Saturday, January 19, 2013

Moneyball by Michael Lewis

I finished up the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis. It was good. I learned of the book from the movie. I haven't seen the movie.

The book is the story of the 2002 Oakland A's. A small budget team damaged by the loss of key players after 2001, general manager Billy Beane tries to find effective low cost replacements. The book is the story of how Billy and assistant GM Paul DePodesta find overlooked and undervalued players in other teams. Billy and Paul are very data driven, leaning on the writings of the likes of Bill James. They come to the conclusion that getting on base is good, getting out is bad (hence their discarding of base stealing and bunting), defence and speed are overrated (or at least overpriced). The author writes nice notes on the players they find, a washed up catcher who could hit converted to first basemen, a submarine pitcher with 84 mph fastball the white sox wouldn't call up despite mowing down AAA batters for 2 years.

It was a really good book, definitely worth reading.

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