Hey there, it’s Stephen Dubner. Before we get to this week’s episode, we need your help with a future episode. Even if you don’t know the book (or the movie) — even if you didn’t know there was a book (or a movie) — you probably know the word: “moneyball.” That was the title of a book, published in 2003, by Michael Lewis. The subtitle is “The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.” It tells the story of a baseball executive, the Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, who realized he couldn’t compete with the big budgets of the bigger teams, so when it came to assembling his roster, he put his money on smaller bets, smarter bets, statistically sound bets. That’s what “moneyball” has come to mean today, even to millions of people who don’t know a thing about baseball. Moneyball means using data to identify advantages that others might miss. Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of Lewis’s book — so we’re going to interview him for an episode of our Freakonomics Radio Book Club. And this is your invitation to go ahead and read Moneyball, or re-read it — and if you have questions you’d like me to ask Michael when we interview him, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line “moneyball.” Thanks in advance — and now, on to today’s show.
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