The annals of rock music’s history are filled with legendary stories of bands’ backstage antics. But Rush bassist and singer Geddy Lee, who’ll be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April alongside his band-mates, has a habit that seems particularly unusual for a rock star – if all-too-familiar to baseball fans.
“We do an intermission between sets,” he said Tuesday while visiting MLB.com’s studios in Manhattan, “and the first thing I do is check box scores.”
...Lee’s growing interest in the sport led him to the work of sabermetric guru Bill James and, ultimately, the fantasy-baseball addiction that has him checking box scores between sets.
“I started reading Bill James quite early on – not when he was first doing his pamphlets, but when he first started doing the Baseball Abstracts, I was right there buying them. I still have all the old baseball abstracts. So that got the wheels turning, and my friends and I used to talk about those stats.”
Lee’s dynasty keeper league assigns point values to nearly every event that happens on a baseball field, and employs a system he jokingly compared to socialism wherein the worst teams are allowed to keep more players for the next season than the highest finishers. The league even includes defense, assigning point values to double plays, outfield assists, errors and passed balls, and features – in Lee’s words – “an ongoing conversation about how the league should be run” that “can be very heated at times.”
“I would be embarrassed to admit how much time I spend on it,” he said. “I scour the box scores and I scour websites looking for players.”