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Moneyball II?
2003-07-28 10:01
by Jon Weisman

Interviewing Internetter Alex Belth has done it again, getting a Q & A with Moneyball author Michael Lewis. Alex may even have something of a scoop: the interview concludes with the news that Lewis is considering a sequel.

BB: There is still a lot of time left this season for things to turn your way. Will you write an additional chapter for the paperback edition?

ML: I think thereÕs a chance that IÕm going to write a response to the critics. It wouldnÕt be exactly that. It would be a piece making observations about the reaction. It would include a discussion about sports writing and the state of sports writing. Baseball writing. ItÕs curious the way baseball writers are. ItÕs curious to me that Joe Morgan can write pieces saying that Billy Beane wrote the book, and nobody says anything. ItÕs just weird. In a way, the response to the book has explained why all these inefficiencies existed in the first place. I might do that, if I have the energy. But my inclination is to move on. The pleasure of the book is largely in doing it. ItÕs done. And now, IÕm going to write a sequel to the book. Which is going to take me six years to do, and the sequel is going to be about what happens to the kids they drafted. I am following them through the minor leagues. Traveling on the buses with them and all that other stuff.

As a roundabout way into discussing the book, the interview begins with a discussion of the chance that Moneyball could be movie material, and baseball movies in general. I was pleased to see them rate my favorite baseball movie, The Bad News Bears, as one of the best, and also agreed with their ranking of Bang the Drum Slowly as overrated (the only part of the movie that I really like is the playing of the song).

However, I was disappointed by their ambivalence toward Eight Men Out and at the way Lewis completely slammed The Natural. The biggest sin of The Natural is changing the ending of the novel, but evaluating the movie on its own merits, I think it is poetry - beautiful poetry. It isn't realistic in the common sense, but to me, it captures a very realistic sensation of the hopes that one places in the game, and of the mixing of reality and dreams.

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