Billy Beane, general manager of Oakland's baseball team, is in a terrible situation. He can get his team to the brink of success; however, whenever his players become stars, the teams with the higher payrolls swoop in and steal his talent away. When Oakland's best players all as expected depart from his roster, Beane hunts frantically for a new means of collecting players. The goal: get a roster that's better than the teams with more money without spending more money. Enter Peter Brand, an Ivy League economics whiz, who has a theory. He believes in statistics, such as measuring how frequently a player gets on base, rather than the basic eye test. Beane decides he doesn't want to do this thing half-heartedly, so he immediately ditches the old way of putting a team together and roots his new squad entirely in mathematics and numbers. This strategy results in the acquisition of several new players who appear strange to the trained eye, but who sure enough find a way to rack up statistics. Beane will not let anyone get in his path. A former scout questions him publicly; Beane fires him. His coach refuses to play any other way but traditional baseball; Beane trades away all of the traditional players. When Oakland begins the season incredibly poorly, and the media calls for Beane's head for trying something new, Beane must find a way to motivate his team to pull it together or he will find himself quickly unemployed.
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Best part of story, including ending:
There's a lot of interesting situational information on the sports, and the dialogue is pretty snappy, even when the pacing slows down and the action becomes non-existent.
Best scene in story:
In one scene, Beane teaches Brand how to negotiate with the other general managers in the league. It's smart, well-written, and acted wonderfully by Pitt.
Opinion about the main character:
Beane is a good father, and he genuinely wants to upset the traditionalists who stand in his path. Anyone with a rebellious spirit should find themselves moved by Beane.