Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Its that time again

Book review!!!

A while back the NY times had the feature on Michael Lewis and money ball and mentioned his new book "Coach." Well, I was looking forward to it even though I knew nothing about it.

Turns out is a story about the inspirations provided by his high school baseball coach. He was a real tough coach and forced the kids to get the best of them, etc., etc. Michael Lewis had not seen or talked to him for over 20 years but was drawn (back) to him after he read an article in his exclusive prep school's newsletter.

It is about the size of the don't sweat the small things book and I read the entire thing in 38 minutes while the wife got her nails done next door. Not only disappointing but I felt a little dirty after. sure there were some funny quotes and there were some that were even relevant to baseball, but I just could not keep thinking it a little odd that "a best selling writer got in touch with and developed a (weak) bond later in life with his former mentor/teacher/coach." It was a really touching and inspiring idea. In 1997. When it was called Tuesdays with Morrie.


  1. Great review. Thanks for the heads-up about not bothering. I had assumed the book was a novelization of the popular 90's sitcom starring Craig T. Nelson and Jerry Van Dyke. Now that I would read.

    Yuck, thanks mostly to work (and the Red Sox) my bookshelf has been doing nothing but gather dust. Hopefully one of these days I'll start reading again.

  2. I generally find Lewis pretty distasteful... Moneyball itself basicaly succeeded in taking sabermetric ideas, making them sound stupid, and sharpening the rift between 'traditional' and 'statistical' analysis to the point of open warfare. I'll likely stay away from this one, especially after reading your impressions.

  3. Cool website:


  4. Team X - That IS an awesome blog. Plunk Biggio Now! Plunk Biggio Now!

    As for Michael Lewis, that is too bad about his new book. He does have a tendency to wax philosophic about various ideas of his own. It sounds like this is a collection of short waxings. In regards to Andrew's comments about Moneyball. I got the sense that Lewis was actually promoting the concept of sabemetrics.

  5. I had a number of issues with Moneyball, but overall I went away from it liking it. Entertaining read, and for those who aren't super-into baseball (or can't understand the appeal) I think it was actually a really good book. (Lots of non-baseball fan friends of mine said after reading it they finally got a sense why I liked the game so much.) It definitely played down the importance of $$$ way too much, but the current anti-Moneyball backlash is every bit as stupid.

  6. Oh, Lewis was promoting sabermetrics. He just wasn't doing it very well, in my opinion. He turned it into this nearly mystical battle beween the 'smart guys' and the dumb old-school scouts, which is both wrong an countrproductive, and he dramatically overstated his case on a lot of the draft stuff. It was his intention to legtimize it, but I kind of think he would up doing the opposite, calling attention to a rift that wasn't as pronounced as he made it out to be.