Hi everyone! So today’s review is a little bit different than my usual ones because (drum roll please) you’re getting to learn a little more about my life outside of my normal bookworming self! As you know, usually I’m a sucker for my thrillers, but in the spirit of the upcoming baseball season, I picked up Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis.
So if you’ve met me in real life (or follow me on Instagram…same thing right?) you know that I’m married to my favorite baseball player (Hi, RC! Love you lots!). We live a pretty unusual life, with him living in a different state between February and September and me traveling as often as I can to visit. We’re actually kicking off our 8th season together, February 19th! Stay tuned for more in March… you’ll get to learn all about our MiLB life while I’m visiting him at spring training!
Anyways, one of the most common questions that I get when people learn what he does for a living is: did you like the sport before you started dating? Yes! While some people see the game as slow (which believe me, after sitting through a 15 inning game with rain delays, I totally understand), I love watching the subtle shifts on the field, knowing that each 95 mph fast ball takes approximately 0.4 seconds to reach home plate (giving the hitter even less time to react), and even watching the antics behind the scenes (like this one, live from my alma mater!). Plus, I really geek out when it comes to the concept of scouting and analyzing the players. (Okay, the last part may have come more in recent years, but whatever). Basically, the more I know, the more I love it.
This brings me to Moneyball. Basically, Billy Beane, the general manager for MLB’s Oakland A’s completely changed the drafting process for teams, trying to make a less wealthy team more competitive against the New York Yankees of the world (for those unfamiliar with the teams, it’s basically a David vs. Goliath or small town Mom & Pop vs. huge corporation). So, the underdogs sought out a new way to be competitive, taking several players that other teams did not see as having “big league potential” (aka guys that they didn’t think were good enough to play in the major leagues), and created a team that people originally would have mocked. A team giving guys a chance to chase their childhood dream when no one else will?! Seriously, it gives me all the feels.
I actually chose to listen to this rather than get the hard copy of the book, and I think that really made me enjoy it more than had I picked up the hard copy. It felt like a friend was just telling me the story of a legendary baseball manager that worked with an Ivy League graduate to create a team of seemingly misfits that actually had a winning season (maybe that was a spoiler? IDK.. this book wouldn’t have been written had they challenged the status quo and failed miserably, so you know the general story of it). Had I been reading it, I definitely could see it getting a bit boring at times, but the audio kept me engaged.
While the book does go into quite a bit of detail about baseball (duh, it’s a baseball book), you can appreciate it without being fluent in the game. Lewis does an amazing job breaking down some of the concepts (I even learned a thing or two, such as how they came up with the stats that baseball is infamous for!), so I would say this would be a good tool if you’re interested in learning more about the game in-depth and especially the business of baseball. Also, feel free to DM me @shihtzus.and.book.reviews if you have any questions. I’d be more than happy to help explain!
Not interested in reading the whole book but curious about the story? It was actually made into a movie in 2011 starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Christ Pratt, and more. It scored 94% by critics on Rotten Tomatoes, so if you haven’t watched it yet I highly recommend doing so! While you’re at it, go watch Bull Durham (it’s not a true story, but it’s seriously one of my favorites).
Okay, I’ve rattled on long enough! Thanks for listen to me geek out about a game so fine it’s played on diamonds! Look for me at a stadium near you (I’m probably the girl reading between the innings)!