|By Zach Patterson||Wednesday, 11 Mar 2009|
What do these 3 things have in common? Sports? Well, not really. Crazy Taxi isn’t a sport. I guess nothing. Anyway, here’s some leftovers.
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
Moneyball is book from 2003 that chronicles how the Oakland A’s, with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, were able to survive losing many of their marquee players to free agency, and yet ending up winning more games than the year before that. It also goes through how their use of sabermetrics (baseball speak for advanced statistical analysis) allowed them to exploit the player market to find valuable players that other teams didn’t see, either out of ignorance or the misguided pre-ordained idea of what a baseball player should look like. This book is a little dated now since it was relating so much to the culture of baseball at the time (and how stuck in the past it was), but it might actually be more relevant now because a LOT of the book is discussing prospects and players that Billy Beane and the rest of the Oakland front office believe are superior players, that contradict the beliefs of the rest of Major League Baseball. Some players ended up becoming stars (like Nick Swisher and Kevin Youkilis, the player Beane coveted from the Red Sox organization) and some were total duds, like Jeremy Brown. The book is a fun read, though a bit condescending and know-it-all sounding at times, but it really opens the common reader up to the idea that there’s more to baseball than having an athlete’s body and being able to hit .300 with 100 RBI’s. If you are working with limited funds, you have to find market inefficiencies, and this book is about as great a success story from that standpoint as you could find. The fact that so many teams now have statisticians and value many concepts in this book is proof that they were on to something. Recommended for any baseball fan that somehow hasn’t read it.
I used to hate Will Ferrell. Didn’t like much of his stuff on SNL, and wasn’t a fan of many of his movies. But at some point in the last year or so, he kinda clicked with me and I actually starting finding him funny. Well, this movie is exactly the type of movie that exhibits every bad thing about Will Ferrell. He seems like he’s flailing wildly trying to make scenes funny for most of the movie, like “hey guys! I’m Will Ferrell, this is me being silly! Isn’t it funny! It’s funny! Come on laugh!” Ugh. It’s not a great premise for a movie to start with, because it never takes the basketball part seriously. Any great sports movie always has a respect for the sport it portrays. Here, the basketball is second hand and largely in the background. Also, Woody Harrelson steals the spotlight for much of the movie and you kinda wonder who is supposed to be the main character in this. Aside from those two, the plot
and the rest of the cast is paper thin. This film never needs to be seen. I didn’t laugh a single time.
Crazy Taxi: Fare Wars
I could give this it’s own review, but I realize not too many people care about Crazy Taxi and I love it way too much. This is the PSP port, and even though its a sloppy port of the first two games, and I only play the first one…I STILL LOVE IT. This game has always been one of my personal favorites, and while the port isn’t perfect, it’s still basically Crazy Taxi, but portable. I got horrible blisters from playing it on Dreamcast for endless hours and becoming an expert, and now that my life is busier and portables are the main machines I use when I want to play games, the addiction has begun again. I just want grab BD Joe and start doing some Crazy Drifts, pick up some fares, and ride like a maniac to get to the heliport. CRRRAAAZZZZYYY TAXXXXXIII