Not satisfied with the questions of his loyal readers, Derek Zumsteg tears into his fake mailbag and finds some superb reader queries. Plus the debut of Derek’s Team of the Damned Annoying.
David Cameron kicks off his weekly look at the minor leagues with a player profile of White Sox prospect Jeremy Reed.
Bob Brenly is making a bid for Manager of the Year; Angel Berroa has been better than Rocco Baldelli, despite all the hype; and the Phillies enter the section of their schedule that could allow them to take hold of the wild card race. All this and more news from Arizona, Kansas City, and Philadelphia.
One of the more common themes running through my inbox this spring was Michael Lewis’ book, Moneyball, about the Oakland A’s and their approach to building a winning baseball team. I read it in in two sittings, and I enjoyed the heck out of it. The chapter detailing the conversation between the A’s scouts and their front office in advance of the 2002 draft was some of the most entertaining baseball copy I’ve read in years.
I never did write a column about the book, however, largely because I thought everything there was to say about it was said by others. In addition, the interviews Will Carroll did with Lewis and Billy Beane for Baseball Prospectus Radio provided the most interesting angle on the book that BP could supply.
So the standard answer I developed for people asking me about Moneyball was this: I enjoyed it, but it was neither the best Michael Lewis book I read this spring, nor the best baseball book. On a friend’s recommendation, I picked up Lewis’ Liar’s Poker, his book about his experiences at Lehman Brothers in the mid-1980s. It was more personal, more entertaining, and more educational than Moneyball, although some of that is due to my being less familiar with bond trading than with shortstop trading.