Sometimes a change of scenery is a good thing.
Take our buddy Midwest Coast Bias for example. He's awesome and here to tell you a thing or two... about lovin'. (Cue Ladies Man music) He is the first, but certainly not the last, guest author that BLB will have during this long and lonely off season and we are more than proud to have him drop by.
By MCBias, http://mcbias.blogspot.com
Like many of you, I read Moneyball by Michael Lewis and was intrigued by the ways small-market Oakland kept up with wealthier teams in baseball. General Manager Billy Beane used the works of statisticians to understand which characteristics of ball players don’t matter, which statistics were overrated, and which statistics were underrated.
I started wondering in which other fields Moneyball tactics might help to evaluate talent…and immediately thought of love and dating. Thus, “Honeyball” was born. What follows is a Moneyball approach on signing deserving and undervalued females to long-term contracts. Now, please, don’t think MCBias uses a spreadsheet to evaluate every potential date’s OBP (it’s more like an access database, ha), but I thought it was amusing to see what Moneyball would look like in love and dating. Feel free to share your own over-rated/under-rated stats in the comments.
Honey stats that don’t matter:
Pictures and video. Pictures and videos are like relying on the word of unpaid scouts for a general manager; it’s better than nothing, but not by much. How many of you have pursued a girl based on her Myspace or Match.com photo, only to be disappointed? Just me? Um…moving on. On the other hand, many pretty women look less attractive in pictures. If the lady has a crooked nose, cleft chin, or other non-symmetric feature, pictures tend to make it look worse.
Job titles and awards. No manager is trying to sign Pat Hentgen just because he won a Cy Young a decade ago. So what does it matter if she won Miss BBQ Sweetie-Pie at the country fair and was the Homecoming Queen in high school a decade ago? Men put too much emphasis on job titles, too. Science has proven that it is statistically feasible that some attractive girls do not work as models/actresses/waitresses/singers. I know, I know, sounds impossible, but cute engineers and accountants do exist! No comment on whether both turned me down.
What other men think of her looks. A shrewd general manager knows better than to let the opinions of other managers influence his decisions. I definitely want my friends’ opinion on the woman’s personality and character, lest I end up divorced, penniless, or depressed. But as long as her looks float your boat, who cares what your friends think? Don’t love your best friend’s idea of hotness; love your own. No comment as to whether I started singing “love the one you’re with” after typing that line.
Honey stats that are overrated:
“Best available athlete”. Here’s one place where Moneyball’s advice is terrible for Honeyball. She may be the best you can get in terms of hotness, personality, and intelligence…but does she fit the style of your team (you + friends/family) and do you have an opening at her position? Forget how she is “on paper.” Billy Beane might have been able to push Scott Hattenberg into playing first base, but you have no such power over her. And although you may think that her beliefs can be made compatible with yours, you say that before you’ve been asked to hold the neck of the goat being sacrificed.
Genetics and Book Smarts. Personally, I dislike it that so much is made out of a given ballplayer’s dad being a coach or athlete or on how book smart a player is (went to Stanford, etc.). I mean, it’s nice, but so what? Sure, you don’t want the woman to be stupid, unless you dream of a life spent protecting her from herself. But after a certain point, what is intelligence worth? There aren’t many intellectual debates being conducted while the kid’s diaper is getting changed, are there? No comment on whether I would make Newton’s Law “action/reaction” jokes during said diaper-changing.
Height. Moneyball and Honeyball definitely agree here. If the player can hit well, who cares how small/tall they are? I know a lot of attractive tall women (and short men, for that matter) that somehow go dateless year after year. Cut or add 3-4 inches to their height, and they’d be hotly pursued. It makes no sense. No comment about how a certain 5’10” power forward may have changed my bias forever with one post-up.
Honey stats that are underrated:
Athleticism and liking sports. Moneyball glosses over what a problem it was that Billy Beane, the scouts, and Art Howe were so divided in their approach to the game. I personally think a big reason for those Athletics play-off failures was that very division. So when a woman enjoys playing and watching the same sports as I do, it gives us a natural bond to build a relationship on, and gives us shared passion. It’s sports…and women…at the same time! And if she’s a great athlete, maybe she can give birth to millionaire baseball players to take care of us in our old age. Daddy wants a new car!
Street Smarts. Moneyball worships players who can take bad pitches and then swing away when they get ahead in the count. A woman with common sense is priceless; someone needs to stop you when you want to invest the family savings in “Pyramid Marketing, Inc.” Not that anyone would be that stupid…um, by the way…anyone want to come party with me? I’m definitely, absolutely not holding it because I still need to sell five more Tupperware bowls for the month.
Learning, creativity, and personal growth. Billy Beane has proven over and over that he can develop young prospects and turn them into everyday big league players. If the woman you’re interested in is willing to learn and grow, you could have a future with her. Also, if she’s creative, you won’t go through many boring periods in the relationship. After all, it’s very exciting to be stranded in a war-torn Third World country refugee camp because a Hawaii honeymoon sounded boring to her.
Sometimes a change of scenery is a good thing.