Moneyball : The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
by Lewis, Michael

Chapter One The Curse of Talent3(11)
Chapter Two How to Find a Ballplayer14(29)
Chapter Three The Enlightenment43(21)
Chapter Four Field of Ignorance64(33)
Chapter Five The Jeremy Brown Blue Plate Special97(22)
Chapter Six The Science of Winning an Unfair Game119(19)
Chapter Seven Giambi's Hole138(24)
Chapter Eight Scott Hatteberg, Pickin' Machine162(26)
Chapter Nine The Trading Desk188(29)
Chapter Ten Anatomy of an Undervalued Pitcher217(27)
Chapter Eleven The Human Element244(19)
Chapter Twelve The Speed of the Idea263(18)
Epilogue: The Badger281(6)
Afterword: Inside Baseball's Religious War287(16)

Explains how Billie Beene, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, put into play a new kind of thinking and ball playing-a compilation of statistics, locker room knowledge and players rethinking what they know about playing baseball-demonstrating how success can be obtained without spending enormous sums of money. Reissue. Movie tie-in. Includes new afterword. A best-selling book.

Unlike professional football and basketball, Major League Baseball has no cap on the amount of money a team can spend on its players, which makes it nearly impossible for "small market" clubs to compete with the behemoths in Gotham and L.A. On the other hand, as Lewis shows us in his engaging saga of the Oakland Athletics, there are always ways to win on the cheap. The hero of Lewis' tale is Oakland General Manager Billy Beane, a bust as a player but a deft judge of talent. Lewis was granted what appears to be unlimited access-he often found himself in the Oakland executive offices when a big trade was going down-and his book reads like it. He also does a wonderful job of picking the brains and explaining the motives of the baseball statistics geeks who are helping redefine the way the game will be played in the twenty-first century. With so many baseball books to choose from, it is difficult to single out a few as must-haves, but this one comes pretty close. ((Reviewed June 1 & 15, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

A solid piece of iconoclasm: the intriguing tale of Major League baseball's oddfellows-the low-budget but winning Oakland Athletics.Here's the gist, that baseball, from field strategy to player selection, is "better conducted by scientific investigation-hypotheses tested by analysis of historical baseball data-than be reference to the collective wisdom of old baseball men." Not some dry, numbing manipulation of figures, but an inventive examination of statistics, numbers that reveal what the eye refuses to see, thanks to ingrained prejudices. As in most of Lewis's work (The New New Thing, 1999, etc.), a keen intellect is at work, a spry writing style, a facility to communicate the meaning of numbers, an infectious excitement, and a healthy disdain for the aura and power of big bucks. Such is the situation here: The Oakland A's have a budget that would hardly cover the Yankee's chewing tobacco. Their General Manager, Billy Beane, and his band of Harvard-educated assistants, are the heirs of Bill James (of whom there is an excellent portrait here). They creatively use stats to discover unsung talent-gems not so much in the rough as invisible to the overburden of received wisdom-a guy who will get on base despite being shaped like a pear or control the strike zone even if his fastball can't get out of third gear, measuring the measurables to garner fine talent at basement prices. At least for a few seasons, until the talent's worth is common knowledge and off they go to clubs who can pay them millions. And the A's win, and win and win, not yet to a Series victory, but edging closer. The story clicks along with steady momentum, and possesses excellent revelatory powers. There's a method to the madness of the Beane staff, and Lewis incisively explains its inspired, heretical common sense.Has Lewis spilled Beane's beans? Maybe so, but considering the mulish dispositions of baseball's scouts and front offices, they'll miss the boat again.First serial to the New York Times Magazine; author tour Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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