Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know About the Game Is Wrong

Baseball Between the Numbers Why Everything You Know About the Game Is Wrong In the numbers obsessed sport of baseball statistics don t merely record what players managers and owners have done Properly understood they can tell us how the teams we root for could employ bett

  • Title: Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know About the Game Is Wrong
  • Author: Jonah Keri
  • ISBN: 9780465005475
  • Page: 163
  • Format: Paperback
  • In the numbers obsessed sport of baseball, statistics don t merely record what players, managers, and owners have done Properly understood, they can tell us how the teams we root for could employ better strategies, put effective players on the field, and win games The revolution in baseball statistics that began in the 1970s is a controversial subject that profIn the numbers obsessed sport of baseball, statistics don t merely record what players, managers, and owners have done Properly understood, they can tell us how the teams we root for could employ better strategies, put effective players on the field, and win games The revolution in baseball statistics that began in the 1970s is a controversial subject that professionals and fans alike argue over without end Despite this fundamental change in the way we watch and understand the sport, no one has written the book that reveals, across every area of strategy and management, how the best practitioners of statistical analysis in baseball people like Bill James, Billy Beane, and Theo Epstein think about numbers and the game Baseball Between the Numbers is that book In separate chapters covering every aspect of the game, from hitting, pitching, and fielding to roster construction and the scouting and drafting of players, the experts at Baseball Prospectus examine the subtle, hidden aspects of the game, bring them out into the open, and show us how our favorite teams could win games This is a book that every fan, every follower of sports radio, every fantasy player, every coach, and every player, at every level, can learn from and enjoy.

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    One thought on “Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know About the Game Is Wrong”

    1. If you don't know much about baseball, but you're looking for a book to help you gain a better understanding of the sport, this is NOT the place to start. This is a book for a pretty advanced baseball enthusiast, someone who not only likes baseball, but is also generally interested in economics and thinking about numbers. It is a collection of essays, each dealing with a different topic, but using the same techniques to analyze how we understand what we are seeing when we watch a baseball game. [...]

    2. baseball between the numbers, and sabermetric analysis of the game in general, has many proponents, but is not without its fair share of detractors. through advanced statistical examination (regression analysis, correlation studies, algorithms, etc.), there are many that believe baseball can be more clearly understood (with the implications being that individual player talent can be more accurately defined, and, thus, managers can use this information to increase the overall success of their res [...]

    3. At the risk of over-generalization and dredging up Moneyball arguments, I think baseball fans generally fall into three categories: stat-heads, traditionalists (for lack of a better term), and those who are somewhere in between. This book aims for those who are somewhere in between.If you're a stat-head, this book presents nothing new. You'll probably still find it interesting, but you'll be wanting a deeper explanation behind the numbers and probably be frustrated by the simplification of some [...]

    4. I don't think that everything I knew about the game was wrong but this was most definitely an interesting read. As a baseball junkie and die hard Dodger fan I occasionally found myself in a debate with the authors. Whether this is due to me leaning towards baseball traditionalists or simply data interpretation, these debates were entertaining nonetheless. The fact that the book was written in 2006 also provides an interesting perspective on steroid usage and the use of sabermetrics in general. I [...]

    5. While much has changed in baseball since even 2006 when this book was published--including the return of the pitcher, fewer steroid-fueled home runs, and an increased focus on fielding--one of the most important developments has been the continued rise of statistical analysis in front office decision making.In 2006, several clubs still held out against the crucial statistical terms discussed in this book, such as value over replacement level, on-base percentage, PECOTA, sample size, true outcome [...]

    6. One of the essential books for thinking baseball fans, Baseball Between the Numbers is a compendium of thoughtful and thought-provoking essays on multiple aspects of baseball's "conventional wisdom." The team at Baseball Prospectus tackles everything from the economics of a new stadium to the relative value of 100 RBI, the most effective ways to use a closer, four- vs five-man pitching rotations, and everything in between.The opinions are all backed up with solid numbers, and the authors are ver [...]

