Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Five best books on baseball as a business

Richard J. Tofel, author of A Legend in the Making: The New York Yankees in 1939, named a list of the five best books on baseball as a business for the Wall Street Journal.

One title on the list:
by Michael Lewis
Norton, 2003

Michael Lewis’s “Moneyball” has become the modern ­baseball classic, charting how some of baseball’s have-not teams have hoped to use superior understanding of statistics to even the odds against them. Love it (quantitative baseball progressives, led by statistics maven Bill James) or hate it (anecdotal traditionalists), the book sharpened debates about how to build a winning team and how much difference money ­really makes. In an important sense, Lewis provided a rejoinder to George Will’s 1990 “Men at Work” (which isn’t listed here only because its focus is on the play of baseball rather than the business). One glitch in Lewis’s argument: The story’s hero, general manager Billy Beane, and his Oakland A’s still haven’t won a pennant, much less the World Series.
Read about the other four books on Tofel's list.

Also see Tim McCarver's five best list of baseball books, Tom Werner's six favorite baseball books, Fay Vincent's five best list of baseball books, and Nicholas Dawidoff's five best list of baseball fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue