michael lewis knocks yet another one out of the ballpark with page-turner 'moneyball.' best damn sports book I've ever had the fortune of picking up at an airport, even for someone who rarely watches baseball, much less heard of billy beane or the oakland a's.
so many good passages to choose from. the following, one of my favorites, reads as if out of a movie scene:
'this kid wears a large pair of underwear,' says another old scout, 'it's soft body. a fleshy kind of a body.'
'oh, you mean like babe ruth?' says billy.
'I don't know,' says the scout. 'a body like that can be low energy.'
'sometimes low energy is just being cool,' says billy.
'yeah,' says the scout. 'well, in this case low energy is because when he walks, his thighs stick together.'
'we're not selling jeans here,' says billy.
'that's good,' says the scout. 'because if you put him in corduroys, he'd start a fire.'
billy takes a step toward the Big Board, sticks the kid's name onto the top of the second column, the seventeenth slot...now a high second-round, or even low first-round, draft pick. if baseball scouts were capable of gasping, these men would have gasped. instead, they spit tobacco juice into their cups.
that was the moment when the scouts realized just how far billy beane was willing to go to push his supposedly rational and objective view...