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Lewis, Michael



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New York: W.W. Norton, 2003. First edition (stated), first printing (full number line). Large octavo in white DJ, xv, 288 pages; 25 cm. Fine copy in fine jacket in archival mylar. Hardcover. ISBN: 9780393057652

Baseball -- Economic aspects -- United States. || Contents: The curse of talent -- How to find a ballplayer -- The enlightenment -- Field of ignorance -- The Jeremy Brown blue plate special -- The science of winning an unfair game -- Giambi's hole -- Scott Hatteberg, pickin' machine -- The trading desk -- Anatomy of an undervalued pitcher -- The human element -- The speed of the idea -- The Badger. || "This book explains how Billy Beene, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, is using a new kind of thinking to build a successful and winning baseball team without spending enormous sums of money. The author examines the fallacy behind the major league baseball refrain that the team with the biggest wallet is supposed to win. Over the past four years the Oakland Athletics, a major league team with a minor league payroll, have had one of the best records in the country. General Manager Billy Beene is putting into practice on the field revolutionary principles to build his team that have been concocted by geek statisticians and college professors, rather than using the old scouting technique called "gut instinct." The author takes us behind the scenes with the Oakland A's, into the dugouts, and into the conference rooms where the annual Major League draft is held by conference call, and rumor mongering is par for the course as each team jockeys for position for their favored player. I wrote this book because I fell in love with a story. The story concerned a small group of undervalued professional baseball players and executives, many of whom had been rejected as unfit for the big leagues, who had turned themselves into one of the most successful franchises in Major League Baseball. But the idea for the book came well before I had good reason to write it, before I had a story to fall in love with. It began, really, with an innocent question: how did one of the poorest teams in baseball, the Oakland Athletics, win so many games? This book is a quest for something as elusive as the Holy Grail, something that money apparently can't buy: the secret of success in baseball."

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