I’ve meant to read this since the day it came out both because I follow baseball and because I’ve liked other books by Michael Lewis, but never got around to it, because I didn’t think it was worth buying. But I finally saw it in my local branch library yesterday, so I picked it up.
It was a quick read, obviously. Nothing too surprising to me – it’s the story of Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland A’s, and the ways he helped develop to exploit market inefficiencies in baseball to keep the A’s competitive despite having one of the lowest budgets in the major leagues. Lewis spends a lot of time describing sabermetrics, but since I’ve been reading Rob Neyer over at ESPN.com for years, I was pretty familiar with the concepts. It’s also interesting how some of the success stories that Lewis details are no longer looking like quite the slam dunks they did at the time of writing, and some of the draft picks that Beane mocks in the book (like Scott Kazmir and Prince Fielder) have turned into quality players. But that’s what happens.
If you’re interested in how the economics lesson of “buy low, sell high” can apply even in such a restricted economy as baseball, and in reading a good story, I’d recommend this. But I was glad I waited to read this from the library, because it’s not a book I can see myself ever re-reading.