18. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, NonFiction, Robin

Moneyball by Michael Lewis, 317 pages, read by Robin, on 01/02/2012

MoneyballI listened to this book instead of actually reading it, and I think that was probably a good idea. The book is about Billy Beane, a former baseball player who became the General Manager of the Oakland A’s baseball team. The A’s were the worst-funded team in baseball – they had no money to buy good players, but Billy (and his assistant, an ivy-league trained economist) decided to use a different method to pick players. Instead of going with players that looked good to the scouts, they used a computer program to analyze players that were actually going to be able to get on base – regardless of how they looked to the “traditional” scouting teams.
The idea was a success – the first year they put the method in practice, the A’s broke their league’s winning streak record, winning 20 games in a row and got to the World Series – though they didn’t win it. The book goes into detail about the method they used and can get a little dry with the math and statistics, but the reader for this audiobook did a good job of making even the stats sections accessible.
The book is more about math and statistics than baseball, but of course there is a lot of information about players and teams and games included in the narrative as well. I enjoyed this book, even through the somewhat dry parts when math and statistics were being discussed at length – this is a book that can appeal to both math nerds and baseball fans!

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