2021 popular Astroball: The New outlet sale Way to Win It wholesale All outlet sale

2021 popular Astroball: The New outlet sale Way to Win It wholesale All outlet sale

2021 popular Astroball: The New outlet sale Way to Win It wholesale All outlet sale

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The inside story of the Houston Astros, whose relentless innovation took them from the worst team in baseball to the World Series in 2017 and 2019
 
“Reiter’s superb narrative of how the team got there provides powerful insights into how organizations—not just baseball clubs—work best.”—The Wall Street Journal

Astroball picks up where Michael Lewis’s acclaimed  Moneyball leaves off, telling the thrilling story of a championship team that pushed both the sport and business of baseball to the next level. In 2014, the Astros were the worst baseball team in half a century, but just three years later they defied critics to win a stunning World Series. In this book, Ben Reiter shows how the Astros built a system that avoided the stats-versus-scouts divide by giving the human factor a key role in their decision-making. Sitting at the nexus of sports, business, and innovation,  Astroball is the story of the next wave of thinking in baseball and beyond, at once a remarkable underdog tale and a fascinating look at the cutting edge of evaluating and optimizing human potential.

Review

“Reiter’s superb narrative of how the team got there provides powerful insights into how organizations—not just baseball clubs—work best.”
WALL STREET JOURNAL

"Colorful... Astroball plays like a giant crossword puzzle as pieces of the team are slotted in leading up to the franchise''s historic moment."
USA TODAY

"Vivid... Reiter delivers the goods."
BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

" Astroball is the baseball book of the year, essential for baseball executives at every level, accessible and fun for fans."
STAR TRIBUNE

“[ Astroball] will of course be of interest to sports fans and Houstonians, but the message (man + machine = success) should also resonate in business settings and the fields of medicine and education… The story isn’t just that the Astros won the World Series, it’s [that] the road they took getting there has value.”
HOUSTON PRESS

“What happens when Big Data analytics proves an insufficient foundation for success in business? How can the so-called ‘human factor’ be integrated into a framework that enhances a statistical approach? These are the questions Ben Reiter grapples with in Astroball, a persuasive study of the making and rise of the Houston Astros… Few scribes today can match Michael Lewis’s ability to just plain write, whether about sports, politics, or economics. But Reiter’s engaging account adeptly blends a journalist’s nose for a good story, a writer’s nuanced sympathy for his characters, and an industry trend-spotter’s analysis of important new developments. A worthy update of Moneyball indeed.”
CLAREMONT REVIEW OF BOOKS

“Ben Reiter has written the definitive, untold story of the biggest turnaround in recent baseball history. This riveting behind-the-scenes account offers fresh insight into the executives who built the 2017 World Series champions—and the players who delivered. Astroball is Moneyball for the next generation, not just the baseball book of the year, but the business and ideas book of the year as well.”
KEN ROSENTHAL, two-time Sports Emmy winner for Outstanding Sports Reporter
 
 “Ben Reiter’s incredible access to the World Series champions makes for narrative as riveting as a Game 7. But Astroball is so much more. It is a look at the future, and not just of baseball . For all the talk of computers replacing human judgment, the most complex problems are often best addressed when computers supplement human judgment, rather than supplant it. The Astros’ human/algorithm partnership turned a historically bad team into a champion in six years. Other industries, take note.”
DAVID EPSTEIN, bestselling author of The Sports Gene
 
 “Reading Astroball is like being part of the Astros'' Decision Sciences team or having a seat and a laptop in their Nerd Cave. Ben Reiter gives us an inside look at the state of the art of winning baseball: packed with cutting-edge technology, psychology and analytics, but allowing for the human element.”
TOM VERDUCCI, bestselling author of The Yankee Years (with Joe Torre) and The Cubs Way
 
 “This book is the definitive look at the recent history of the Houston Astros and how they became the model franchise for the present and future of MLB. Ben takes you through the evolving blueprint that delivered both a championship in the fall of 2017 and a roster built to win for years to come. Reiter called it first, on the cover of SI in 2014. I wish he would pick my stocks.”
JOE BUCK, three-time National Sportscaster of the Year and bestselling author of Lucky Bastard
 
