Stumbling On Wins: Two Economists Expose the Pitfalls on the Road to Victory in Professional Sports

Stumbling On Wins: Two Economists Expose the Pitfalls on the Road to Victory in Professional Sports

by David J. Berri, Martin B. Schmidt

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780132357784
Publisher: FT Press
Publication date: 03/22/2010
Pages: 237
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

David J. Berri is associate professor of economics at Southern Utah University. He has written extensively on sports economics for academic journals, newspapers, and magazines, including The New York Times.

Martin B. Schmidt, professor of economics at the College of William and Mary, specializes in sports economics and macroeconomics. His writing has appeared in the field’s leading academic and general interest journals, including The New York Times.

Berri and Schmidt coauthored The Wages of Wins and maintain a popular blog, The Wages of Wins Journal, which discusses the economics of sports decision-making (dberri.wordpress.com).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments . . . xi

About the Authors . . . xiii

Preface . . . xv

Chapter 1: Maybe the Fans Are Right . . . 1

Sporting Rationality. . . 3

Crunchers, “Experts,” and the Wrath of Randomness . . . 5

A Century of Mistakes in Baseball . . . 7

Chapter 2: Defending Isiah . . . 13

Isiah Thomas Illustrates How Money Can’t Buy You Love . . . 14

Getting Paid in the NBA. . . 20

Coaching Contradictions. . . 23

Isiah’s Defense. . . 28

Chapter 3: The Search for Useful Stats . . . 33

Identifying the Most “Useful” Numbers . . . 33

The Most Important Position in Team Sports? . . . 39

Assigning Wins and Losses . . . 47

Chapter 4: Football in Black and White . . . 49

A Brief History of the Black Quarterback . . . 50

Performance in Black and White . . . 55

Quarterback Pay in Black and White . . . 63

Chapter 5: Finding the Face of the Franchise . . . 67

Birth of the Draft . . . 68

The Problem with Picking First . . . 69

How to Get Picked First? . . . 78

Back to Kostka. . . . 80

Chapter 6: The Pareto Principle and Drafting Mistakes . . . 83

The Pareto Principle and Losing to Win . . . 83

The NBA Draft and NBA Performance. . . 93

Catching a Baseball Draft . . . 100

Chapter 7: Inefficient on the Field . . . 103

Just Go For It! . . . 106

Evaluating the Little Man in Football . . . 113

The Hot Hand and Coaching Contradictions . . . 115

Chapter 8: Is It the Teacher or the Students? . . . 119

The Wealth of Coaching . . . 120

“Take Your’n and Beat His’n” . . . 122

Deck Chairs? . . . 125

Growing Older and Diminishing Returns . . . 126

Putting the Picture Together . . . 132

Chapter 9: Painting a Bigger Picture . . . 135

Appendix A: Measuring Wins Produced in the NBA . . . 141

A Very Brief Introduction to Regression Analysis . . . 141

Modeling Wins in the NBA . . . 143

Calculating Wins Produced in the NBA. . . 148

Win Score and PAWS48 . . . 154

A Comment on Alternatives . . . 156

Three Objections to Wins Produced for the NBA . . . 158

Appendix B: Measuring Wins Produced in the NFL . . . 161

Endnotes . . . 173

Chapter 1 . . . 173

Chapter 2 . . . 176

Chapter 3 . . . 181

Chapter 4 . . . 186

Chapter 5 . . . 189

Chapter 6 . . . 194

Chapter 7 . . . 198

Chapter 8 . . . 202

Chapter 9 . . . 207

References . . . 209

Books and Articles . . . 209

Web Sites . . . 222

Index . . . 225

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Stumbling on Wins 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The day an NBA team hires these guys, they guarantee themselves a serious string of championships. A fun req dfor any sports fan, and a must-read for anyone in the business.