It Ain't over 'Til It's Over: The Baseball Prospectus Pennant Race Book

Overview

Pennant races are arguably the most important aspect of baseball. Players, teams, and franchises are all after one goal: to win the pennant and get into the post-season. But what really determines who wins? Statistical analyses of baseball abound: different ways of breaking down everyone’s individual performance, from hitters and pitchers to managers and even owners. But surprisingly, team success-what makes some teams winners over an entire season-has never been looked at with the same statistical rigor. In It ...

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It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over: The Baseball Prospectus Pennant Race Book

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Overview

Pennant races are arguably the most important aspect of baseball. Players, teams, and franchises are all after one goal: to win the pennant and get into the post-season. But what really determines who wins? Statistical analyses of baseball abound: different ways of breaking down everyone’s individual performance, from hitters and pitchers to managers and even owners. But surprisingly, team success-what makes some teams winners over an entire season-has never been looked at with the same statistical rigor. In It Ain’t Over ’Til It’s Over, The Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts introduce the Davenport Method of deciding which races were the most dramatic-the closest, the most volatile-and determine the ten greatest races of modern baseball history. They use these key races (and a few others) to answer the main question: What determines who wins? How important are such things as mid-season trades, how much a manager overworks his pitchers, and why teams have winning and losing streaks? Can one player carry a team? Can one bad player ruin a team? Can one bad play ruin a team’s chances? This fascinating and illuminating book will change your perception of the game.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465002856
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 2/25/2008
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.19 (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

Introduction: Schrodinger's Pennant Race   Steven Goldman     xi
1967 American League: To Fight the Unbeatable Foe   Jay Jaffe     1
The Summer of Loving Carl Yastrzemski   Jay Jaffe     19
Managers 2.0: Dick Williams and the Men Who Ate Gene Mauch's Lunch   Christina Kahrl     24
1959 National League: Alston's L.A. Confidential   Jay Jaffe     30
The Braves Dynasty That Wasn't   Jay Jaffe     46
The Replacement-Level Killers   Jay Jaffe     52
1948 and 1949 American League: Tyranicide   Steven Goldman     58
The Postwar Period and Competitive Balance   Nate Silver     82
What If Branch Rickey Had Run the Yankees?   Steven Goldman     94
1908 National League: A Folish Inconsistency   Steven Goldman     99
Paper Giants   Clay Davenport     121
1964 National League: There Is No Expedient to Which a Man Should Not Resort to Avoid the Real Labor of Thinking   Clifford J. Corcoran     129
Brock and Trout: The Greatest Deadline Deals of All Time   Clifford J. Corcoran     147
Dick Allen's Aftermath   Allen Barra     153
2003 NationalLeague Central: Scapegoats   John Erhardt     160
Selig's Dream: The Wild Card as Enabler of Pennant Races   Nate Silver     170
1972 American League East: The Book of Job   Clifford J. Corcoran     179
1973 The National League East: The Healing Power of Faith   Alex Belth     194
The Great All-Time Anti-Pennant Race   Clay Davenport     206
1974 American League East: Mutiny on the Weaver   Alex Belth     220
How to Break Up the Yankees   Steven Goldman     236
1951 National League: The Dirty, Underhanded, Compromised, Corrupt, and Perhaps Tertiary Shot Heard 'Round the World   Kevin Baker     248
Durocher's Obessesion: Static Versus Dynamic Offenses   Clay Davenport     266
The Say-Hey Savior: Rookies and Pennant Races   Jay Jaffe     273
1984 American League West: Complacency   Steven Goldman     280
The Great Improvisation   Kevin Goldstein     297
The Break   Rany Jazayerli     302
1934 National League: Learning to Trust the Man in Glasses   Christina Kahrl     310
1944 American League: The Home Front   Nate Silver      326
The Great Pennant Race Abstract     363
Notes     393
Acknowledgments     421
About the Authors     423
Index     427
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