Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wellendorf Blog #7

Ben Wellendorf
Composition 105

Michael Lewis
W.W. Norton & Company
286 Pages

“The pleasure of rooting for Goliath is that you can expect to win. The pleasure of rooting for David is that, while you don’t know what to expect, you stand at least a chance of being inspired.” (p. 76).

The reason I chose this quote was because what this quote is proving is that the Oakland Athletics aren’t always going to be the Goliath of the MLB.  They are a small market baseball team that doesn’t strive on buying the best, most expensive players, but for the baseball players that get on base for a small price.  It doesn’t matter how many home runs they have, or how many hits they have, it is how they get on base.  The A’s were the David team that became successful.  They inspired other MLB teams on how to buy their players, and created a whole new market.

The first half of the book Moneyball is very good, but very technical.  Instead of looking at a baseball players RBI’s (runs batted in), hits, home-runs, stolen bases, etc., they look at their on-base percentage and their slugging percentage.  I have played baseball since around first grade, and I still have no idea what slugging percentage is.  They took in a lot of different statistics from a person who was good in sabermetrics, and found players that most MLB teams were looking over.  One stat in the book was that they had a $44 million dollar salary, while the New York Yankees had over a $125 million dollar salary, which was the most in the MLB.  That stat is crazy to think about, because of the difference in teams in the same league.  Billy Beane, who is the mastermind behind this scheme, proves that the best players on the market aren’t your typical players getting huge contracts and hitting home runs all the time.

The first half of this book was really good, actually.  I haven’t seen the movie, but I have heard mixed reviews over it.  I definitely want to see the movie after I read this book, though.  It’s crazy to see how Billy Beane was able to come up with these stats and create a successful team.  A lot of the players that they have mentioned in this book are players I have actually heard about, but at the time, were nobodies.  It’s very interesting reading about those players, because I know now that they are successful, but at a time, they weren’t anything.  There are numerous themes in this book actually, which surprised me.  One of the biggest ones I felt was the David vs. Goliath theme.  That’s the reason I used that quote.  The A’s are huge outsiders in the MLB, but with all these new numbers that they are going through, maybe they will turn it around.  I’m excited to read the second half of this book and see how it turns out!  It is a very good book and makes me look at the game of baseball a whole different way.  


  1. Good job of including the quote in your summary.

    Needs more analysis than one paragraph.

  2. Good job relating to the book. It makes it pretty easy to read when you and the writer can both relate. Good opening and closing. Way to go.

  3. Proud of you and your usage of text to self connections. really makes it easy to write. Could have been more lengthier but all in all, great job Benjamin.

  4. What is "sabermetrics"? You relate well to the book, so that obviously increases your enjoyment of it. Would a non-baseball player/fan like the book?