Astroball is a superb and unfettered look at how a championship baseball team is constructed.  Analysis and algorithms might be the new baseball card numbers but Ben gets close enough to Jeff Luhnow and his staff to understand their incredible forward thinking when it comes to the human factor. This book is readable rocket science.”
RON DARLING, former New York Mets All-Star and bestselling author of Game 7, 1986

Astroball is Moneyball 2.0, a fascinating dissection of the processes by which the Houston Astros rose from perennial cellar dwellers to World Series champions. Ben Reiter systematically uncovers the crucial elements to success in baseball; as a fan of the game and as a major league pitcher, this book forced me to look at my sport through a wider lens. Detailing the ascension of the Astros while entertaining with colorful anecdotes, Astroball is a must-read for those looking to improve in any industry.”
CRAIG BRESLOW, twelve-year Major League pitcher

About the Author

Ben Reiter is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, which he joined in 2004. He has written 25 cover stories for the magazine. He lives in New York City with his family.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

1

Gut Feels

In the late 1980s, when people got too drunk and were kicked out of the other casinos in Lake Tahoe, they ended up at Del Webb’s High Sierra, a place where there was no such thing as too drunk. Sometimes they staggered by indifferent security guards who were costumed as Wild West deputies, past stages adorned with fake tumbleweeds, and over to a blackjack table manned by a tall, thin young dealer with thick black hair.

“Sig?” they would say, squinting at the tag pinned to his chest. “What kind of name is that?”

Sig Mejdal was an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis, studying mechanical engineering and aeronautical engineering. During the summers he’d head 120 miles east, clip an oversize bow tie to his collar, and sling cards at Tahoe’s seediest betting house. He thought the tie made him look more like someone with a dead cat draped around his neck than a Dodge City barman—­or like a Dodge City barman who hunted house pets, best case—­but he loved the job anyway. It was more fun than the internships his classmates at Davis pursued, and more lucrative, too. He would spend the day at the beach, deal all night, fling the hundred bucks he’d made in tips onto the steadily accumulating pile on his dresser in the morning, and head back to the beach.

At the High Sierra, he learned things he knew he couldn’t have in a lab. The best way to get someone to stop smoking at his table, for example. When a gambler rested his cigarette on the edge of his ashtray, Sig would subtly put a little extra on the next card he dealt to him, so that it hit the cigarette and knocked it onto the felt or the ground in a shower of sparks. The player, embarrassed and believing it to have been an accident, usually didn’t light up again.

Sig also learned something that he would use more frequently during his future professional career. He learned that human beings do not always make decisions that serve their own long-­term self-­interest, even when they are equipped with a wealth of experience and knowledge of the mathematical probabilities that ought to guide their choices.

Blackjack is a probabilistic game. For any combination of cards, the player’s and the dealer’s, there is an optimal action for the player to take in order to increase his chances of winning—­or, generally, of losing less. Sometimes, the action is both easy and obvious. You hit a 10, against anything. Often, though, players know what they ought to do from a probabilistic perspective, but they do something else, because their intuition tells them to.

Even the sober patrons of the High Sierra usually declined to hit on a 16 against a dealer’s 7, because it sucked to bust, especially with a big bet on the table. The mathematically sound move was to take another card, though. It was a bad hand no matter what, but standing led to a loss rate of 74 percent—­the chances were that the dealer would pull a 17, at minimum—­while hitting decreased that to 67.5 percent, even factoring in the busts, a big difference in the long run. Sometimes, even other dealers, who saw more than 100,000 hands a year, with immediate feedback, advised players to stand.

This, to Sig, illustrated the limitations of human judgment. “Just because it feels right,” he told himself, “doesn’t mean it is right.” Human beings tended to trust the combination of experience, intuition, and emotion that comprised their gut. Their gut certainly had value. Sometimes their gut was wrong.

