Re-reading “Moneyball” 10 years later

From Athletics Nation on July 11, 2013, with mention of longtime SABR member Doug Pappas:

Ten years after reading the book the first time, I read “Moneyball” again.

There’s a certain dread that goes along with re-reading one of my favorite books. Would it hold up? How have my perceptions of it held up? Is it a misunderstood classic, or just an overrated glorification of Billy Beane?


[Michael] Lewis is not a baseball guy, or even a sports guy. He’s a finance guy who knows how to tell his story to people who may not care about baseball. My wife, for instance. “Moneyball” is the only sports book my wife has ever read. She is a VP of Marketing who doesn’t know an RBI from a rutabaga. If “Moneyball” were about hitting techniques, or taking walks, or anything too basebally, she would have dropped the book in a New York minute. But she knew instantly what “Moneyball” was all about, and she was fascinated. She fights the same battle the A’s do every day: finding the overlooked value in the marketplace and the undiscovered advantage over her better-funded competition.

So, what is “Moneyball” all about? What did I find re-reading the source material and sorting through the confusion of the book, the movie, the concept, the controversy, and the passage of time? I rediscovered one helluva book.

I had forgotten the complete title of the book, “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.” For all the discussion in the book of science, mathematics, and statistical analysis, Lewis chose not to call it “The Science of Winning an Unfair Game.” I had missed that subtlety the first time around. One of the smaller lessons I sensed from the book was this: determining the problem requires science, but solving the problem requires art.

Read the full article here:

Related link: Commentary and critiques of the new “Moneyball” movie (September 23, 2011)

Originally published: July 11, 2013. Last Updated: July 11, 2013.