ESPN is running a "Moneyball" blue plate special this afternoon. Catch an excerpt from Michael Lewis' new book, along with related articles from Rob Neyer and Eric Neel. Neyer also has an excellent interview with Lewis that is worth checking out.
There are several compelling exchanges, but my favorite bit was when Neyer asked Lewis:
RN: ...So what was the hardest thing to leave out of the book?
ML: Well it was funny to know that the players refer to Barry Zito's San Francisco apartment "The Stabbin' Cabin."
RN: Hrmm, I think I'll leave that one alone ...
ML: There were story lines that spun right off the Oakland A's that led more deeply into other clubs, especially the Yankees, Rangers, Blue Jays, and Red Sox. I wrote a chapter about watching a game with Blue Jays GM J.P Ricciardi that might have been the funniest thing in the book -- J.P being a very funny man -- but I had to cut it, because it just got in the way of the story. I think someone ought to do what I had hoped to do, and take apart the business mind of Rangers owner Tom Hicks. Again, it just didn't fit in my story. The Oakland character I was saddest to lose was Tim Hudson.
I don't know that I would have left the Zito thing alone, but that's just me---I love that kind of "North Dallas Forty" bawdy horseshit. Plus, I don't write for ESPN. I would also loved to have read more about Tim Hudson, and the Ricciardi segment sounds terrific too. But I admire Lewis' criticial facilities, because anything that takes away from the story is ultimately superfluous, and must be cut (there goes my editing background rearing its ugly head).