When he wasn’t spending his free time at the beach, Sig spread his wrinkled tip money onto the blackjack table himself. He rarely won. The house’s advantage was the house’s advantage. Playing the right way, though, he lost slowly, and when he factored in the complimentary drinks he consumed in the process, he considered it a financial wash.

Sig and the other dealers marveled at the way gamblers they had wiped out would unquestioningly follow the custom of tossing their last few chips to them for the trouble, sparing the casino the burden of paying them more than minimum wage. A hundred bucks a day was good money, and many dealers decided to make a career out of their summer gig. Sig did not.

He graduated from Davis and went on to earn two master’s degrees, in operations research and cognitive psychology, from San Jose State. He took a job at Lockheed Martin, where he helped launch satellites into orbit. Then he performed research for NASA’s Fatigue Countermeasures Group, where, among other things, he revealed the relative uselessness of napping. Even though tired subjects believed that naps fully restored their ability to perform, that turned out to be empirically untrue unless they had gone through a full night’s sleep cycle.

Sig was initially inspired to undertake that study not by astronauts, but by a different type of American hero: baseball players. He had wondered how the performance of major leaguers from the East Coast was affected when they traveled to play in different time zones, interrupting their circadian rhythms. In fact, the entirety of Sig’s mathematically driven career had stemmed from his passion for our most mathematically driven sport.

Unlike many American boys, Sig did not inherit his love of ­baseball from his parents. His father, Svend, came from Denmark, and his mother, Norma, grew up in Colombia. They each arrived in the United States in their 20s, and met in the US Army, an officer and a nurse. Sig’s older brother, Svend Jr., was born in France, while his parents were stationed there. Norma gave birth to Sig—­Sigurd, ­actually—­in California in 1965, when Svend Sr. was in Vietnam.

Nobody could ever pronounce the family’s last name, Mejdal, until a friend of Sig’s came up with a mnemonic chant. “Whose dell?” the friend asked. “My dell!” Sig shouted. If some of his peers still stumbled on his surname, Sig had little trouble connecting with them via a pastime neither of his parents much understood.

He spent great swaths of his childhood flicking the spinners of All-­Star Baseball, a board game that allowed players to simulate major league contests. Each year the game’s maker, Cadaco-­Ellis, released a new set of circular, insertable cards representing players both current and past. Each card was divided into fourteen zones, sized to correspond with the player’s statistics, on which the spinner might land. A slugger’s card might have had large zones for No. 1 (Home Run) and No. 10 (Strikeout), while slap hitters’ cards featured more room for the spinner to end up on No. 7 (Single) or No. 11 (Double). Sig favored the latter. He loved the 1894 Baltimore Orioles of Dan Brouthers and Wee Willie Keeler.

He began subscribing to newsletters produced by the Society of American Baseball Research, or SABR. When he was in sixth grade, he read a paper that included a formula that could predict how many runs and runs batted in a given player should amass based on the number and type of hits he had. The analyst had worked backward from real run totals to determine how much each constituent part contributed to them. This was called regression analysis.

Sig wrote a rudimentary program on his Atari 800 computer that allowed him to project those results for his All-­Star Baseball players, like Brouthers and Keeler, and he recorded his players’ stats in reams of notebooks. “It seemed magical,” he said. “It was why I liked math.”

He played simulated season after simulated season, competing against not only his buddy from across the street but, after responding to an ad in a newsletter, retirees across the country by mail on the honor system. In his imagination, his living room became the site of nerve-­rattling championships won by legendary players under his control. “These heroic actions would be taking place whenever you wanted, in your living room,” he said. “You’d keep track of the statistics and get excited by the drama, as if this was important.”

To the even deeper mystification of his parents, Sig also played six years of Little League, from the fourth grade through the ninth. He was so skinny that he could rarely lift the ball out of the infield. His mother inadvertently sat in the wrong bleachers and cheered whenever the umpire called him out, which was almost always.

