Moneyball Summary


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Originally published at: https://blog.12min.com/moneyball-summary/

The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

Are you a baseball fan? Do you want to know the secret of success in this sport, told through a gripping true story?

It sounds promising, doesn’t it?

Well, get ready to get trapped into the 2002 baseball draft’s hidden processes explained by Michael Lewis. Stay with us as we embark on this journey together.

Who Should Read "Moneyball"? and Why?

"Moneyball" is an unusual name for a book, but it can be easily understood by any baseball and basketball fan, with a smooth readability flow. Any sport, not just baseball enters into the process of Globalization.

The globalization carries benefits and new challenges with it that sports teams must embrace to increase their profits by improving their current and existing marketing campaigns.

Michael Lewis’s masterpiece is targeted for all sports readers.

It is pretty noticeable that Lewis especially marks baseball players, coaches, owners, and investors as his target group which is more likely to find Moneyball as a true and valuable piece of written material that would help them to expand their baseball knowledge to another level.

About Michael Monroe Lewis

Michael Monroe Lewis is a non-fiction writer and a renowned journalist born on October 15, 1960, at New Orleans, Louisiana.

He is the author of several best-selling books like Liar’s Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street, book based on one investment banker’s journey through life.

Moneyball also falls into this selected category of bestsellers. However, he also works for the New York Times Magazine as a contributing writer, for Bloomberg as a financial columnist and as a visiting lecturer at Berkeley.

"Moneyball Summary"

The draft is analyzed by Billy Beane-the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, his highly qualified staff and by Beane’s sometimes apathetic baseball scouts team.

Often described as baseball fanatic - Lewis moves gently and with caution, back and forward across fifteen decades of baseball history, inquiring different baseball adages, pro-players statistics, processes that occur during baseball drafts, the overall business, baseball’s current list of individuals and the methods throughout they all interact.

What can you expect from this book?

Moneyball” displays how different baseball and investment strategies can be perceived in the same organization, a friendly book that clarifies the game of baseball.

Lewis also introduces his readers to a million dollar lessons that can be found in it and about the incompetence of disorderly organized and sloppy data.

All injured and healthy athletes as well-known competitors are familiar with the fact the baseball sometimes represents a metaphor for business, what an exciting theory that is apparently true!

You’ve probably figured it out by now that “Moneyball” is an intriguing book for every baseball fan, player, beginners or pro coach.

Even if you are not enthusiastic about baseball, out of sheer logic, you probably assume that younger, and energetic players fit into the frame of a perfect athlete. It’s not an enlightening fact, but an unquestionable truth.

Scouts from the first time they laid their eyes on Billy Beane, sensed talent and spirit of a real competitor. A future hall of fame, and All-Star performer for sure.

Later in his career, Beane regretted his decision to sign a pro-contract instead of going to Stanford on a scholarship. As a general manager of Oakland Athletics, he is aware that he should have gone to college.

Billy silenced the critics, by proving that the best athletes are not always in the spotlight, and other skills may come to the fore in such circumstances.

It’s also important to mention that in those days, the war between analysts and managers took an unexpected turn, as they were accusing one another of lacking the competence to comment on baseball.

Blah, Blah, Blah - let’s get started:

Investors and owners know that Baseball is a unique business where the management has succeeded and broadcasted a whole new belief system that enforced the baseball teams to spend too much of their salary cap on employees that are renowned for their incompetence to accomplish strategic goals:

Help the team to win matches and eventually championships.

What “Moneyball” makes of all this?

Well, in this book Lewis advised baseball managers and scouts how to assess the recruits and chose the best possible draft option that corresponds to the profile of particular type player that they’re looking for.

It’s not always about player’s speed, endurance, stamina, ability with the ball, its body shape, sometimes what counts the most is his understanding of the game, reading in-game situations and making smart decisions.

Key Lessons from "Moneyball"

  1. The inefficiency of Sloppy data
  2. Understand the phrase- No Play, No Error
  3. Unfair Offer

The inefficiency of Sloppy Data

James and several other former baseball players after their long and exhausting careers declared alongside with James that they were not satisfied with the way that the game of baseball kept their yearly statistics.

There weren’t enough useful and valuable information for those eager to understand the cause for their teams’ good or poor performances.

Two decades later, Wall Street Journal’s computer experts including Ken Mauriello together with Jack Armbruster decided to challenge and tried to resolve the complexities of financial markets that the game of baseball was facing, especially derivatives that were exposed to the same issue.

Understand the phrase No Play, No Error

Baseball has two pillars and those pillars are the well-known "hits" and "errors".

This baseball foundation motivated James to challenge that particular rulebook and simplify the game of baseball. For example, does the name Albert Belle ring any bells?

The passive and powerful hitter, playing at the left field.

Have you heard about his all-around magnificent baseball story that serves as an example that Belle hasn’t been given any error because he moves slow, he doesn’t even try to catch the ball on the fly, and on the other hand eliminating the chance for a play at home?

That leads us to a conclusion - No play, no error.

Unfair Offer

In the late 20th century, when Billy Beane played for Oakland Athletics’ as a fifth outfielder, at a given point in his career he felt like the time has come to face a new challenge and so he became a scout.

Billy’s physical strength and endurance were known throughout the entire baseball world, where they all shared one common opinion that Billy would soon be a part baseball history and greatness.

Nevertheless, no one expected that Billy would just walk out of that field and his dreams to get a well-paid office job, but that is exactly what it happened.

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"Moneyball" Quotes

[bctt tweet="The pleasure of rooting for Goliath is that you can expect to win. The pleasure of rooting for David is that, while you don’t know what to expect, you stand at least a chance of being inspired." username="getnuggetapp"]

[bctt tweet=“Managers tend to pick a strategy that is the least likely to fail, rather than to pick a strategy that is most efficient,” Said Palmer. " The pain of looking bad is worse than the gain of making the best move." username=“getnuggetapp”]

[bctt tweet=“People in both fields operate with beliefs and biases. To the extent you can eliminate both and replace them with data, you gain a clear advantage.” username=“getnuggetapp”]

[bctt tweet=“That’s what happens when you’re thirty-seven years old: you do the things you always did but the result is somehow different.” username=“getnuggetapp”]

[bctt tweet=“If you challenge conventional wisdom, you will find ways to do things much better than they are currently done.” username=“getnuggetapp”]

Our Critical Review

Michael Lewis has a great writing style with which he can explain complex insider ideas to people not acquainted with specific topics, and even make it entertaining for them. However, at times, his writing style seems more technical, and thus his book feels more like a non-fiction than a biography.

However, for those who love and appreciate the game of baseball, its numbers, player’s box score, all around statistics, would find “Moneyball” a life-changing experience, because at the end of the day a simple baseball game can put a smile on your face.