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The Inside Game: Bad Calls, Strange Moves,…
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The Inside Game: Bad Calls, Strange Moves, and What Baseball Behavior… (edition 2020)

by Keith Law (Author)

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262755,169 (3.8)1
In this groundbreaking book, Keith Law, baseball writer for The Athletic and author of the acclaimed Smart Baseball, offers an era-spanning dissection of some of the best and worst decisions in modern baseball, explaining what motivated them, what can be learned from them, and how their legacy has shaped the game. For years, Daniel Kahneman's iconic work of behavioral science Thinking Fast and Slow has been required reading in front offices across Major League Baseball. In this smart, incisive, and eye-opening book, Keith Law applies Kahneman's ideas about decision making to the game itself. Baseball is a sport of decisions. Some are so small and routine they become the building blocks of the game itself--what pitch to throw or when to swing away. Others are so huge they dictate the future of franchises--when to make a strategic trade for a chance to win now, or when to offer a millions and a multi-year contract for a twenty-eight-year-old star. These decisions have long shaped the behavior of players, managers, and entire franchises. But as those choices have become more complex and data-driven, knowing what's behind them has become key to understanding the sport. This fascinating, revelatory work explores as never before the essential question: What were they thinking? Combining behavioral science and interviews with executives, managers, and players, Keith Law analyzes baseball's biggest decision making successes and failures, looking at how gambles and calculated risks of all sizes and scales have shaped the sport, and how the game's ongoing data revolution is rewriting decades of accepted decision making. In the process, he explores questions that have long been debated, from whether throwing harder really increases a player's risk of serious injury to whether teams actually "overvalue" trade prospects. Bringing his analytical and combative style to some of baseball's longest running debates, Law deepens our knowledge of the sport in this entertaining work that is both fun and deeply informative.… (more)
Member:CourtneyAnauo
Title:The Inside Game: Bad Calls, Strange Moves, and What Baseball Behavior Teaches Us About Ourselves
Authors:Keith Law (Author)
Info:William Morrow (2020), 272 pages
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The Inside Game: Bad Calls, Strange Moves, and What Baseball Behavior Teaches Us About Ourselves by Keith Law

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A good book. I've been reading Keith Law for a long time, now; he rarely disappoints.

There are two ways to view this book:
* It's a baseball book, discussing the cognitive biases that often shape decisions made by teams.
* It's a book about cognitive biases that uses baseball examples.
The author claims both reads are legitimate in the first few paragraphs.

I can imagine this as a college textbook. Law seems to think that would be an economics or MBA course, but I could see it used in a psych, sociology, or even philosophy classroom. But its sometimes baseball-analytical (aka sabermetric) background would probably confuse some of the students, even though Law's quite good at explaining those things.

From a baseball fan's perspective the author's non-baseball examples could well be considered a distraction, though I found them interesting--they certainly help illustrate his main points. And because Law wrote the chapters with the intention that each stand alone, there's some repetition that could be annoying but is pretty harmless.

==========

One of the non-baseball discussions really caught my eye. Several pages in chapter 4 discuss vaccine misinformation, and the ways in which it spreads. There's also a bit of discussion about the difficulty of combatting conspiracy theories.

This in a book written in 2019 and published about the time Covid hit. ( )
  joeldinda | Feb 10, 2022 |
A solid effort by Keith Law, but I quickly realized that I probably wasn't the target audience for this book that purports to be more about thinking and analysis than baseball. This read likes a series of business cases for an MBA.

I've otherwise encountered many of these concepts and didn't get much from the non-baseball arguments. My favorite chapter was the last, that highlighted some real-world examples by analyzing past deals, talking with the decision makers about their processes, and the like. ( )
  kcshankd | Sep 5, 2020 |
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In this groundbreaking book, Keith Law, baseball writer for The Athletic and author of the acclaimed Smart Baseball, offers an era-spanning dissection of some of the best and worst decisions in modern baseball, explaining what motivated them, what can be learned from them, and how their legacy has shaped the game. For years, Daniel Kahneman's iconic work of behavioral science Thinking Fast and Slow has been required reading in front offices across Major League Baseball. In this smart, incisive, and eye-opening book, Keith Law applies Kahneman's ideas about decision making to the game itself. Baseball is a sport of decisions. Some are so small and routine they become the building blocks of the game itself--what pitch to throw or when to swing away. Others are so huge they dictate the future of franchises--when to make a strategic trade for a chance to win now, or when to offer a millions and a multi-year contract for a twenty-eight-year-old star. These decisions have long shaped the behavior of players, managers, and entire franchises. But as those choices have become more complex and data-driven, knowing what's behind them has become key to understanding the sport. This fascinating, revelatory work explores as never before the essential question: What were they thinking? Combining behavioral science and interviews with executives, managers, and players, Keith Law analyzes baseball's biggest decision making successes and failures, looking at how gambles and calculated risks of all sizes and scales have shaped the sport, and how the game's ongoing data revolution is rewriting decades of accepted decision making. In the process, he explores questions that have long been debated, from whether throwing harder really increases a player's risk of serious injury to whether teams actually "overvalue" trade prospects. Bringing his analytical and combative style to some of baseball's longest running debates, Law deepens our knowledge of the sport in this entertaining work that is both fun and deeply informative.

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