Sig loved it anyway, especially after he began reading the annual Baseball Abstract self-­published by Bill James, the godfather of sabermetrics—­the statistical analysis of baseball data. When he wasn’t in right field—­where the coaches always played him, hoping that a ball wouldn’t be squibbed his way—­he calculated James’s pioneering statistics, designed to capture a player’s value better than batting average or home run totals could, for each one of his teammates. Every member of the 1981 Papagallos of San Jose’s Union Little League had a Runs Created, whether he knew it or not.

Even so, as a teenager there was only one career path Sig could imagine following. “I have immigrant parents,” he said. “They wanted their son to make it in this country. I was brainwashed since grade school to be an engineer, and I don’t think I ever rethought it.” His one minor rebellion, the summers he’d spent at the High Sierra rather than buttressing his résumé with internships, turned out to be his best piece of luck: The hiring manager at Lockheed loved blackjack.

“I wanted a job,” Sig said. “This was fine.” In fact, it was undeniably cool to become an expert in subsystems that controlled a rocket, and to be responsible for averting mistakes that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Still, to Sig it felt remote, bloodless. The rockets and satellites were thousands of miles away, and success meant they stayed on course. They always did.

For most engineers, a well-­paid job like that would have been enough. It wasn’t for Sig. The trouble was that, unlike many of those with his quantitative background, Sig was a people person, too—­a humanist. “The stereotype of the introverted analyst? I guess I don’t fit it so well,” he said.

In the early 1990s, he realized that he was spending much of every weekend standing in line at Macy’s, waiting to get another gift wrapped to tote to the weddings to which he kept being invited. He began to keep track of them. A quarter century later he had attended 96. That he knew the precise number was itself remarkable—­only someone who quantifies everything would keep count—­but so is the number itself. How many of us are so invested in people and relationships that 96 couples couldn’t imagine observing their happiest of days without us there? His greatest regret, as he got older, was that the frequency of invitations slowed down.

His tasks at NASA, like the sleep cycle research, were more satisfying. He had studied cognitive psychology in graduate school because he was fascinated not by dry engineering problems like how to keep a rocket on course, but by how math and science intersected with people, how they could help humans understand and overcome their natural limitations. Still, NASA was just a job, too. He had always maxed out his vacation days at Lockheed, and at NASA he insisted on working on short-­term contracts so that for a month or two each year he could pursue another passion: travel. He called it “high-­concentrate living,” in his value-­focused way.

Seeking out adventure, he met people throughout Europe and South America. In 2001, he published an article in the Los Angeles Times, headlined “Climbing the Stairway to Heaven,” in which he chronicled his experiences as the novice member of an expedition that ascended Mount Chimborazo. Sig mischievously asserted that, factoring in Earth’s ellipsoid shape, the Ecuadorean peak was actually its highest, 7,000 feet farther from the planet’s center than Everest’s. “To the south I could see the mountains of Peru; to the west, the blues of the Pacific Ocean; and to the north, snowcapped Cotopaxi,” he wrote of the vista from the hypoxemic summit. “I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of what my eyes could take in. Exhaustion and emotion are a volatile combination for an oxygen-­starved brain. Some climbers collapsed in the snow. Some cried. Others hugged. I did a little of each before turning my attention to the view before me, the view from the top of the world.”

After that, it was back down to the lab, where he continued to dream of a job that would unite his mathematical expertise with his passion for figuring out what made humans their best selves, a job in which he wouldn’t feel as if each year amounted to working for 11 months in order to live for one.

Two years after Chimborazo, he thought he’d found it.

Sig was 37 when, in 2003, he read Michael Lewis’s Moneyball, a book that described how people with his skill set in the Oakland Athletics’ front office were reimagining the underpinnings of baseball by harnessing the power of data to take advantage of inefficiencies in the evaluation of players. They were, in other words, making a living by using math to get better at the thing he’d always loved most. While he had remained an engaged fan and a member of SABR, he now realized there might be a place inside the game for someone like him. “I thought, hey, that job would be better than NASA,” he said.