    7. This book should have been right up my alley. It is about baseball, numbers, and trying to disprove/find the truth in well accepted beliefs. Given that, it is the only book I think i have ever started and not finished, except for maybe anything by Willaim Burroughs (maybe one day I'll try Naked Lunch again but but I am 0 for 2 in getting past page 10).Anyway, the authors put forth interesting analysis but their writing is uneven to be charitable and they manipulate numbers so much that the numbe [...]

    8. I found it very interesting even though I hate baseball. I feel like they went easy on Bonds though. But of course, anything short of poisoning him and burying the body in OJ Simpson's old lawn in Brentwood (the one by the guesthouse that Kato Kaelin was staying in) is too easy for Bonds. Really glad he got no rings. No rings! Ramiro Mendoza, with a staggering WAR of 10.3, got 4 rings. Barry Bonds ain't got nothing except a huge head. Also CajoleJuice made me read this book.

    9. A total stats geek's wet dream about baseball. This anthology of articles about statistical analysis of baseball players and strategy debunks a century's worth of misconceptions. Each article in the book asks an innocent sounding question (e.g is David Ortiz a clutch hitter), and uses it as the impetus to explore the value of existing statistical measures (e.g batting average) for evaluating concepts that are actually relevant to baseball (e.g runs scored by a team).

    10. Do you think Derek Jeter is the best shortstop ever? Do you just love "small ball"? Still evaluating pitchers on their win/loss record? Do you like your favorite player because everyone thinks he is "gritty"? First of all, you should finish your Cheerios. Then, you should read this book.

    11. Is it too much to ask that Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver read a book like this and seriously consider some of the information??? Would Morgan then finally stop talking about the "little things" that makes a team win?!??!

    12. This is a very interesting book, especially coming from The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball. It's essentially a collection of articles, each detailing one question posed by the chapter's title. For instance, "Why Doesn't Billy Beane's Shit Work in the Playoffs?" or "Do Players Perform Better in Contract Years?" The mix of articles ranges from defense to offense to economics, and every article is definitely enlightening in its own way. It does a good job of laying out the process behind [...]

    13. Really good book. Loved the analytical look into different theories and widely-held views. Would've given it 5 stars but some parts get overly analytical and make logic leaps when it's too much of a stretch. But overall, I really liked it and would highly recommend it.

    14. Cool to go in depth on some sabermetric ideas that I had just accepted as fact. Learn where these ideas came from and all the math behind it.

    15. I think the Baseball Prospectus writers are very intelligent and have access to a well of resources.I just think the sabermetric community works in small quantities and basing an entire book on debunking the romanticism of the game kind of. . .well. . cks.There are two problems with Sabermetrics:1)Sometimes the equations used are really 16 steps removed from a result we already know anyway. Barry Bonds was great. It can be determined by his 'mundane' stat line and by mathematical equations that [...]

    16. Alphabet soup and then some. It had been years since I've read a baseball book of any kind, and with Baseball Prospectus seeming to be a knowledgeable group I thought this might be a decent read. The writing is mediocre at best as the BP "team of experts" loves to quote their own research from previously published articles. There is a tendency by BP to say "should have" and "could have" in reference to a game that is in their own words, unpredictable at best. Interesting theories abound and it w [...]

    17. There are so many questions inherent in every professional baseball game: Which pitcher should start (and when)? Should the sacrifice bunt be laid down? Is the closer best saved for the ninth inning? What more important: on-base or slugging percentage? The list could go on and on. This book takes a purely statistical approach towards answering those questions, using averages and complicated (to the layman) formulas to parse the facts.For the baseball junkie, almost every chapter in this book rai [...]

