Why Is Everyone Talking About Moneyball?


Moneyball is a book authored by Michael Lewis and published in 2003. It mentions facts and circumstances surrounding Billy Beane the General Manager of the Athletics and the Oakland Athletics baseball team. The main idea revolving around Moneyball is unique. It talks about the effort and approach adopted by the management towards building a competitive team despite Oakland’s small budget. There is also a film based on this book starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.

Why Is Everyone Talking About Moneyball?
Why Is Everyone Talking About Moneyball?

About Moneyball

The primary argument of the book Moneyball is that the collective approach of the baseball society is has been often faulty over the years. It includes its players, managers, coaches, front office, and scouts. Statistics like runs batted in, stolen bases, batting average have become obsolete over the years. These were the traditional tools used to measure the efficiency of a player. Before the introduction of sabermetrics into baseball, teams generally relied on the expertise of their scouts to hunt and assess players. The scouts have been players and coaches themselves and hold much more experience in the sports. Moneyball argues that Oakland A’s’ front office took advantage of more reliable and analytical measurements of their player’s performance. By doing so they built a team that was far more efficient than their other richer counterparts in the MLB.

The Belief Of The Book

The indicators of offensive success were better driven through the on-base and slugging percentages. Based on these facts, the A’s’ realized that it was cheaper to get these talents easily from the pool of players. It was better than to seek the quality of speed and contact. The observations in Moneyball were a direct contradiction of the usual perception and belief of conventional baseball. The restructuring of their strategy based on these revolutionary facts and figures worked miracles for them.  The Oakland Athletics with an approximate salary of $44 million was far more competitive than their other counterparts.  Franchisees like the New York Yankees spent almost $125 million in salary that season.

It’s Stand On Sabermetrics

As per the argument of the Sabermetricians, a college baseball player stands a chance of a higher success rate in MLB than a high school draft pick. Beane in Moneyball is also of the opinion that the high draft picks may have the talent and physical abilities are still not the correct choice over the polished college players. In the book he also cities few cases of futile high draft picks that one should avoid. The book goes at length to describe Beane’s tense planning in preparation for the draft to the actual draft. His scouting staff had a firm belief in the traditional measurement system rather than objective Sabermetrics. It describes Beane’s out of the box efforts and plannings that defied all expectations.

Why Is Everyone Talking About Moneyball?
Why Is Everyone Talking About Moneyball?

It’s Impact On Baseball

The impact of Moneyball on modern-day baseball has been immense.  Most of the teams and baseball experts in particular scouts and media members are displaying serious reliance on Sabermetrics rather than the traditional methods. Playing ‘Moneyball’ is a term used for a team who follow Sabermetrics. It has been a source of influence for several other professional sports teams. Franchisees’ like the European Club Association Football and many more are adopting similar methods. There has been a wave of positive as well as the critical view on the objectives of this book.

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