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4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
560 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

James Cheung
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Need an asterisk next to 2017
Reviewed in the United States on November 16, 2019
Forgot the chapter on cheating
177 people found this helpful
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Wilson
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Aged poorly
Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2020
This book has aged poorly, in that it doesn''t include any information about sign stealing, which was also a big part of the Astros'' wins and "plate discipline".
79 people found this helpful
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Chester Demel
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Just fiction
Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2020
I read this several years ago. It was a fun read and illuminating.

However, after the revelations of, and penalties for, sign stealing and other shenanigans this book comes off as badly researched and fawning. I feel robbed.
59 people found this helpful
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Gail Cornwall
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
If you like tight writing on fascinating topics, read "Astroball"—no interest in sports or analytics required
Reviewed in the United States on July 11, 2018
I never should have read "Astroball." First off, sports, bleh. What a waste of time. Second, Ben Reiter is one of several Yalies named Ben with whom I’ve hungout over the years and not the one I hit it off with most. But I confused him with a closer acquaintance and... See more
I never should have read "Astroball." First off, sports, bleh. What a waste of time. Second, Ben Reiter is one of several Yalies named Ben with whom I’ve hungout over the years and not the one I hit it off with most. But I confused him with a closer acquaintance and requested an advance copy. By the time I noticed Reiter’s suave smirk on the rear dust jacket, I’d already finished the preface and the prologue (yes, it has both, and yes, you should read both), and I couldn’t have put the book down if I’d tried.

That’s because "Astroball" is about baseball the way "Remember the Titans" is about football. Sure, Reiter explains how the Astros went from being the team with the worst track record and prospects in the league to winning the 2017 World Series. But the consummate storyteller uses his unusual level of access to both players and the Astros front office to interweave dramas with much more widespread appeal: How an industry undergoes a revolution. How a parent’s fidelity to their inner compass can transform the course of a child’s life. How peeling back the layers of a professional victory almost always reveals some combination of hustle, skill, and luck, but mostly hustle. How a liability in one context becomes an asset in another. How organizational change done right looks a lot like nation-building. How a supportive romantic partner behaves in a crisis. How human instinct, though repeatedly proven fallible, remains indispensable.

In prose with just the right balance of sobriety and artistry (e.g., “If a pitcher’s arm was the most valuable and fragile asset in baseball, a pitcher’s psyche was second”) and transitions that hum, Reiter introduces his stories’ concepts and characters, sometimes dozens of pages in advance, so that even a reader who gives fewer than two shits about baseball knew Carlos Beltrán from Carlos Correa and locked herself in a bathroom to absorb the blow-by-blow of a playoff game in peace. A game I already knew the winner of. It’s seamless, really, Reiter’s melding of backstory with story to produce a narrative of a magic process that’s magical in its own right.

Take, for example, the following two vignettes about America’s pastime that teach as much about psychology and systems science as sport:

In the cage, Bonds showed Beltrán how he liked to set the pitching machine to top speed, more than 90 miles per hour, and then gradually move closer and closer to it, training himself to react to pitches that arrived quicker than any human could throw them from a mound. Even more useful, to Beltrán, was the way he described his mentality. “Sometimes you’re in an oh-for-ten slump, and you might start to doubt your ability,” Bonds said. “But you have to understand that every time you walk to the plate, the person who is in trouble isn’t you. It’s the pitcher.” A decade later, when Beltrán arrived for his first spring training with the Astros in February 2017, he knew that he appeared to his young teammates as Bonds once had to him. He was at least seven years older than almost all of them, earned 30 times more than some of them, and was by then a nine-time All-Star who had hit 421 home runs. During his first days with the Astros, he approached each one.

***

Sig Mejdal hated the World Series. He loved it, of course. It was the whole point, the simulated goal when he had spent his boyhood flicking the spinners of All-Star Baseball, the real one as he endlessly tweaked his models during all those late nights above his fraternity brother’s garage. Intellectually, though, he hated it. Baseball wasn’t a game like basketball, in which the best team—the Golden State Warriors, say—could reliably defeat almost any opponent at least 80 percent of the time. Baseball excellence could be judged only over the long term, and yet its annual champion, the club that history would remember, was decided after a series of no more than seven games. Any major league team could beat any opponent four times out of seven. “I wish it was a 162-game series, instead of seven,” Sig said. “But it’s seven. In every game, you have somewhere between a forty-two and fifty-eight percent chance of winning. Which is very close to a fifty percent chance. Which is a coin toss. The World Series is a coin toss competition.”

