I read this book really fast, and it was enjoyable to read the whole way through. I’ve never read a Michael Lewis book before, but I might consider reading more now. He has a simple, clean style that is really efficient at getting his story across, and he has an instinct for the best way to use his material. And he has some great underlying material here.
As he notes in the Afterword (which is really great, so if you’re going to read this book, make sure you track down a newer copy that has it included), he didn’t set out to write a book about the Oakland A’s with GM Billy Beane at its center, that’s just where the research took him. That’s where the answer to his initial question was centered, which was all about how the monetary inequalities between baseball teams affected economic efficiency. How could a team like the Oakland A’s, with a budget of only approximately $10M to spend on players salaries, hope to compete against say, the New York Yankees, who were shelling out closer to $130M? And yet they were!
What follows is a book that can basically be summed up, as the author puts it, “when reason collides with baseball”. It boggles my mind how stubborn and shortsighted humans can be. This book only reinforces my view that people who are capable of adaptation and change, of admitting they are wrong instead of blindly adhering to something just because “that’s the way it’s always been”, are extremely valuable in every aspect of life, not just running baseball teams.
Highly recommend this one.
Read Harder Challenge: A business book.
CBR Bingo: True Story