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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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