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The Hidden Game of Baseball: A Revolutionary Approach to Baseball and Its…

by John Thorn, Pete Palmer

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1271174,406 (4.34)1
Long before Moneyball became a sensation or Nate Silver turned the knowledge he'd honed on baseball into electoral gold, John Thorn and Pete Palmer were using statistics to shake the foundations of the game. First published in 1984, The Hidden Game of Baseball ushered in the sabermetric revolution by demonstrating that we were thinking about baseball stats--and thus the game itself--all wrong. Instead of praising sluggers for gaudy RBI totals or pitchers for wins, Thorn and Palmer argued in favor of more subtle measurements that correlated much more closely to the ultimate goal: winning baseball games.             The new gospel promulgated by Thorn and Palmer opened the door for a flood of new questions, such as how a ballpark's layout helps or hinders offense or whether a strikeout really is worse than another kind of out. Taking questions like these seriously--and backing up the answers with data--launched a new era, showing fans, journalists, scouts, executives, and even players themselves a new, better way to look at the game.             This brand-new edition retains the body of the original, with its rich, accessible analysis rooted in a deep love of baseball, while adding a new introduction by the authors tracing the book's influence over the years. A foreword by ESPN's lead baseball analyst, Keith Law, details The Hidden Game's central role in the transformation of baseball coverage and team management and shows how teams continue to reap the benefits of Thorn and Palmer's insights today. Thirty years after its original publication, The Hidden Game is still bringing the high heat--a true classic of baseball literature.… (more)
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» See also 1 mention

Perhaps the most important of all sabermetrics books.

Thorn and Palmer, in person, are humble folks, willing--even happy--to discuss the (few, to be sure) shortcomings of their knowledge, research, and methods. That doesn't come through in this book. You'd think, after reading Hidden Game, that there was no more to be said about evaluating baseball performance. They also gloss over important, debatable, points.

All the same, the one sabermetric book everyone should read. Important stuff in here.

This review is also posted on a dabbler's journal. ( )
  joeldinda | Nov 13, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Thornprimary authorall editionscalculated
Palmer, Petemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Long before Moneyball became a sensation or Nate Silver turned the knowledge he'd honed on baseball into electoral gold, John Thorn and Pete Palmer were using statistics to shake the foundations of the game. First published in 1984, The Hidden Game of Baseball ushered in the sabermetric revolution by demonstrating that we were thinking about baseball stats--and thus the game itself--all wrong. Instead of praising sluggers for gaudy RBI totals or pitchers for wins, Thorn and Palmer argued in favor of more subtle measurements that correlated much more closely to the ultimate goal: winning baseball games.             The new gospel promulgated by Thorn and Palmer opened the door for a flood of new questions, such as how a ballpark's layout helps or hinders offense or whether a strikeout really is worse than another kind of out. Taking questions like these seriously--and backing up the answers with data--launched a new era, showing fans, journalists, scouts, executives, and even players themselves a new, better way to look at the game.             This brand-new edition retains the body of the original, with its rich, accessible analysis rooted in a deep love of baseball, while adding a new introduction by the authors tracing the book's influence over the years. A foreword by ESPN's lead baseball analyst, Keith Law, details The Hidden Game's central role in the transformation of baseball coverage and team management and shows how teams continue to reap the benefits of Thorn and Palmer's insights today. Thirty years after its original publication, The Hidden Game is still bringing the high heat--a true classic of baseball literature.

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