Even if you already saw and loved Moneyball this weekend, it’s still worth your time to read the book by author and financial journalist Michael Lewis. The movie does a great job constructing a narrative from what appears, on first glance, to be a somewhat un-cinematic story, but the source material drives home some of the thematic points in ways that the movie can’t. Reading the book after the movie doesn’t feel like a retread, but rather a closer look at Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt) and his Oakland A’s.
People who, like myself, hate baseball will be surprised by how much there is to enjoy in this book (see also: The Art of Fielding). Moneyball isn’t just about baseball; it’s about baseball statistics. On the surface, there’s no worse hell imaginable than having to stare at a page of player facts and figures (I just had to remind myself via Google what “RBI” stands for), but it’s a testament to Lewis’ reporting and writing that the chapter I found most riveting, even inspiring, was about Bill James, the Baseball Abstract author and statistician who inspired Beane’s seemingly counter-intuitive player recruiting philosophy. READ FULL STORY »