The Astros were the worst baseball team in half a century, but they were more than just bad: they were an embarrassment, a club that didn't even appear to be trying to win ... But three years later, the critics were proved improbably, astonishingly wrong. How had the Astros pulled off the impossible?
The tagline on the cover of Sports Illustrated, read 'Your 2017 World Series Champs' and featured a photograph of George Springer, the Houston Astros’ rookie right fielder. What made the claim so striking was that, at that time, the Astros were one of the worst baseball teams in half a century ... The article inside...made some strong points about how the Astros were combining analytics and old-fashioned scouting to produce a better team. But, like many others, I reminded myself that Sports Illustrated was almost always off the mark when trying to predict World Series winners on Opening Day, let alone three years in advance ... Lo and behold, after A.J. Hinch signed on as manager, the Astros started winning in 2015, with an 86-76 record and a wild-card spot in the American League playoffs, where they lost to the Kansas City Royals. In 2016 the Astros posted an 84-78 record. But in 2017 the Astros really did become the World Champions—right on schedule ... Mr. Reiter now has written a full account of the remarkable story of how one of the greatest turnarounds in modern baseball history was engineered. As he tells us in Astroball: The New Way to Win It All.
Everyone likes a good underdog tale, and there’s none greater than the story of how the Houston Astros went from worst team in baseball to World Series champs ... In his colorful new book Astroball: The New Way to Win It All Ben Reiter explores modern baseball and how a team nicknamed the Disastros could turn things around so quickly ... Astroball plays like a giant crossword puzzle as pieces of the team are slotted in leading up to the franchise's historic moment.
So how and why did one Sports Illustrated writer have the cojones to sit in his editor's office and pitch a cover story that predicted the Astros would go on to win the World Series in 2017? ... Reiter digs deeper into nine key decisions that brought the Astros 'from doormats to champions' in Astroball: The New Way to Win It All.
The book will of course be of interest to sports fans and Houstonians, but the message (man + machine = success) should also resonate in business settings and the fields of medicine and education. 'That’s the goal,' says Reiter. 'When I sat down to structure this book I knew it was really a book about decision-making and how to make decisions in the modern world'.