Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know about the Game Is Wrong

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Overview


In the numbers-obsessed sport of baseball, statistics don't merely record what players, managers, and owners have done. Properly understood, they can tell us how the teams we root for could employ better strategies, put more effective players on the field, and win more games. The revolution in baseball statistics that began in the 1970s is a controversial subject that professionals and fans alike argue over without end. Despite this fundamental change in the way we watch and understand the sport, no one has ...
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Overview


In the numbers-obsessed sport of baseball, statistics don't merely record what players, managers, and owners have done. Properly understood, they can tell us how the teams we root for could employ better strategies, put more effective players on the field, and win more games. The revolution in baseball statistics that began in the 1970s is a controversial subject that professionals and fans alike argue over without end. Despite this fundamental change in the way we watch and understand the sport, no one has written the book that reveals, across every area of strategy and management, how the best practitioners of statistical analysis in baseball-people like Bill James, Billy Beane, and Theo Epstein-think about numbers and the game. Baseball Between the Numbers is that book. In separate chapters covering every aspect of the game, from hitting, pitching, and fielding to roster construction and the scouting and drafting of players, the experts at Baseball Prospectus examine the subtle, hidden aspects of the game, bring them out into the open, and show us how our favorite teams could win more games. This is a book that every fan, every follower of sports radio, every fantasy player, every coach, and every player, at every level, can learn from and enjoy.
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Editorial Reviews

Allen Barra
Go to a certain kind of bar, and chances are you will be told that everything you know about baseball is wrong. But, the wise guys at Baseball Prospectus will make you believe it—and enjoy discovering why.
—The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465005475
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 2/26/2007
  • Edition description: Enlarged Edition
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 226,525
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 10.92 (h) x 1.48 (d)

Meet the Author


Baseball Prospectus is the top statistical web site in baseball and is extensively used, in print and on air, by a wide range of major broadcasters, magazines, and daily newspapers that cover Major League Baseball.
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Table of Contents


Preface to the Paperback Edition     xiii
Preface     xxix
Pay No Attention to the Glowing, Orange-Eyed Satan-Dog Behind the Closet Door     xxxiii
Batting Practice: Is Barry Bonds Better Than Babe Ruth?   Nate Silver     xxxvii
What's the Matter with RBI?...and Other Traditional Statistics   Jonah Keri     1
Is David Ortiz a Clutch Hitter?   Nate Silver     14
Was Billy Martin Crazy?   James Click     35
Why Are Pitchers So Unpredictable?   Keith Woolner   Dayn Perry     48
Are Teams Letting Their Closers Go to Waste?   Keith Woolner     58
Five Starters or Four? On Pitching and Stamina   Keith Woolner     74
When Does a Pitcher Earn an Earned Run?   Dayn Perry     87
Did Derek Jeter Deserve the Gold Glove?   James Click     95
Is Mike Matheny a Catching Genius?   Keith Woolner     104
What if Rickey Henderson Had Pete Incaviglia's Legs?   James Click     112
When Is One Run Worth More Than Two?   James Click     127
Is Joe Torre a Hall of Fame Manager?   James Click     139
Why Is Mario Mendoza So Important?   KeithWoolner     157
Is Alex Rodriguez Overpaid?   Nate Silver     174
Do Players Perform Better in Contract Years?   Dayn Perry     199
Do High Salaries Lead to High Ticket Prices?   Neil deMause     207
Are New Stadiums a Good Deal?   Neil deMause     215
Does Baseball Need a Salary Cap?   Neil deMause     227
What Happened to Todd Van Poppel?   Dayn Perry     235
Is There Such a Thing as a Quadruple-A Player?   Clay Davenport     242
Why Was Kevin Maas a Bust?   Nate Silver     253
Can a Team Have Too Much Pitching?   Steven Goldman     272
How Much Does Coors Field Really Matter?   Keith Woolner     292
Is Wayne Huizenga a Genius?   Jonah Keri     306
What Do Statistics Tell Us About Steroids?   Nate Silver     326
What Does Mike Redmond Know About Tom Glavine?   James Click     343
Why Doesn't Billy Beane's Shit Work in the Playoffs?   Nate Silver   Dayn Perry     352
Extra Innings: Can Stats and Scouts Get Along?   Dayn Perry     369
Notes     375
Glossary      412
Acknowledgments     432
Index     435
The Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts     455
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 5, 2013

    For all baseball fans - especially those easily confused by math

    The operative word on this book is BETWEEN. The experts at Baseball Prospectus take care to bring you into the new statistical revolution going on in baseball and explaining what's going on BETWEEN all the fancy acronyms and percentages. You'll love the passion with which the authors write and you'll appreciate learning more about the game you already thought you had figured out.

    A MUST BUY for any baseball fan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2008

    A real eye opener!

    When I picked up this book, I thought to myself, 'Alright, a book about baseball, this could be alright.' Alright? This book is amazing! The way that they are able to analize every stat imaginable, and how they develop equations to solve the most controversial of controversies bewildered me. This is a very math-sided book, so if you are into breaking down all the stats to get a mathematically correct answer to a controversy, then this is definitely for you. Doesn't sound like you? Well i think this is still a very enjoyable book for any sports fan. Happy reading!

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    Posted July 27, 2010

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    Posted September 30, 2009

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    Posted May 31, 2009

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