I'm a big Michael Lewis. His writing style is such that he can humanize a lot of topics that I feel the majority of the public has a hard time understanding. That being said, his books always leave me feeling a little wanting as to make these topics accessible he'll often simplify the details/history of a subject for the sake of easy readability.
Moneyball is no different from his standard works other than its' subject matter (Major League baseball). As a long time baseball and sabermetrics geek I was left a bit disappointed by Lewis's take on the matter, but I think Lewis probably made the right choices for mass market appeal.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the way Lewis showed us inside the lives of these A's teams. But I disagree with his faith in sabermetrics. And I think we've seen since the publication of Moneyball that you still need physically gifted talent to actually win in the postseason. It's no accident that the Red Sox won two world series and the A's went to none. Both used sabermetrics, but the Red Sox also acquired elite athletes (and apparently acquired juicers)
Now I love baseball stats as much as the next guy and think they are far more telling than the crusty old-timers will try to tell you, but the A's under Beane over rely on them if you ask me.There's too much in baseball that's qualitative to leave all your decisions to stats.
mainly because baseball is a mental game. And the game is truly won in the mind.
yes a left handed reliever with a hard slider for the home team might get left handed hitters out 82.6% of the time in May the day after a long road trip, but what matters just as much or more is the mental battle between that individual pitcher and each batter he faces. Stats aren't going to tell you why Chuck Knobloch and Steve Sax suddenly can't throw to first base anymore. Or Why Eric Show got hooked on speedballs. Or why Dave Dravecky's arm basically fell off. Or why Mark Wohlers lost his ability to throw strikes.
but they will tell you a lot and the newer stats like WHIP are ushering in an exciting era in baseball stats that give us better ways to more completely measure performance than ever.
Still MoneyBall I think will be looked upon ten years from now as a window in time book analyzing a fad, not one that revolutionized baseball.
Solid entertaining read. I recommend it despite my nitpicking.
This review is the subjective opinion of an Investimonials member and not of Investimonials LLC
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