About this item
Spend a day at the ballpark seated next to one of the smartest analysts of the game--and learn how baseball really works these days.
On September 8, 2017, the Oakland A's hosted the Houston Astros in a game that might have epitomized the passing of the Moneyball mantle. Though this was just one largely meaningless regular-season game, the matchup of these two teams demonstrated how Major League Baseball has changed since the early tenure of A's general manager Billy Beane and the publication of Michael Lewis's classic book.
Today, seemingly every pitcher throws mid-90-mph heat while seemingly every hitter is swinging for the fences. Today, pitchers and hitters alike can access reams of data and endless video in their relentless pursuits of perfection.
It's not just the players, either. Armed with information, management has adopted revolutionary strategies and tactics, from radical positioning of fielders to teams essentially giving up on whole seasons even before the season.
Does the shift work? What does throwing 100 miles an hour get you? Can you win with a homer-happy offense? Why would a baseball team need a supercomputer? Will umpires be replaced by robots? Why have home runs spiked lately? Have the baseballs been juiced, even as fewer players are juicing?
While chronicling each inning as these two franchises battle, Neyer considers these questions and many more, with the help of dozens of interviews with players, managers, scouts, and front-office executives. It all adds up to this century's finest look at what's become of modern baseball.