Sunday, November 06, 2005

Its that time again

Its only fitting that this book review is centered around our beloved Red Sox and, in the words of the publisher “How the Boston Red Sox Got smart, Won a World Series and Created a New Blueprint for Winning.” That’s right Mind Game.


1 comment:

  1. A lot of Theo Epstein talk, but actually after reading Mind Game, one would think that the loss of Epstein is not so bad as long the organization stays true to its philosophy that got them to where they are – drafting and developing players (both as a mechanism to field cheap talent AND to be used as bargaining chips for other needed parts), finding bargains, and using the vast resources to pay (and sometimes overpay) for difficult to fill skill positions.

    I was a bit surprised and disappointed with the format. It is a collection of essays that take the reader through the Sox 2004 season, with each essay focusing on an area that the new (old? old/new?) front office had improved or built the team and/or tying something the Sox had done back to some analysis expected by Baseball Prospectus. For example, there the requisite chapters on walks and OBP, a chapter on the acquisition of Ortiz and how came to be undervalued, and a chapter on the brawl game coupled with a thorough analysis of whether fights really have the ability to energize a team.

    It ends up being a cross between a diary of the Red Sox 2004 season (which I have read, it seems, 8 other books already) and 20 articles in BP that focus on the Sox. And since the book is a collection of essays from a whole bunch of writers, it ends up being a bit disjointed – much info is repeated two, three, even four times because each writer is making his own point. Probably the most disappointing thing was that the title specifically used the term Blueprint, but from reading the book you would not really come away from it knowing what that blueprint was – they never tied it all together.

    All that sounds a bit too negative – there is some very good analysis. Joe Morgan would probably hate it, but I doubt he enjoys reading BP or even Rob Neyer. Tons of stats. And some really thought provoking material. Kind of the like the old Bill James Abstracts.

    Overall, I would rate the book as a line drive, bases loaded single by Manny with the Sox trailing by four. Expectations are so much higher that even with solid outcome, you can’t help be a bit disappointed.