, lawyers, and physics professors.
In a narrative full of fabulous characters and brilliant excursions into the unexpected, Lewis shows us how and why the new baseball knowledge works. He also sets up a sly and hilarious morality tale: Big Money, like Goliath, is always supposed to win.... How can we not cheer for David?
©2004 Michael Lewis (P)2012 Audible Ltd
"Lewis has hit another one out of the park... You need know absolutely nothing about baseball to appreciate the wit, snap, economy and incisiveness of [Lewis'] thoughts about it." (The New York Times)
"I understood about one in four words of Moneybal, and it's still the best and most engrossing sports book I've read for years. If you know anyting about baseball, you will enjoy it four times as much as I did, which means that you might explode." (Nick Hornby)
"Engaging, informative and deliciously contrarian." (Washington Post)
This book has been much referenced in UK sports in recent years - especially football - and you can see why, even if the major Premier League teams show few signs of heeding the lessons. The sheer weight of baseball statistics can be a bit heavy at times for us Brits, but it's a fascinating story of applying intelligent and analytical thinking to the task of building a sports team. The descriptions of groupthink and received-wisdoms in the baseball management and scouting community are funny and insightful, and no doubt have parallels in our sports. If you're a sports fan, I recommend it, but if you don't like sport, don't spend your money on this - however much you liked Brad Pitt in the movie.
Surprisingly-good, great-as-always, it-doesn't-matter-it's-baseball
The manager (can't remember his name Billy something)
I came to this as a Lewis fan with an interest in finance. Having listened to most of his work I had avoided this due to the fact that it's baseball. I finally listened after Seth Klarman recommended it (as a finance book but he is a big baseball fan). I still don't rate baseball but nonetheless the listen was great.
It made statistics interesting, I always looked forward to listening in the car!
The stories around each player the book examines and the evolving story of Billy Beane and Paul DePodesta were enjoyable. At times, the author seemed to go on a bit to make a point but this was a small issue, and did not really detract from the quality of the listening experience.
Scott Brick was a very good narrator, making me laugh at several points with his Billy Beane speech. Brick is one of the highlights of this audiobook, I will look to download more titles with him as narrator in the future.
None particularly, but as mentioned above, I was flabbergasted that I was finding something like stats exciting to listen to.
In the car I listen to memoirs or books about business. Recently I've started listening to books about running while running - also fun.
I really like Michael Lewis' writing. He has the ability to explain complex theories and strategies in simple engaging language. He turns real people and events into brilliant storylines which are enlightening and often fascinating. This book is no exception.
That said, I don't think I found baseball as engrossing a topic as those covered elsewhere by Lewis. People are correct that this book is not simply about baseball but clearly it has baseball at its heart.
If I was a baseball fan I would have given this 5 stars. My 4 star review is not really a fair reflection on the quality of writing, the quality of insight or the quality of the reading or production of this book - on all of those levels I found it excellent.
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