Jonah Keri’s new book “The Extra 2% How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Team From Worst to First” (Ballantine/ESPN Books Hardcover) hits books store today, a day many baseball devotees have been waiting for.
The book chronicles the rise of the Tampa Bay Rays, under the management skills of Stuart Sternberg and Mathew Silverman, using their expertise in economics learned from their days together at Goldman Sachs.
The Rays were once the most disrespected franchise in baseball, on and off the field. You could say the Rays were an undervalued commodity being that their continuous last place finishes; their reward was drafting very high in the June entry draft and getting the best choices of the top American amateurs out there. Upon taking ownership of the club, Sternberg and Silverman put together a draft strategy, and acquiring players who were proficient in the defensive end of baseball.
Sternberg and Silverman also changed the culture of the franchise by bringing in a positive dynamic to the front office and administrative staff who were beaten down under the Vince Namoli regime. They also did an intense rebranding of the team, first dropping the name “Devils” and going with just Rays as the team nickname as well as ridding themselves of the weird color designs on the uniform.
While Sternberg and Silverman have been successful with the Rays on the field, they are still fighting an uphill battle off the field, dealing with issues of an antiquated and hard to get to ballpark and a depressed economy in Central Florida, which has kept attendance down.
Sternberg has also been linked to becoming owner of the NY Mets as he is not only a Brooklyn native and Westchester resident but he is a lifelong Mets fan and season ticket holder still to this day.
As a Mets fan, this book is of great interest to me (and it should be to you as well) as the franchise is entering uncertain times due to money problems of ownership that has been chronicled all winter and that we have a new front office headed by Sandy Alderson whose management style is the bench mark for what Sternberg and Silverman have used in Tampa.
The Extra 2 % can be obtained through Amazon, Barnes & Noble (both on line and the good old brick and mortar) and all book stores. No matter how you buy your books these days (Kindle and Nook) I recommend highly that you either buy or download The Extra 2 % today.