If you like tight writing on fascinating topics, read "Astroball"—no interest in sports or analytics required. If you already read "Moneyball," trust me, read "Astroball" too. I’m betting if you do, I won’t be the only new member of Ben Reiter’s fan club.
47 people found this helpful
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Alice G
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great book! Compelling narrative, interesting characters, and uncommonly thorough reporting
Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2018
Astroball is a fantastic read. Reiter hooks the reader from the very first pages of this vibrant narrative, which weaves together compelling personal stories, fascinating characters, and just the right amount of inside baseball details. Whether you are a baseball fan or... See more
Astroball is a fantastic read. Reiter hooks the reader from the very first pages of this vibrant narrative, which weaves together compelling personal stories, fascinating characters, and just the right amount of inside baseball details. Whether you are a baseball fan or not, I''m confident you will love Astroball as much as I did.
19 people found this helpful
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Rachel B
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
More than baseball -- a fun ride and a new look at critical thinking
Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2018
What a fun read! I enjoy baseball as much as the next person, but I really love characters and problem-solving, which are the real heart of this book. And it''s incredible that the author predicted the 2017 World Series years before! In the book, you get to know the guys... See more
What a fun read! I enjoy baseball as much as the next person, but I really love characters and problem-solving, which are the real heart of this book. And it''s incredible that the author predicted the 2017 World Series years before! In the book, you get to know the guys behind the scenes at the Astros, and how they used their various smarts (like poker skills, ivy league education, etc) to build a better team than the statistics would predict. Really enjoyable for baseball fans, critical thinkers, and anyone who loves an underdog story.
18 people found this helpful
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Mark U.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Astroball explains the secrets which led to the 2017 World Series Win!
Reviewed in the United States on July 22, 2018
As a long-time baseball fan of the Chicago Cubs and the Houston Astros I devoured Sports Illustrated’s Ben Reiter’s book “Astroball” - and loved it! I highly recommend it to any baseball fan regardless of your team loyalty. The book provides a fascinating account... See more
As a long-time baseball fan of the Chicago Cubs and the Houston Astros I devoured Sports Illustrated’s Ben Reiter’s book “Astroball” - and loved it! I highly recommend it to any baseball fan regardless of your team loyalty.

The book provides a fascinating account of the Astros’ amazing turnaround from the Sports Illustrated’s initially considered joke June 30, 2014 cover story predicting the Astros 2017 World Series win. Today, with the Astros considered a super team (with the Red Sox and Yankees) it is a bit difficult to remember how in 2014 the team had just concluded three years in a row at the BOTTOM of their division! Ben Reiter provides the fascinating backstory to the Astros’ owner, Jim Crane, and his selection as GM of Jeff Luhnow. Astroball well explains the data driven decision making approach, which, while the many successes are discussed at length, the stellar selection of Springer, Verlander and Bregman being discussed at great length, it also admits to the mega-mistake the Astros had made - the biggest being the release of J.D. Martinez - and what Luhnow had learned from it.

Most interesting to me was the unbelievable two contributions to winning the World Series by an Astros player who had no at-bats during those seven games, Carlos Beltran.

