To try out my new Kobo Touch, I started reading Moneyball. I’ve actually had it on my reading list for awhile now, even before the movie came out (which I haven’t seen yet); but I never got around to it yet. Also, my reading has been blocked because I’ve been struggling to get through this book for about the last half year (gave up some 30% in)!
Anyways, speaking of books I gave up on; I was also reading Bill Simmons’ book (The Book of Basketball: The NBA according to the Sports Guy) but gave up half way because I just wasn’t that interested in basketball. I’ve had much better luck with Moneyball, which I attribute to three reasons:
- I’m more interested in baseball, and its written during a point in time (early 2000s) where I at least still knew some of the players
- Michael Lewis is a more interesting writer whose writings on Iceland and football I have read before
- The writing is more person-focused, and spends time building up a character and telling their stories instead of just stating facts, observations or statistics
To a data geek, Moneyball just makes the other 29 teams in the league seem silly. However, as I was reading it; I realized that Brian Burke, GM of the Maple Leafs, puts a strong emphasis on a player’s character and community involvement (which results in many years and much money invested in players who may not be very good at playing hockey). He’s also very “moral” in his dealings, preferring to take the high ground. Of course, that’s just the persona that he portrays and I can’t know whether these attributes affect his decision making or not. I just hope not, because I don’t want to be one a fan of one of the “dumb” teams in the NHL.