Moneyballs Deep: The Last Baseball Blogger to Learn Sabermetrics, Pt. 1

to: Justin

from: Josh

date: Nov 28, 2010 at 4:51pm

Hey man,

I found a copy of “Moneyball” on the subway and I remembered you haven’t had the “time” to read it yet.  Do you want it?  Maybe your blogs can have more than poop jokes and borderline criminal insanity.

Let me know.

Josh

to: Josh

from: Justin

date: Nov 28, 2010 at 6:37pm

Josh–

Hey I read “100 Reasons to Love the Phillies” and that’s just as culturally relevant.  But you’re right, I think every other baseball blogger has read it.  It’s probably why they all seem to know what they’re talking about.  I’ve heard sabermetrics are the wave of the statistical future/present, so yeah, thanks, I’d love to give it a read.

Justin

to: Justin

from: Josh

date: Dec 1, 2010 at 7:31pm

Ha ha ha remember that game in little league when your Rec Specs flew off your head as you were rounding third and you couldn’t see so you ran into the other team’s bench looking for home plate?  classic.

to: Josh

from: Justin

date: Dec 1, 2010 at 7:45pm

Yeah, I love remembering things like that.  I’m glad you just assumed that I wanted to remember it, too.  It was one of those great traumatizing moments that everyone forgot right after it happened and never talked about again, fortunately.

to: Justin

from: Josh

date: Dec 1, 2010 at 8:47pm

Yo how’s your sister btw

to: Josh

from: Justin

date: Dec 2, 2010 at 9:30am

I forget why we’re friends and please don’t remind me.

Part 1: The Preface

Well, here we are Moneyball.

I am daunted by you because of all the math that I think is inside you.  Sabermetrics has, based on my simplistic grasp of the concept, many, many percent signs and decimal points.  I used to solve word problems by shrieking and hurling my text book out the window.  Forgive me if I was hesitant to pick you up.

But that’s a little over-dramatization.  I guess you’ve just been so built up from the scores of citations and mentions you receive throughout the baseball blogosphere that I assumed you were out of my league, like trying to date a girl after seeing her on the cover of a magazine.

Now, at this moment, I hold you in my hands, and the first sentence I read is “I wrote this book because I fell in love with a story,” which more or less immediately destroys my “MEEEHHHHH TOO MUCH MATH” complaint.

Yet, it’s not that sentence that reverberates most.  That would be this one:

“The people with the most money often win.”

I am quick to romanticize my own employment situation and quicker to demonize those who have achieved higher success.  “I’m a nomad,” I announce, “a traveling bard, spinning tales and cracking jokes in the pubs of a strange land.”

“Please don’t say that at a job interview,” my dad explained the other day over sandwiches.

“Of course not,” I replied, instantly realizing why the last three potential employers hadn’t returned my calls.  “I’m just saying, I don’t really mind being a poor person, because I get to experience so much more life.”

“Yeah, it’s really easy to be a miserable idiot,” dad explained.  “Congratulations on all your success.”

Of course, all I would need to foresake the fantasy life I have pieced together is a job offer.  If it were to be in the field of my choosing, (“Rolling Stone writer in the 1960s”) it would be even better.  And I’m sure I’d come up with a nice little set of reasoning to excuse my exit from life as a starving artist.  Because this is life, and that’s what you do.

So “The people with the most money often win,” has been exactly my overall sentiment for the past year of my life.  Its an excuse for my own shortcomings and it provides a reason to give when asked about them.  It’s the mantra of a nightmare world where the Yankees take permanent control and movies like The Fast and the Furious become a five-picture quintilogy.

If you’ve got the money, you’re in.  Everyone else is a clusterfuck of rats, brats, and resumes, all looking to fill the same runner-up holes.

That’s the hyper sensitive imagery I’ve drummed up, anyway.  And if this is the story of the Oakland Athletics tunneling through a barrier of dollar signs to form a ragtag core of winners in the face of unmistakable impossibility, then I’m biting.  Because remember, that’s my story too.

Until it isn’t anymore.

Tags: Baseball Michael Lewis Moneyball Moneyballs Deep