Mind Game out

DMZ · October 7, 2005 at 11:53 am · Filed Under General baseball 

The long-delayed “Mind Game: How the Boston Red Sox Got Smart, Won a World Series, and Created a New Blueprint for Winning” is finally available (according to Amazon, it’s by the excellent Steve Goldman, who wrote and edited, and also some of the old Baseball Prospectus guys who didn’t say, write chapters like me and others… which is kinda annoying, since this is the last BP book my name’s going to be on in any capacity and I worked hard on it).

I’d tell you how the final product is, but as an author, it’s unlikely I’ll ever be receiving a copy (don’t ask). The stuff I read was quite good, though, I liked my chapters, Goldman’s great, and the reception seems to be excellent, so I’m confident it’s worth checking out if you get the chance. However, I don’t get any money if it sells well and no longer have any stake in BP’s success, so don’t at all feel like a purchase supports, even indirectly, me or USSM.

Jonah Keri’s doing a book signing for Mind Game December 17th at Third Place Books, which I’m sure we’ll be plugging again as that approaches.


18 Responses to “Mind Game out”

  1. Jonah Keri on October 7th, 2005 12:11 pm

    The book has my seal of approval, for sure. One thing I can tell you is that non-Red Sox fans I’ve spoken to who’ve read it also really like it. The 2004 Sox team is basically the platform off of which some really interesting discussions of team-building and overall baseball strategy evolves. DZ’s chapters have the usual flair, and there’s really great stuff from a bunch of other excellent writers.

    I’ll be answering any and all questions at Third Place in Bothell in December as DZ noted (same place as this past spring’s BP05 book signing) but if anyone has questions now, or is on the fence about buying it and wants more info, feel free to ask here or drop me a line.

    Oh and welcome back, Derek!

  2. Pat on October 7th, 2005 2:13 pm

    One day, over a few beers, perhaps, it would be fascianting to hear the DMZ & BP fallout story.

  3. Evan on October 7th, 2005 2:44 pm

    We have no real reason to believe there was a falling out at all. We just know that Derek left.

    Just because he didn’t go work for a major-league club like Keith Law (Toronto) or Gary Huckaby (Oakland) did doesn’t mean there was some sort of huge disagreement.

  4. Pat on October 7th, 2005 3:13 pm

    uhh, the English translation of “fascianting” would probably be “fascinating”.

  5. DMZ on October 7th, 2005 3:56 pm

    I wrote a long post about the BP departure at the time and it’s sat in my “draft article” queue ever since. I haven’t published it, obviously, because I’ve never been satisfied with what I wanted to say, because there’s not a whole lot of demand to know (or reason to tell), and because as time has passed, it’s seemed like letting it lie’s been the best path all around.

    I spent many years writing for Prospectus and pouring myself into my work there. Leaving was a huge event for me, and I did not arrive at the decision easily. Sooooo… enough said about that. How ’bout those 2004 Red Sox, huh?

  6. Evan on October 7th, 2005 4:05 pm

    It was because Nate Silver is a robot, wasn’t it?

  7. Aboba on October 7th, 2005 4:12 pm

    Speaking of the Red Sox…. the 2005 version doesn’t seem to be doing very well against the White Sox.

    Given the White Sox roster of 2004, I think we need to give a lot of credit to Ken Williams. More than half their current starting lineup is new to the club.

  8. tede on October 7th, 2005 4:44 pm

    Well the ChiSox did it.

    Freddie. The guy wins playoff games. (Even though it was really the El Duque show).

    One thing I thought I’d never see: “Joey Cora playoff winning 3B coach”

  9. Pat on October 7th, 2005 4:45 pm

    Understood, Derek.

    Those ’04 Sox… better than the ’05 Sox, that’s for sure. Sigh.

  10. The Real Neal on October 7th, 2005 6:49 pm

    I just finished the BP Book, it was pretty good.

    Chapter 1: Identify Your Problems
    Chapter 2: Throw Money at Your Problems
    Chapter 3: Throw more Money at Your Problems
    Chapter 4: Get Lucky
    Chapter 5: Bask in Accolades and Prepare to get Swept out of the ’06 Playoffs by a Small Ball team.

  11. DMZ on October 7th, 2005 7:34 pm

    Even Guillen will tell you they’re not a small ball team.

  12. JMB on October 7th, 2005 9:59 pm

    Strange but true: the White Sox out-homered the Red Sox this season.

    Chicago shouldn’t have run so much this year, though. That 67% success rate was in the bottom third of MLB. Scott Podsednik was caught stealing 23 times this year.

    (AL record is 42, by Rickey Henderson in 1982; he was successful 130 times, however.)


  13. dave paisley on October 7th, 2005 10:38 pm

    Hmm, somewhat ironic(*) that it comes out the day the Red Sox fail to win a single game as they get unceremoniously bounced out of this year’s playoffs.

    (*) In an Alanis Morrissette kind of way, of course.

  14. DMZ on October 7th, 2005 11:22 pm

    It didn’t come out today. I got back from vacation and noticed it was on sale today.

  15. Rebecca Allen on October 8th, 2005 1:44 am

    This doesn’t look quite so good today (10/7).

  16. LB on October 8th, 2005 6:11 pm

    #10: In step #5, you bunched up a couple of steps and omitted a few:

    5: Bask in accolades
    6: Lose #1 starter to injury/surgery for most of the 2005 season
    7: Lost premium closer to injury/surgery for most of the 2005 season
    8: Bash your way to the playoffs anyway via a 900 run offense
    9: Send starter to the mound in game #1 of ALDS with no clue where the ball is going who gives up a solo HR, 2-run HR, and 3 run HR (in the same outing) to alleged “small-ball” team.

    Glad I could fix that for you.

    And if you want to talk about a team that throws money at its problems, consider the NY Mets. They had a $101m payroll. They were prepared to spend more, if the Manny trade had gone through. They gave out $194m in multiyear contracts to three players this off-season (Pedro, Benson, and Beltran). With all the money they threw at their problems, how is it that missed the postseason this year?

  17. The Real Neal on October 23rd, 2005 5:06 am


    Let me introduce you to the concept of ‘Strength of Schedule’

    The Met’s were 83 and 79- But played the 2nd toughest schedule in baseball. If they had a average schedule strength you’d figure they would finish around 90 and 72. The Houston Astros won the wild card with …. wait for it… 89 wins.

  18. The Real Neal on October 23rd, 2005 5:32 am

    Oh, the White Sox were #3 in the league in stolen bases (#1) in caught stealings, and #1 in Sacrifice ‘Hits’. What exactly do you think ‘Small Ball’ is?