Monday, March 16, 2015

Wellendorf Book Blog #8

Ben Wellendorf
Composition 106

Michael Lewis
W.W. Norton & Company
286 Pages

“One absolutely cannot tell, by watching, the difference between a .300 hitter and a .275 hitter. The difference is one hit every two weeks.” (pg. 164)

The reason I chose this quote is because this is what the GM, Billy Beane, was talking about.  He is trying to explain that there may be a small difference between two hitters, like a hit every two weeks, but that doesn’t always show the case.  Most people would choose the .300 hitter because they obviously have a better average than the .275 hitter.  What a lot of people wouldn’t notice is possibly the person’s on-base percentage.  Even though they may not be a great hitter, they could easily be someone who is great with getting on base.  Also, .300 and .275 seems like a huge difference, but it’s really only one more hit in two weeks.  

The second half of Moneyball was very good, and I’m very glad I chose this book.  Oakland did end up making it to the playoffs in 2002 and 2003, something that they couldn’t do for a long time.  They brought in under appreciated players that big markets passed on and turned them into great players.  This was a brand new way of looking at new baseball players.  Another way Billy Beane changed the game was actually drafting college baseball players unlike high school baseball players, who were more unlikely to make it to the majors.  One of the stories in the book was how the Athletics drafted a high school junior in the first round of the MLB draft.  Billy Beane was so upset that they drafted him, that the legend is he threw a chair through a wall.  It turned out that the high school junior they drafted had a decent career in the majors, but nothing significant.  

Moneyball was such a good book.  I was very intrigued throughout the whole book, and it actually made me want to watch the movie.  I watched the movie on Netflix, and it was very close to the book.  I was shocked by how Billy Beane was able to figure out how to turn a very small-market baseball club into a winning team.  The book was really cool to read and see some of the players that play today in the book.  The players were not any big named players at the time, but now are MLB All-Stars, which is just crazy to think about.  The craziest story in my opinion was at the end of the book.  Billy Beane got offered to become the GM of the Boston Red Sox, a very prestigious organization that was a big market ball club but have not won a world series in over 80 years.  Billy Beane turned down the offer, even though Boston offered him a very big contract to become their next GM.  The Red Sox ended up hiring Theo Epstein, who is now the GM of the Chicago Cubs.  Epstein followed Beane’s theories of finding players who go under appreciated, and ended up breaking Boston’s World Series curse.  


  1. Good summary of the book, could have used a more thought provoking opening

  2. Good summary of the book, could have used a more thought provoking opening

  3. Maybe try referring to the quotation more than just at the beginning, but awesome balance of summarizing and analyzing the book.

  4. The book seemed pretty interesting from your blog which is always a good thing. GR8 job boy. I really like baseball so I may consider this book.

  5. Good analysis of the book, but a little more summary would be nice so readers know more about what is going on in the book.

  6. That is a really good quote and way of looking at things. Maybe add some more of your thoughts to the summary.