Saturday, 21 May 2005


I finished Moneyball on the flight from Jackson to BWI today. As I mentioned at the other place, the story of people getting ahead by bringing data to the problem warmed my little empiricist heart to no end. Plus, Michael Lewis is a really good writer—the ideas he expresses come across clearly and with good humor (compare, if you will, Jill Jonnes’ horribly-written Empires of Light, about a topic that ought to be at least as interesting; the difference is as between night and day).

I realize I’m probably the last person in America to read the book, but if you haven’t (particularly if you like baseball), do so immediately.


Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.
[Permalink] 1. Alfred Sumrall wrote @ Wed, 25 May 2005, 10:10 am CDT:


May 24, 2005

Dear Billy:

Thanks to your stinky baseball team, sales have really been flagging of late on “Moneyball.” However, we have a few ideas on how to repackage the book in hopes of getting it moving again, but we need your help and approval.

There are two options:

One, you write an epilogue about how, after putting your theories into practice for a few years, you’ve found they are complete crap. We’d want you to expound upon how the Moneyball philosophy has not only brought the A’s zero World Series championships, but not even a single playoff series victory. Also, you would need to comment on how some poor personnel decisions (Eric Chavez over Miguel Tejada, Barry Zito over Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson, to name a few) have put the A’s back to being just another crappy mid-market team.

The second is that we redo the book entirely and write it as a sort of tragic farce, with you as the main character – a smug, megalomaniac who thinks he is smarter than everyone else despite never accomplishing anything of note and, in the end, is shown to be a buffoon to the delight of all those who know him.

Let us know what you think. We prefer the second option, but we realize you might have some reservations due to how true-to-life it would be.


John Mirra
Editor – W&W Norton Company


In Moneyball’s defense: Beane didn’t write it, and the A’s have been a hell of a lot better than other teams with similar payrolls since 2000 (I think the Twins are the only comparable team that’s even made the playoffs during that time… most have stunk like the D-Rays and Royals).

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