Tiernan’s Letter Essay #3: Moneyball

I have just recently finished reading the book Moneyball. This is an amazing 286 page non-fiction novel by Michael Lewis, who has written many other good books such as Flash Boys, Boomerang: Travels In The New, Third World, The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine, Panic, The Blind Side, and of course, Moneyball: The Art Of Winning An Unfair Game. This is a book about a low budget team, with high potential. If you are a person who loves baseball, and/or the financial aspect or sports, this is definitely the right novel for you.

The book Moneyball was published in 2003, and eight years later, in 2011 the blockbuster film was released to the general public.

In this book, the main character, Billy Bean, has a very high potential to become one of the greatest baseball players that ever lived. He had continuing success throughout high school, as well as college. In high school, he once pitched a two-hitter, stole four bases, and hit three triples. This was one of the many things that were brought to the scouts attention. As well as the fact that Billy could run, he could pitch, and not only could he hit, but he could hit for power. This was one thing that the scouts loved to see, power. But, there was just one thing wrong with Billy. His attitude sucked. And since he was such a strong guy, when he struck out, every player on his team in high school, would move to the opposite side of the dugout. And if they didn’t, they would probably get killed, lets just leave it at that.

Though Billy Bean had such a bad attitude, the scouts just couldn’t turn him down. He was drafted by the New York Mets in the first round (23rd pick) of the 1980 amateur draft. He also spent most of the 1980’s in the minor leagues. Even though he was a phenom in high school and college, he didn’t have the numbers in the majors to show it. In his 6 year MLB career, he hit just 3 home runs! In high school, he hit for power, and he also got a lot of hits in general, but he just couldn’t find it in the major leagues. But he didn’t really want to play baseball when he was in his prime high school and college years, so that killed all of his momentum going when all the scouts had their eyes on him. Even when he was offered the contract, he skill didn’t want to play baseball. That is probably why he didn’t do well in the major leagues, along with his negative attitude towards playing the game as a profession, his skills fell along with his baseball playing career. But he obviously found what he wants to do, and what he really wanted to do. And that was to manage a baseball team. He became the general manager of the Oakland Athletics in October of 1997. Under Billy Beane’s tenure, the Oakland A’s complied a 976-804 (.548) record. And that is a winning record.

Quoted passage: page 262

“The ball doesn’t just leave the park, it lands high up in the stands, fifty feet or so beyond the 362 sign in deep right center field. When he is finally certain that the ball is gone for good, Scott Hatterburg raises both hands over his head, less in triumph that disbelief. Rounding first, he looks into the Oakland A’s dugout. But there’s no one left inside – the players are all rushing onto the field. Elation transforms him. He shouts at his teammates. He’s not saying: Look what I just did. He’s saying: Look what we just did! We won! As he runs, he sheds years st the rate of about one every twenty feet. By the time he touches home plate, he;s less man than boy. And, not five minutes later, Billy Beane was able to look me in the eye and say that is was just another win”

I liked how the author incorporated some jokes and description into the novel to make it even better than it already is.

I rate this book a 7 out of ten. The author, Michael Lewis, does a very good job adding in description and detail in the right places of the book.

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1 thought on “Tiernan’s Letter Essay #3: Moneyball

  1. Tiernan,
    I’ve never read “Moneyball” but am very familiar with the topic and have read about Billy Beane and what he did and how his model for winning has been adopted by others in not only baseball but in other sports around the world. Obviously, I understand why this book interested you, but you did not mention exactly why you picked it up. It’s also a book written for adults so I’m wondering if you struggled with it or not. For example, you wrote a long, detailed summary, but it was about Billy Beane as a player and not as a manager and although I haven’t read the book I am assuming that the book is mostly about what he did as a manager. I do understand writing about nonfiction is more difficult, but I think you could have still used some of those Sentence Starters for your elaboration. Let me know if you disagree.
    Mr. Jockers

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