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The Baseball Economist: The Real Game…

The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed

by J.C. Bradbury

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The more I read this sort of book, the more I appreciate the uniqueness of Bill James. Math-minded folks seem to have a inveterate tendency toward belaboring the obvious and making huge, crucial assumptions on the way to trivial conclusions. For many of these folks quantification is a sort of religion--there *must* be a way of quantifying anything. If the quantification is inadequate to the phenomenon, well it's the best we've got, so we'll put the inadequacy aside and start drawing conclusions.

Well, sometimes quantification *reduces* knowledge. When our uncertainty can only be expressed in vague and nebulous terms, at least we know we don't know. When we follow the path of the numbers zealots, for whom nothing can be expressed BUT in numbers (and the prose in any of these non-Jamesian books might be offered as Exhibit A in support of this proposition) soon we've got inadequate measures dressed up in the garb of certainty. It doesn't make for an improvement. ( )
  ehines | Sep 17, 2011 |
I'm a baseball fan and statistics major, so this book was right up my alley. ( )
  KApplebaum | Jan 17, 2010 |
Come on, dude. If you're going to publish a book on this subject, at least take the time to make sure it doesn't read like stereo instructions. ( )
  theanalogdivide | Dec 1, 2009 |
I found the analysis about why there are no left-throwing catchers to be interesting.

I didn't even realize that there were no left-throwing catchers.

The reason for this is:

1) A left-handers throwing motion would be hurt throwing to first

2) Between the outfielders and first-base there's enough places to put left-handers

3) If a guy has a strong arm when he's younger (which is necessary for a catcher), then he's probably going to be a pitcher. ( )
  dvf1976 | Apr 24, 2008 |
I don't usually read books about baseball, but this is a pretty good one. I enjoyed learning why there are no left-handed catchers ... ( )
  wfzimmerman | Feb 29, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0525949933, Hardcover)

Baseball fans have seen it all. They've seen the stats. They know what is really going on out there on the field, right? Well, maybe.

Now comes The Baseball Economist exposing the shadow game behind all the baseball stories in the news. Find out what is really happening on the field-and off it. Economics professor J.C. Bradbury, one of our most popular baseball bloggers and the authority sports reporters love to quote, delivers eye-opening revelations in this his first book:

Did steroids have nothing to do with the recent home run records? Incredibly, Bradbury's research reveals steroids had little statistical significance.
Which players are ridiculously overvalued? Bradbury lists all major league players by team with each player's value in revenue to the team listed in dollars-including a dishonor role of those players with negative values.
Is the big-city versus small-city competition really lopsided? See why teams like the Marlins and Indians are likely to dominate big city franchises in the coming years.
Is major league baseball a monopoly that can't govern itself? Bradbury sets out what rules the owners really need to play by, and what the players' union should be doing.

Does it help to lobby for balls and strikes? How would Babe Ruth perform in today's game? And who killed all the left handed catchers anyway? The Baseball Economist has lucid powerful insights into all the old and new questions about the great game.

Providing far more than a mere collection of numbers, Bradbury shines the light of his training in economic thinking on baseball exposing the powers of tradeoffs, competition, and incentives. Statistics alone aren't enough anymore. Fans, fantasy buffs, and players-as well as coaches at all levels-can use and enjoy Bradbury's new Sabernomic perspective comprehensively presented here for the first time.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A survey of some of professional baseball's controversies and myths draws on the latest economic and statistical methods to discuss such topics as steroid use, the practice of lobbying for balls and strikes, and the over-valuing of specific players.

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