by John Grisham, 2012
In a departure from judicial dramas, John Grisham wrote a book about the personal effects of a beanball. Maria and I listened to this, on CD, last weekend, just in time for Spring Training. The story weaves a pair of fictional baseball players (one hero and one villain) into the real world of 1970’s baseball. The villain, motivated by a number of personal shortcomings and perceived slights, throws a beanball at the hero. The hero is hit in the face, and his promising but short career is ended. The story catches up with the characters 30 years after the incident to see if closure can be obtained.
While I appreciate baseball books and most of John Grisham’s stuff, this isn’t his best work by a long shot. A lot of the backstory on the narrator (the villain’s son) just makes you want to cringe, while the closure at the end seems like an odd combination of predictable and unrealistic.
NBA Home Court Advantage in Decline (gated): NBA home teams enjoying just a 2.2 point home court bump this season, by far the lowest in decades. Too many three point shots taking the effect of the referee out of the game? Not forcing them to call fouls?
Raising the Brow: Notes about Anthony Davis’ improved jump shot and awesome efficiency numbers this season. Interesting throughout.
I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)
by Chuck Klosterman, 2014
The villain, in any situation, is the person who knows the most and cares the least.
Now that I’ve told you the main (only?) point of the book, you don’t need to read it. QED.
(I listened to this book on CD)
Using a model developed with Wayne Winston, I posted the bets I would make against the spread from Week 9 onward for the 2014 NFL season and 2015 playoffs. The model did very well, going 79-63.
When betting, you must perform well enough to make money after the betting market takes their cut (the vigorish). Typically, you bet $110 to win $100 if you are correct. If you had bet $110 on each game I suggested, you would have made $970, a return of 6.2% on the total $15620 bet.
Here are the links to each week of suggested bets (for posterity sake):
Super Bowl: 1-0
Conference Championship: 1-1
Divisional Round: 3-1
Wild Card Round: 3-1
Week 17: 8-8
Week 16: 11-4
Week 15: 7-9
Week 14: 6-9
Week 13: 10-6
Week 12: 8-6
Week 11: 9-5
Week 10: 6-7
Week 9: 6-6