Moneyball by Michael Lewis is about how one man leads a run down, not great baseball team to a world series championship all based on different baseball stats and how he picked and traded different players to get the perfect team. Throughout each of the chapters the main character Billy Beane talks about different players with different weakness and strengths in not only the overall game but in their stats. He also brings them onto his team and by doing this he creates the perfect team through statistics. In several chapters, the author writes in a viewpoint of being on the team. He is viewed as a spectator while watching Billy create the perfect team to win the world series. The author not only teaches the readers about different concepts of statistics and other important information, the author and Billy teach the readers valuable life lessons and most importantly about the value of self-evaluation and how we always have to take time to self-evaluate. The author provides multiple aspects of assessment and self-evaluation throughout the book, making the reading easier to relate to through the reader's eyes.
The overall purpose of the book was to demonstrate how there are ways to winning an unfair game and this can be provided through the importance of self-evaluation and the use of statistics that makes the game of baseball a little easier to understand in general. This book provides concepts on how to handle the unexpected of certain situations and how self-evaluation in the present moment can help calm down the situation. The message of this book is to provide the reader with more advanced concept of stats and how they can be applied to the real world in real life situation such as world series game, but also how self-evaluation is important when applying the use of statistics in the real world.
One part of the book I really enjoyed was all the different players stories that were being drafted into this team of misfits. The author provided background on all these players that were less than valuable, but Billy saw something more in not only their ability to play but the bigger picture as well. Having these types of examples throughout the chapters really provided a strong backbone for the book. The author was providing how the team was doing not only through one set of lens; but through the ability of the players and how the statistics of one player says a lot about the player in general. By providing this background of each of the players abilities, stats and what they were bringing to the team really helped the reader understand how the world of statistics is in almost everything and can be used to help win a game. Having this background information in general helps the reader understand how statistics can be used in general to determine anything.
Another strength of the book that I found personally interesting was how the book was being told from someone on the inside. There were multiple points in the book where it was talking about Billy’s role in the whole entire thing and how his story was the first story that was told to help the reader understand what the author wanted out this book. Having the first initial story of Billy and his role in the team from being a player on the team to going to general manager of the team and working his magic behind the curtain to help create the strongest team that would lead the team to victory. Having this viewpoint throughout the chapters was helpful. The beginning of book jumps from Billy Beane to other characters and having their stories integrated throughout the chapters. Another aspect of this strength was how well the author incorporated the role of Billy who was a major character in the book. The author was able to show how Billy was a key player while being behind the scenes through these events. When the author did this, it provides the spotlight needed on Billy because he was telling his story of this winning team through the statics of the team and the players and how they all come together to win the game.
One last strength of the book would be how each chapter provides a different concept into how each position works on the team and how Billy uses that advantage to search for the stats that equipped the team with the best player for that position even if their ability isn’t stellar. Having each of the chapters focus on a different position and how each position has different meaning behind the statistics that was being used to describe how well the player was doing. Having this description really provided a lot of detail to the book because it provided more information on how the players interacted with each other instead of just making the book about baseball stats altogether. This brought additional light into the book and it made the book easier to read because there were some interesting stories about how the players got where they are now.
This also provided some humor to the book because out of most of the players that Billy choose there were some players who just thought they were chosen to bring the team down because they felt that they didn’t have the talent even though they did.
One weakness of the book would be how dry some of the material was. There were some chapters that were hard to get through because there was so much information either provided on one individual player or multiple players and some of this information was hard for the reader to understand in general. Having so much information in one section of book made the material harder to understand because the authors viewpoints would become mixed with the information and hard to understand in general. Another part of this weakness would be how there was some material provided in the book that was only touched on for a few minutes and then never talked about again. The author had made it disappear from the book entirely. The material towards the end of the book began to run together and became hard to understand because there was so much material to digest in one page of the book.
Overall my feelings toward the book were good, this book was a little long on some of the topics, but it provides a lot of useful information for someone who is interested in winning sports based on statistics of players and who is interested in learning how statistics can be applied to the world of sports. Especially if someone wants to be a coach.