There are several insights at the heart of the A's system that I think are wonderful for baseball. One, that it's a team game. That no one player is going to make that much of a difference to your team, so for god's sake don't go blow a quarter of your budget on one guy.
In Japan, mothers insist on achievement and accomplishment as a sign of love and respect. Thus to fail places children in a highly shamed situation.
The model used by Wall Street to price trillions of dollar's worth of derivatives thought of the financial world as an orderly, continuous process. But the world was not continuous; it changed discontinuously, and often by accident.
The Oakland clubhouse is a wonderful place. A lot of these guys feel like rejects. They were rejects and they feel - they can tell you how baseball screwed up.
Ever since grade school, when his father had shown him the stock tables at the back of the newspaper and told him that the stock market was a crooked place and never to be trusted, let alone invested in, the subject had fascinated him.
The CDO was, in effect, a credit laundering service for the residents of Lower Middle Class America. For Wall Street it was a machine that turned lead into gold.
The fuses had been lit and could not be extinguished. All that remained was to observe the speed of the spark, and the size of the explosions.
You want the book to be special, and they are not always going to be special, but at least you want that to be the ambition. So the only way that happens is if you are not pressing to write a book.