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Freakonomics meets Moneyball in this provocative expos? of baseball's most fiercely debated controversies and some of its oldest, most dearly held myths
Providing far more than a mere collection of numbers, economics professor and popular blogger J.C. Bradbury, shines the light of his economic thinking on baseball, exposing the power of tradeoffs, competition, and incentives. Utilizing his own 'sabernomic' approach, Bradbury dissects baseball ...
Freakonomics meets Moneyball in this provocative exposé of baseball's most fiercely debated controversies and some of its oldest, most dearly held myths
Providing far more than a mere collection of numbers, economics professor and popular blogger J.C. Bradbury, shines the light of his economic thinking on baseball, exposing the power of tradeoffs, competition, and incentives. Utilizing his own 'sabernomic' approach, Bradbury dissects baseball topics such as:
• Did steroids have nothing to do with the recent homerun records? Incredibly, Bradbury's research reveals steroids probably had little impact.
• Which players are ridiculously overvalued? Bradbury lists all players by team with their revenue value to the team listed in dollars-including a dishonor role of those players with negative values-updated in paperback to include the 2007 season.
• Does it help to lobby for balls and strikes?
Statistics alone aren't enough anymore. This is a refreshing, lucid, and powerful read for fans, fantasy buffs, and players-as well as coaches at all levels-who want to know what is really happening on the field.
Subjecting recent baseball debates to plentiful regression analyses, Kennesaw State economist Bradbury gamely fuses our national pastime and the "dismal science" somewhat in the spirit of Steven Levitt (Freakonomics), Michael Lewis (Moneyball) and Bill James (Baseball Between the Numbers). Like the latter, Bradbury offers a front-office perspective on labor (that's the players), salaries, managerial influence, steroids, market size and the like. Like a scrappy role player, Bradbury's enthusiasm is evident (he's a Braves supporter); he offers a chapter on managers' ability to work the umps ("it appears that most managers don't seem to have any real impact in arguing balls and strikes") and investigates top pitching coach Leo Mazzone's contributions. A blogger at his Web site sabernomics.com (a play on the acronym SABR, the Society for American Baseball Research), Bradbury, while not forging new ground, shines in the closing chapters, in which he convincingly bucks the conventional wisdom that Major League Baseball behaves like a monopoly. While the numbers crunched are more of the Financial Timesthan the box score kind, the issues the book deals with are those discussed in many a barroom. (Mar.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Bradbury (economics, Kennesaw State Univ., Georgia) seeks to demonstrate how economics permeates every circumstance in baseball. (Yes, it's for readers who liked Freakonomics.) He applies his brand of analysis to such topics as the rarity of left-handed catchers and whether the presence of a particular batter on deck can influence the game. He determines which players currently are hugely overpaid (some surprises here). Those fond of number crunching will enjoy. Recommended for larger libraries.
Posted July 6, 2011
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