Michael Lewis Pablo Torre Credit: Pablo Torre Finds Out

Sam Bankman-Fried will be sentenced next March following a guilty verdict this fall on fraud charges related to his management of cryptocurrency firm FTX. Bankman-Fried ensnared the financial world in his malfeasance, and couldn’t help but bring in the sports world, too.

Author Michael Lewis followed Bankman-Fried throughout his rise and fall for new book Going Infinite. And he has a surprising connection to the founder that he uncovered during his reporting.

Lewis wrote many noteworthy sports and finance-centered books including MoneyballThe Blind Side and The Big Short. All were adapted into films. But it was the first breakout work of Lewis’ career that Bankman-Fried responded most to.

Lewis explained how in an interview on Pablo Torre Finds Out released Tuesday.

“He’s sort of taking the idea at the heart of Moneyball, that experience doesn’t matter,” Lewis explained of Bankman-Fried. “That a nerd with a computer can make better decisions about baseball players than a guy who played for 20 years. He’s sort of taking that out into the world and applying it to everything and it becomes preposterous.”

Lewis believes Bankman-Fried took the wrong lessons from Moneyball. Or, he took the right lessons and applied them the wrong way.

“What bothered me at the time that I wrote Moneyball, is that there was a club of people who were insensible to new ideas or new approaches,” Lewis explained. “So they just shut out this other way of thinking about the problem and were smug in their ability to make their own judgments. I thought that was bad, this kind of clubby approach to thinking about the world or … dealing with uncertainty.”

In the world of crypto, Bankman-Fried found himself at the center of another screwed-up fraternity. He will now go to prison for wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy charges related to both.

The crypto bros disrupted the global economy and then did the same stuff that has always broken the global economy.

“We’ve replaced one smug club with another smug club. It’s just this smug club are the nerds,” Lewis said. “Whenever you create a smug club, you shut out other ways of thinking that are threatening or alien to you.”

The Oakland A’s might not be the International Monetary Fund. But a young Bankman-Fried digested the revolution of on-base percentage in MLB and applied it to digital currency. And the person who uncovered his goofy misreading of Moneyball was none other than its author himself.

[Pablo Torre Finds Out on YouTube]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.