Bottom line, Astroball is an incredible story of modern day baseball. It clearly explains how data analytics synthesized with experience-based scouting have resulted in league beating baseball.
9 people found this helpful
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grebd
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
MEH!!!
Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2019
I love baseball, and I understand the impact that analytics has had on the game in recent years. Based on the description of the book on Amazon, I thought that Astroball would be a good insider’s view of how one franchise used these tools to dramatically up their game.... See more
I love baseball, and I understand the impact that analytics has had on the game in recent years. Based on the description of the book on Amazon, I thought that Astroball would be a good insider’s view of how one franchise used these tools to dramatically up their game. Could not have been more wrong — or more disappointed. The author is a Sports Illustrated reporter, and this seemed like a number of pretty long, kind-of interesting articles. The book starts out talking about one of the earliest contributors to the Astros’ analytical staff, and gives just about ZERO insight into how he did his work. Pretty weak effort, overall. Or at least not what I was lead to expect when I bought the book.
12 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

M. Salti
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Interesting for an Astros fan (perhaps) - for the rest, not so much
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 22, 2018
Is this a terrible book ? No. Is it extremely Astros narrative oriented - yes ? My review is for the mainstream. I am interested in statistics, baseball and improving performance. There is little insight in to how that was achieved in this case though. It is a never ending...See more
Is this a terrible book ? No. Is it extremely Astros narrative oriented - yes ? My review is for the mainstream. I am interested in statistics, baseball and improving performance. There is little insight in to how that was achieved in this case though. It is a never ending stream of personal biographies that whilst interesting to an Astros fan (maybe) is rather repetitive. I understand the world has moved on since Moneyball, but that at least provided some specific insights interspersed with the story. I also understand that sources in these situations are unlikely to want to provide detailed information about how they found their edge - but perhaps that means there should be less of these books in the world now.
5 people found this helpful
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Richie Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Best book I’ve read this year.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 3, 2019
A must read for any sports fan looking to take a peak at the furture of sport
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Vintage Kerry
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
a fanboy effort
Reviewed in Canada on November 19, 2018
Personally, I did not like this book as much as anticipated. Given the supposed meat of an analytics based discovery of a "new way to win it all". It really is not, its a pom pom recount of what went down and frankly does a rather poor job articulating anything new and...See more
Personally, I did not like this book as much as anticipated. Given the supposed meat of an analytics based discovery of a "new way to win it all". It really is not, its a pom pom recount of what went down and frankly does a rather poor job articulating anything new and insightful about the Astro''s approach. More of a revisionist mapping of the past than a tool kit to recreate the Astro''s success. Subsequently, a huge amount of the credibility associated with culture and unique Astro''s mojo (articulated as foundational to success in the book), was submarined by the GM trading for Osuna. The author, in his defence of said trade, came off as a shill. If you are a die hard Astros fan, this is a good book. If you read with a measure of intellectual cynicism, you may find this book under whelms.
One person found this helpful
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Linc
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Enjoyable enough but nothing like the hype
Reviewed in Australia on August 6, 2019
The book was enjoyable (as a baseball fan), but it certainly didn''t deliver the ''dingers'' I expected. No insight into the manager''s working with the players in keeping a team together, no deep insight into the players'' relationships, just continued down the same rabbit hole...See more
The book was enjoyable (as a baseball fan), but it certainly didn''t deliver the ''dingers'' I expected. No insight into the manager''s working with the players in keeping a team together, no deep insight into the players'' relationships, just continued down the same rabbit hole of sticking to the ''process'' of the algorithms. Even then, ''the new way to win it all'' wasn''t able to identify Mike Trout, and they still relied on the good old fashioned ''gut'' instinct (aka as luck). Reading about the input, the class and humanity of Carlos Beltran was very enjoyable. We need more of that in this World. The back-stories of the big name players was ok, albeit if you are an Astro''s fan you would already know those stories (and if you are an Astro''s fan you are buying the book anyway!).
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Lucas Madill
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Awesome, original sports story!
Reviewed in Canada on July 11, 2019
This book has so many great little stories about the players and managers’ backgrounds, and it almost makes it seem like everyone was the MVP of the World Series to some degree. It starts a little slow when it reviews he history of the franchise, but once it picks up it is...See more
This book has so many great little stories about the players and managers’ backgrounds, and it almost makes it seem like everyone was the MVP of the World Series to some degree. It starts a little slow when it reviews he history of the franchise, but once it picks up it is so hard to put down. Highly recommended!
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