Dimensions: 272 pages, 9.58 × 6.44 × 0.94 in
Published: March 8, 2011
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0345517652
ISBN - 13: 9780345517654
About the Book
Chronicles the remarkable story of one team's Cinderella journey from divisional doormat to World Series contender.
Read from the Book
CHAPTER 1 STALKING HORSE Victory is yes after a thousand nos. --Rick Dodge, former St. Petersburg city administrator Big Jim Thompson stalked the floor of the Illinois state legislature, sweat soaking through his shirt and streaming down his brow. The Illinois State Senate had narrowly passed a bill that would pay for a new stadium for the Chicago White Sox. It was now up to the House of Representatives to approve the bill. That meant Thompson, the six-foot-six, 230-pound Illinois governor, now had to crack some skulls. The Senate’s vote had been contentious. Dissenting lawmakers blasted the bill. They asked why Illinois should shell out nine figures to build a new ballpark for White Sox owners Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn, both of them millionaires many times over, while the state’s schools went woefully underfunded. Now House members were expressing similar objections. Worse yet for Thompson, the clock was ticking. The General Assembly had until midnight Central Time to pass the stadium bill. If the House failed to get the necessary votes, July 1, 1988, would be forever remembered as the day one of baseball’s oldest franchises was forced out of town. Twelve hundred miles away in Florida, St. Petersburg couldn’t sleep. Hundreds of thousands of dollars had been spent on committees and feasibility studies. Millions more were spent to remove toxic chemicals from a downtown plot of land that once housed a coal gasification plant. Another $138 million
From the Publisher
What happens when three financial industry whiz kids and certified baseball nuts take over an ailing major league franchise and implement the same strategies that fueled their success on Wall Street? In the case of the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, an American League championship happens—the culmination of one of the greatest turnarounds in baseball history.
In The Extra 2%, financial journalist and sportswriter Jonah Keri chronicles the remarkable story of one team’s Cinderella journey from divisional doormat to World Series contender. When former Goldman Sachs colleagues Stuart Sternberg and Matthew Silverman assumed control of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2005, it looked as if they were buying the baseball equivalent of a penny stock. But the incoming regime came armed with a master plan: to leverage their skill at trading, valuation, and management to build a model twenty-first-century franchise that could compete with their bigger, stronger, richer rivals—and prevail.
Together with “boy genius” general manager Andrew Friedman, the new Rays owners jettisoned the old ways of doing things, substituting their own innovative ideas about employee development, marketing and public relations, and personnel management. They exorcized the “devil” from the team’s nickname, developed metrics that let them take advantage of undervalued aspects of the game, like defense, and hired a forward-thinking field manager as dedicated to unconventional strategy as they were. By quantifying the game’s intangibles—that extra 2% that separates a winning organization from a losing one—they were able to deliver to Tampa Bay something that Billy Beane’s “Moneyball” had never brought to Oakland: an American League pennant.
A book about what happens when you apply your business skills to your life’s passion, The Extra 2% is an informative and entertaining case study for any organization that wants to go from worst to first.
About the Author
Jonah Keri is the co-author and editor of Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know About the Game Is Wrong, as well as a contributor to ESPN.com, SI.com, Baseball Prospectus, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications. He writes the flagship stock market column for Investor’s Business Daily and has been named the lead baseball analyst for the new Bloomberg sports venture.
“The rise of the Rays over the last half-decade has been so improbable it seems as if it was done by magic. It wasn’t. It took hard work, know-how, luck, and—as the title of this book suggests—those little moves on the margins that make all the difference. THE EXTRA 2% is far from a financial research paper, though—it is a fun, lively, and very smart read that might just make you into a Rays fan.” —Will Leitch, author of Are We Winning? “Jonah Keri has given us a fascinating look at how the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays became winners. THE EXTRA 2% is a captivating book if you love baseball, but it’s an even more captivating book if you love success.” —Joe Posnanski, senior writer, Sports Illustrated “Tampa Bay winning the American League East ahead of the Yankees and the Red Sox twice in three years is one of the most underappreciated sports accomplishments of the last twenty years. Jonah Keri has written a combination business book and wonderful collection of anecdotes that should allow the reader to easily answer the question ‘What was Tampa Bay thinking?’ as well as understand how difficult it will always be for a team in that market to open its competitive window for longer than three years at a time.” —Peter Gammons, three-time National Sportswriter of the Year “The Tampa Bay Rays—with their ma-and-pa-sized budget—have gone head to head with baseball’s two su