As a caveat before anyone reads CJP Book News today, I’m a HUGE Boston Sports fan and I understand that not everyone holds that opinion but as I’ve always maintained with this blog and in my real world routines, I think it is imperative to read everything, sports, biography, history, science, etc How else will we become well rounded and be able to speak on a variety of subjects. With that being said, I will be discussing two Boston Sports books today and one general sports book.
Feeding the Monster:
How Money, Smarts, and Nerve Took a Team to the Top
In 2006. two years after The Boston Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years, Seth Mnookin delivered Feeding the Monster. Seth was given unparalleled access to the team, and thus he wrote a well researched book on what it took to gather a winning team in this new baseball era.
Being on the inside with The Red Sox gave Seth some information that he otherwise would not have been able to gather. One such story I vividly recall is the signing of Curt Schilling. One of the things I learned from reading this book is that Schilling had no agent when he played baseball. He negotiated all his contracts. There is a funny story that goes along with his signing with the Red Sox. I won’t spoil it. You’ll just have to read the book to discover what it was.
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson reinvigorated basketball with their performance on the court. In the 1980s, their play highlighted basketball. People who didn’t follow basketball knew their names. They made basketball fun to watch. The Boston Celtics and The Los Angeles Lakers played some magical games when Bird and Johnson were on their respective teams.
This book by brought me back to a time when I enjoyed basketball. When the Game was Ours reminded me that even though there were single stars on a team then, just as there are now, those single stars didn’t take the game over. Theatrics weren’t part of the game then. It was about playing hard, passing the ball to other teammates, not that that doesn’t happen now, there are players in the NBA who are unselfish. However, basketball has changed since Bird and Johnson played the game. Heck, the game has changed since Michael Jordan played.
I loved this book not just because The Celtics and The Lakers were the two dominant teams in the 1980s, I enjoyed reading it because Jackie McMullen delved into the two stars past. If you are a true sports fan, you should put your allegiance aside and pick this book up. You’ll learn what drove these two stars. What a fun book.
The Oakland As are the topic of this book. Billy Beane is the subject, Oakland’s General manager (GM) is tasked with building a championship team with a one of the tightest budgets in baseball. Beane used stats not costly monies to assemble a winning team. And he did so so magnificently, that now many in baseball are following his lead. A highly readable book and one that can be translated to disciplines other than baseball. I think you’ll enjoy this as much as I did. In fact, I’d go so far as to say, that Michael Lewis is one of those writers whose any number of books will hold your interest and then some. I know this from reading two of his books now. Pick this up and I’m sure you’ll be able to relate.
Until next time…
Turn the page.