Author: Michael Lewis
Publication Date: March 17, 2004
Summary: Billy Beane, general manager of MLB's Oakland A's and protagonist of Michael Lewis's Moneyball, had a problem: how to win in the Major Leagues with a budget that's smaller than that of nearly every other team. Conventional wisdom long held that big name, highly athletic hitters and young pitchers with rocket arms were the ticket to success. But Beane and his staff, buoyed by massive amounts of carefully interpreted statistical data, believed that wins could be had by more affordable methods such as hitters with high on-base percentage and pitchers who get lots of ground outs. Given this information and a tight budget, Beane defied tradition and his own scouting department to build winning teams of young affordable players and inexpensive castoff veterans.
I am honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I watched the movie around this time last year with my AP Statistics students and thought it was OK. This year, now that the exam is over and we have lots of time left before the end of the school year, I decided to see if I could create some lessons with this book.
Not only does this book lend itself to being incorporated into AP Statistics, but it is interesting, compelling, and powerful. There are themes about being yourself, being a leader, thinking outside the box, and making the best of your situation. There is an interesting and inspiring conversation about the mathematics involved with baseball that fills the reader in without being too technical or boring. I am by no means a sports fan, but I found myself invested in Billy and the A's.
While I read this book through the lens of a teacher looking to incorporate it into my classroom, I feel like it has taught me that I can enjoy books that are nonfiction and outside of my normal genres. I enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it.