June 14, 2007
I finished a book! Always a big deal around these parts. As you know, I’m not a reader. I’m going to try and keep pace with finishing a book around the same time as each no-hitter this season.
I read Moneyball by Michael Lewis. Took less than a month. That should be an indication of how much I liked it.
I know the book has been out for a few years. Its been on my self for almost that long. After I finished my last book the next one I had planned to read, Can I Keep My Jersey? had not yet arrived. So I decided to pick up Moneyball. As soon as I started it I was hooked.
I’ve been a fan of the A’s because of the way they run their team. Not spending a lot but winning every year. I follow a team that spends quite a bit and hasn’t been to the playoffs in 14 years. The A’s always seem to be able to restock with talent they’ve grown themselves. It isn’t all that complicated to see how they’ve done it.
I’m also a fan of statistical analysis. I’ve always kept a close eye on stats. When I was little I would beg for any stat book I saw, especially Bill James. I was always behind on them because I had to wait until the next year when they only cost $1.
The book does a great job of giving you an in-depth look at Billy Beane (the A’s GM) and a couple of the key players. He takes a look at each part of the game and how they are judged completely wrong. It doesn’t take a genius to realize there is more than batting average and that RBIs are a meaningless stat.
The amazing thing is how this all makes complete sense, yet its still so over looked in baseball. If you are running a baseball team everything that is in this book should have already been figured out on your own. Apparently even after reading it people still haven’t been convinced.
This all goes a long way to explain why the Phillies are run so poorly. Our drafting is pretty terrible, we make bad signings, and make poor decisions during games. Its not surprising that Pat Gillick is even mentioned at the end of the book because he said he refused to ever read it. Not really a surprise.
If you haven’t read Moneyball yet and are a baseball fan then I’m guessing you are like me. You heard about the book but you didn’t bother to read it. You heard the general concept and figured that was all you needed to know. You were going to read it but then realized it was a book and you don’t read books. I say go ahead and read it. It didn’t hurt me one bit. In fact, I wanted to keep reading it.
Now its on to Can I Keep My Jersey? I actually already started it, Paul Shirley is pretty great.