"These days a typical owner will rake in big money, claim he's nearly broke and then threated to move unless his host city subsidizes a new stadium at taxpayer expense. If you think this is an exaggeration, read Zimbalist's brilliantly researched study on the economics of the game." Charles Hirshberg, Sports Illustrated, 5/26/2003
"Zimbalist's analysis is easily accessible, his data quite interesting and his judgments evenhanded almost to a fault." Washington Post, 4/6/2003
"One of the great strengths of May the Best Team Win is the way in which Zimbalist clearly unravels the workings of various markets labour, product, broadcasting and stadiums and how they combine to make up the industry that is baseball. He provides a detailed analysis of collective bargaining in baseball.... Provides a very readable account of major issues associated with the recent operation of American baseball. It systematically examines various peculiarities and nuances of the operation of this legal cartel. Its major contribution lies in its analyses of the impact of recent collective bargaining deals, the various revenue sharing mechanisms they contain to enhance competitive balance and the moving feast that is broadcasting rights.... Highly recommended for all those interested in the economics of professional team sports and the operation of cartels." Braham Dabscheck, Economic Record, 6/1/2004
"Zimbalist has written a compelling, accessible introduction to the economic issues surrounding the current state of major league baseball." D. A. Coffin, Indiana University Northwest, Choice, 1/1/2004
"Zimbalist writes a thorough but concise analysis of the economic health of MLB.... One of the strengths of May the Best Team Win is the way the book uncovers the hidden disincentives that are hurting the game." Kevin Skelly, Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York, Issues in Labor Statistics
"The overriding theme of the book is that MLB is an unregulated monopoly and as a conseqeunce the industry suffers from inefficiency, exploits consumers, manipulates public policy and suffers from a competitive imbalance that threatens the future of the game.... A well-crafted book that gives a good view of the inner workings of MLB and its owner-barons and provides an interesting case study of cartel behavior. The intended audience is clearly broader than that of academic sports economists.... Zimbalist succeeds in making the material engaging for both economists working in this field and for non-specialists interested in the economics of baseball." Leo H. Kahane, Mount Holyoke College and California State University, Hayward, Journal of Economic Literature, 6/1/2004
"An interesting, insightful, and revealing examination of the business of baseball
a book that will shave the game to its roots. It will become the ultimate book on the economics of professional sports. You will find it just as riveting as I did.
" Pat Williams, senior vice president, Orlando Magic, 2/1/2003
"The business of sports is more competitive than the games on the field because the business is conducted under the laws of commerce, not the rules of sport. In this excellent book, Andrew Zimbalist describes the action in the business of baseball like it was the seventh game of the World Series which it is." Clark C. Griffith, Chairman, Sports Law Division, American Bar Association Forum on Entertainment and Sports Law, 2/1/2003
"A great book just the latest indication of why I tell my students at Harvard that
Andrew Zimbalist is the top sports economist in the country.
" Paul Weiler, Friendly Professor of Law and chair, Sports and Entertainment Law Program, 2/1/2003
In his dense but readable book May the Best Team Win: Baseball Economics and Public Policy, economics professor Andrew Zimbalist concerns himself with fixing a different problem in baseball: the competitive advantages of wealthier, big-market teams. He argues that eliminating Major League Baseball's antitrust exemption would eradicate many of the game's problems. If MLB were modeled after European soccer leagues, which often have several teams in a city, the financial advantages held by big-market teams such as the Yankees could be blunted. — Sean Callahan
Zimbalist offers a medley of free-market remedies designed to enhance competitive equity. — Lawrence S. Ritter
Zimbalist, professor of economics at Smith College, is arguably the leading authority on sports economics in the country. His Baseball and Billions (1992) was one of the first books to take an educated look at the business of baseball, and since the release of that book, Zimbalist has spent thousands of hours researching and writing about the industry. His conclusion in his latest work, that baseball is in trouble, is not a new idea, but the reasons behind baseball's problems and Zimbalist's solutions combine to create an absorbing, provocative discussion. Zimbalist is no friend of baseball owners or baseball commissioner Bud Selig, and he devotes much space to tearing down arguments about the poor financial health of most teams and the need for cities to subsidize teams by paying for new stadiums. Expansion, not contraction, for example, would help spread out talent. The root cause of baseball's problems, Zimbalist argues, is its monopoly, and his most radical idea is for Congress to lift baseball's antitrust exemption and to force divestiture into two competitive leagues. But failing that, Zimbalist has a number of suggestions to improve the status of the game, including attracting younger fans by starting some World Series games at an earlier time; lowering ticket prices; and creating an owner/player partnership to study baseball's problems. At the very least, this volume provides baseball fans with enough material to allow them to engage in one of their favorite pursuits-arguing over what should be done to save the national pastime. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Fans who take the health of their game very seriously will profit from reading this original if somewhat wonkish study of major league baseball and its structural economic ills. Zimbalist (economics, Smith Coll.; Baseball and Billions: A Probing Look Inside the Big Business of Our National Pastime) argues that baseball is not always the boon to local economies that it is advertised to be. Major league baseball has put a stranglehold on real competitive balance, and Zimbalist claims that the near-monopoly status is a detriment to any impulse for improvement. His prescriptions offer harsh but needed medicine.