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  #1  
Old 08-26-2004, 01:34 AM
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Moneyball is a great book

If you have any interest in baseball, the use of statistics, the difficulties in challenging the status quo, or the opportunities presented by market inefficiencies, read Moneyball by Michael Lewis. It is the story of Billy Bean, General Manager of the Oakland A's, and how his team consistently has a low payroll and a high winning percentage.

Moneyball is my new second favorite book, right after A Confederacy of Dunces, which I believe to be the perfect book.

The evidence of Moneyball's greatness includes the anger it has generated among the members of the baseball establishment. Baseball is the best game there is, but the people who run it at the highest levels have got to be the most pretentious, narrow-minded bunch of knuckleheads of any major sport.

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Old 08-26-2004, 01:45 AM
Orkrist
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I'm not remotely into sports, but if its about group management and anywhere near as good as Confederacy, I might check it out. I like reading about the management of people and how to motivate/energize them.
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Old 08-26-2004, 02:58 AM
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Hmmm, Billy Bean vs. Ignatius Reilly. That could be tough. BTW, Bean's former assistants/disciples have scattered throughout the majors, including the Red Sox and the Dodgers. Let's see if they can produce the same kind of results with huge budgets that Bean did with small ones. Also, it could be like a stock/commodity system, where you can make a lot of money if you have an edge, but once the edge is identified and widely known, it's advantage dissipates. Moneyball was probably great for Bean's ego, but it may not have been the best thing for his career.
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Old 08-26-2004, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orkrist
I'm not remotely into sports, but if its about group management and anywhere near as good as Confederacy, I might check it out. I like reading about the management of people and how to motivate/energize them.
Moneyball is more about how to evaluate talent and predict future performance, which is how the A's achieve Yankees level success on a Brewers level payroll. It's about finding bargains by identifying inefficencies in the market. It is also about not allowing yourself to be handcuffed by conventional "wisdom".
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Old 08-26-2004, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by PC Dave
...Moneyball was probably great for Bean's ego, but it may not have been the best thing for his career.
I agree. As I read the book I wondered why Bean and his people were so cooperative with the author. The afterword to the book makes it sound like Bean didn't know that the book was going to focus on him so much. The afterword was written after the hardcover edition came out. It talks about the reaction the book got from the baseball establishment. Apparently some baseball big shots don't like Bean and accused him of getting the book written to boost his ego. I can't say I know their side of the story, but their comments seem disrespectful of the author. I suppose Bean is an ego maniac, but so what? He is also highly successful and worthy of respect.

The afterword really slams Joe Morgan who had some ugly comments about Bean and the book. I like Joe Morgan, so I was sorry to see that.

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