Midwest Baseball Sports Fans
By Steve Kubitza
August 18, 2011
The story of Billy Beane (not to be confused with that of Billy Bean) is one that should interest anyone who follows the game of baseball. Author Michael Lewis is one of these people, and he decided to tell the story of Beane in the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.
Lewis starts off by explaining his interest in the story of Billy Beane. He was just one of many who wondered how the Oakland A’s were among the best teams in baseball during the early 2000′s when they had one of the lowest payrolls in the MLB.
The central storyline of the book takes place during the Oakland A’s 2002 season. Many other stories are told throughout the book, but the story progresses along with this season.
One of the main stories discussed is the career of Billy Beane as a baseball player. He was seen as one of the top prospects in all of baseball when he came out of high school, but he never lived up to the hype. He was always too critical of his own play and could never overcome his extreme frustration while playing. He retired very early in his career and decided he would rather work in the game than play.
Beane’s view of how to build a baseball team is radically different than the conventional view. He despises stolen bases, bunts, and hit and runs. Instead, he loves the walk and the two stats that make up OPS: on base percentage and slugging percentage.