The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First by Jonah Keri is currently the no. 1 book on Amazon’s list of baseball books and has been well-received in many circles.
It is also this month’s RI Baseball Book Club book of the month. So I will be saving most of my comments for our discussion on Saturday April 9.
For a more traditional review of the book, we have called on our correspondent, Jordi Scrubbings. That should be appearing on this site in the very near future.
In the meantime, I do want to say a couple of things about The Extra 2%…
I cannot emphasize enough, that if you are a Rays fan, this book is absolutely required reading. Among the many things you will love about the book is the thorough historical narrative of the (Devil) Rays and of baseball in the Bay Area. As much as I thought I knew about the history of this franchise, there was even more that I learned reading this book. Some of it is good. A lot of it is sad. But it is all intriguing.
The book is also a lot less “businessy” than some thought it would be. So if that was scaring you off, don’t worry. This book should be appealing even to the average non-Rays baseball fan.
Beyond those points, the most important thing about this book is the message. It may be a message that most of us already know. But what is important is that this is the first time that the true history of this franchise, and the current success of the team on the field will be understood by baseball fans outside of the Bay Area.
There are reasons this team sucked for so long. There are reasons attendance is still below average despite recent success. And there are reasons that the current success of the team is not a fluke, or even luck. And there are reasons to believe that the Rays will continue to be successful for years to come.
For the first time ever, the Rays have been painted in a positive light for a broad audience. And for that I am grateful. And even if you think that Stuart Sternberg and Company are not infallible, you still have to appreciate that the team is in a better place now than it was just seven years ago.
And thanks to Jonah Keri, people outside of the Tampa-St. Pete area are finally starting to understand that.
Please read this book. Please, please, please. And spread the word. Have friends that are not Rays fans? Tell them about the book. This book could convert them. Have friends that are not baseball fans? Tell them about this book. This book could convert them.
Everybody loves a feel-good story about redemption. That is what Sternberg and Co. have done for this franchise. And that is The Extra 2%.