    18. This collection of Baseball Prospectus (BP) articles is a great intro to sabermetrics. There are discussions on Value Over Replacement Player, Win Expectancy, Equivalent Runs, and many other statistics that the BP team developed to get a deeper, more accurate understanding of how measurable metrics reflect actual player value.They demonstrate the error of trusting some of the traditional statistics that have been used to value players for years. Stats such as RBIs & batting average for hitte [...]

    19. A truly excellent collection of a variety of deeply statistical investigations to answer such questions as "What's the matter with RBI?", "Why are pitchers so unpredictable?", and "How much does Coors field really matter?" Each "chapter" features three related individual questions that are addressed. What's fantastic about this book is the way in which it is written - this isn't really about statistics as numbers, it's about analyzing the game of baseball in the most accurate methods as possible [...]

    20. Thought-provoking. I'm the first to admit that I can't really follow the math (I understand the theory behind a regression analysis, but I couldn't run one, given a bunch of numbers), but I'm very interested in the ideas that flow from it. I'd suspected certain things--public financing of stadiums is a bad idea for everyone but the team owners, for example, or closers should be used at times other than the ninth inning--but it's nice to see actual evidence on them.I'm also a bit lucky to be read [...]

    21. This book is precisely what it purports to be: baseball numbers put into their proper context. It's a very deep read, going into levels of detail that most people (myself first among them) cannot process. That said, the numbers are not the point. The authors are very purposeful in translating the mass of statistics into reasonable conclusions. What I'll say is this is best read as a reference book, one where you can find unorthodox answers to common questions. But you don't need to worry if you [...]

    22. Not for baseball beginners. This book is basically an introductory course into advanced baseball statistics, or Sabremetrics. Anyone who has read Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis knows about the new wave of measuring players and the game itself by advanced statistics. This book is split into, strangely numbered, chapters that explain why classic statistics like ERA, W-L record, and RBIs are ridiculously bad at showing/measuring performance. It also introduces a bevy [...]

    23. I love baseball and this book reminded me so much of Bill James book I would buy every year. The book looks at the numbers and tends to dispel many of the myths even big baseball fans believe because they have been chirped in our ears so much over the years. If you don't like the new stats such as WAR, OBP or SP, you won't like this book. The writers show that these are the most important hitting stats. More so than BA, RBI or HRs.I enjoyed the essays on managers letting their closers go to wast [...]

    24. Great book, goes into some interesting discussions. However, the book wreaks of intellectual property and trade secrets. Every time the authors have a chance to explain something in detail, they instead defer to explaining it in general layman's terms as if we cannot possibly be intelligent enough to follow some of the gritty details involved in the thought process that went into generating some of their statistical measurements. The authors stay annoyingly predictable in their descriptions of t [...]

    25. The real problem with this book is time. Not that the examples are old, but that the controversial thoughts are all conventional among a certain "smart set" who would be most interested in reading this book.I mean, to pick on the most egregious examples, how interested could you possibly be in essays titled "Are Teams Letting Closers Go to Waste?" "Did Derek Jeter Deserve the Gold Glove?" "Is Alex Rodriguez Ovepaid?" Yes. No. No. The problem is that there are a lot of fans -- especially in 2006 [...]

    26. I saw the movie "Moneyball" and saw it making some good points, but grossly oversimplifying things (IMHO). Of course, to fit it into a Story that can be told in two hours, you would have to, but that is a different subject. Anyway, went to the Library to get the book to read it, and picked this up instead.As other reviewers noted, if you want a book to teach you the basics of Baseball, go elsewhere. Heck, if you want an argument for advanced stats, look elsewhere. But if you are a baseball fan a [...]

    27. Well not everything I knew about baseball was wrong, but that's cheating because I already read Baseball Prospectus/The Hardball Times/etc online.Baseball Between the Numbers is a statistical look at several baseball issues (Was Alex Rodriguez worth the money Texas paid him? How do managers affect the game? Does clutch exist?) with answers that are meant to be surprising to people who don't already read the writing of Baseball Prospectus and their ilk. I think it comes on a little strong because [...]

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