packbat: Headshot looking serious and superimposed on the Gettysburg Address. (gettysburg)
[personal profile] packbat
I wish this was a proper review, but the book came out a good seven years ago - long enough for this to be awfully old news regardless.

I. Love. Moneyball.

I would say this, if I were cynical and funny: Moneyball is, ironically enough, a story about how storytelling is deceptive. But it's not true. There is a hint of that feeling when I read it - the story is such a good story that I'd want to believe it if the entire book was lies from cover to cover, and the book does warn against dreaming and making up expectations based on merely what you see - but I would do Michael Lewis an injustice if I said that. The man worked his butt off getting it right, and that dedication shows.

What is the material? Well, Moneyball is, perhaps, the perfect underdog story: a story about a baseball team (the Oakland Athletics) with a financial payroll tinier than almost any other in a sport where the richest teams spend many multiples more than the poorest ... that sets out to win, with a determination and intelligence that is an inspiration to behold. Moneyball is also a layman's introduction to that intelligence which, long ignored by the very people who would most benefit from it, finally found its instantiation in the Oakland A's: sabermetrics. And Moneyball is a story of this intelligence on this team reaching out to rescue an oddball collection of underrated players and give them the chance to give a bloody eye to the entire baseball establishment that didn't see how good they were.

And it's a story of how such a thing should ever happen - how mistakes were made and perpetuated and compounded upon, and how the visions found when that fog of confusion was pierced could take so long and strange a journey to where they deserved to play out: on the diamond.

It's a business book, a sociology lesson, a baseball story, and a hell of a good read. A nearer approach to perfection in nonfiction is rarely seen.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-01 02:03 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
good review! --- I share your liking of the book --- see my comments on http://zhurnaly.com/MoneyBall (2004-06-07) ... ^z

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packbat

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