I could read this book all over again, starting tonight, when I just finished it. An insightful look into Billy Beane’s madness with the Oakland A’s. Bill James’ theory of baseball, taking luck out of the pitching stats equation (Voros McCracken). Scott Hatteburg’s lack of holes and incredible plate discipline, Chad Bradford’s unhittable underhand pitching. The tension between the front office and Art Howe, tension over allowing Ray Durham to steal bases (unnecessary risk which doesn’t lead to much of a reward). The supremacy of on base percentage and the rise of OPS. The valuing of ‘defective’ players by the A’s in order to get bargains. The 20 game winning streak of 2002. The insight into the Rincon trade, Billy playing other owners off each other. The future of baseball shaping up to include more teams that model themselves on the A’s strategy of more with less money (BoSox & Blue Jays). Most of all, the force of Billy Beane.
I want to read more books like this.

Continue reading “Moneyball”

Samuel Pepys

Thankfully, Claire Tomalin translates Pepys’ shorthand into distinct words for us and provides a glimpse into life in the 1660’s. Pepys public speaking training as a child helped him in his career; he would mock the king for his inability to speak publicly. Had to skim the last few chapters of post-diary section. Pepys recorded the dialog of his life, including “wind-fucker” for someone who pissed off his friend.

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Mediterranean Ricotta, Feta and Spinach Pie

1 bag (10 oz) fresh spinach, cooked per package directions
1 Tbsp dried whole wheat bread crumbs (leave off for Phase I)
1 cup reduced fat ricotta cheese
3 lg eggs
1/2 cup fat-free half and half
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
3/4 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
pinch of grated fresh nutmeg (or dried type)

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Cuban Black Bean Soup

Cuban Black Bean soup
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, trimmed and finely chopped
1 medium-size green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 medium-size cloves garlic, peeled and pressed or finely minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
4 cups cooked or canned (drained and rinsed) black beans
4 cups defatted chicken broth
1 cup cold water
Salt & Pepper

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