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1 Beaverton Sports and Fitness- Baseball General

Mind Game: How the Boston Red Sox Got Smart, Won a World Series, and Created a New Blueprint for Winning

by

Mind Game: How the Boston Red Sox Got Smart, Won a World Series, and Created a New Blueprint for Winning Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Think You Know Baseball?

Think Again.

The Red Sox finally won a World Series, in a triumph of unconventional wisdom. They rethought the batting order and committed to Johnny Damon as lead-off. Saw the talent in David Ortiz that other teams overlooked. Had the courage to trade one of the game's top shortstops for the good of the team. They knocked over the sacred cows of RBIs, sacrifice bunts, the hit-and-run, and hewed to the new thinking about pitch count--allowing Pedro Martinez, arguably baseball's best pitcher ever, to excel. Weaving statistics, narrative, personalities, and anecdote, Mind Game reveals exactly how this group of "idiots," led by Theo Epstein and Terry Francona, was in fact the smartest team in the league, and revolutionizes the thinking fan's understanding of how baseball games are really won and lost.

Synopsis:

The Red Sox finally did it. By making decisions that other clubs would not have made and using talent that other clubs ignored or lacked the statistical understanding to perceive, the new, focused Red Sox management built a championship team that overcame 86 years of baseball history. And along the way, argue the writers of Mind Game, created a blueprint for winning baseball.

Savvy, insightful, statistically brilliant, and filled with the thudding sound of the sacred cows of received baseball wisdom biting the dust, Mind Game relives one of modern baseball’s greatest success stories while revolutionizing the fan’s understanding of how baseball games are really won and lost. Created by Steven Goldman and the writers and analysts at Baseball Prospectus—the preeminent annual on the inside game of baseball, with 91,000 copies in print, and Web site, www.baseballprospectus.com, that receives 5 million hits a month—Mind Game explains why the unenlightened Twins gave up on David Ortiz; what led the Sox to understand Johnny Damon’s true value and give him the ideal place in the batting order; how Boston actually gained by having Keith Foulke as a closer vs. Mariano Rivera; and what would likely have happened if the Boston–A-Rod trade went through. (Hint: even worse for the Yankees.) And as the suspense ratchets up before the historic seven-game AL playoff, readers will never look at baseball the same way again, learning that leadoff hitters don’t need to be fast and RBIs are not the rocksolid barometer of an offensive player’s contribution. And all that stealing and bunting? Forget it! Just wait for a three-run homer.

As for the curse of the Bambino? Hogwash! The real curse behind Boston’s 86-year drought was its decades of bigoted, inept ownership and management.

About the Author

Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts on Baseball Talent includes, among others, Gary Huckabay, the founder of Baseball Prospectus; Chris Kahrl, a sports editor who lives in Washington, D.C.; and Dave Pease, who roots for Ryan Klesko in San Diego. Together, the roster of Baseball Prospectus writers consult to 26 of the 30 major league baseball teams.Steven Goldman is the creator of the long-running Pinstriped BibleYou Could Look It Up column for BaseballProspectus.com, a contributor to the Baseball Prospectus annual book, and the author of the biography Forging Genius: the Making of Casey Stengel. His work has also been seen in Yankees Magazine, the New York Sun, and Web sites too numerous to mention. Steven lives in New Jersey with his wife, Stefanie, daughter, Sarah, and, by the time you read this, a boy to be named later.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Acknowledgments vii

A Comforting Note About Statistics x

Introduction: A Brain Surgeon Walks Into a Bar xii

Prologue xiv

1 The Banality of Incompetence, 1919-2002 1

Extra Innings: How Important Is a Teams Best Player?

The Noncurse of the Grey Eagle: A Case Study 14

2 Shopping for Winners, November 25, 2003 17

Extra Innings: Dan Duquette: Failed Epstein Prototype 30

3 The A-Rod Advantage, November-December 2003 35

4 Squeezing the Merchandise, March 7 and March 24, 2004 47

5 Varieties of Relief, April 8-9, 2004 63

Extra Innings: Calvin Schiraldi: Industrial-Strength Fluke 73

6 Walking, Wounded, April 16-18, 2004 77

7 Arms and the Man, April 25, 2004 85

8 “You Want Me to Hit Like a Little Bitch?” May 5, 2004 91

9 The Caveman Cleans Up, May 21, 2004 105

10 The Holy Gospel of On-Base Percentage, May 23, 2004 113

Extra Innings: On-Base-Percentage Scripture 120

11 A Streak of Insignificance, May 29-June 8, 2004 125

12 Nomars Spring and Regression to the Mean, June 9, 2004 141

13 Better Winning Through Chemistry, July 1-3, 2004 151

Extra Innings: The Fanning Fallacy 157

14 Brothers of the Mind Game, July 6-8, 2004 161

15 Basebrawl, July 24, 2004 169

Extra Innings: Draft-Wise but Career-Foolish 178

16 Nomargate, July 31, 2004 183

Extra Innings: Hail and Farewell to the Holy Trinity = 192

17 Invulnerable, August 16-September 11, 2004 197

Extra Innings: Bicoastal Blues? 202

18 Cracking the Rivera Code, September 17-19, 2004 209

19 Deconstructing Pedro, September 24-26, 2004 217

A Case Study: Pedro, Without Qualification 218

Extra Innings: “Why Dont We Just Wake Up the Bambino and Ill Drill Him.” 228

20 Reframing History, October 5-8, 2004 231

21 Insult and Injury, October 16, 2004 241

22 The 510-Square-Inch War Zone, October 17-18, 2004 249

23 Beat the Devil, October 19-20, 2004 261

24 The Substance of Style, October 23-27, 2004 269

25 Beat the Yankees, Be the Yankees, October 28, 2004 277

Epilogue 285

Appendix I: Yawkey and Post-Yawkey Red Sox General Managers 291

Appendix II: The Complete List of Baseball Brawls

from Stengel and Weinart to A-Rod and Varitek 293

Appendix III: Glossary and Statistical Leaders 300

Notes 335

About the Authors 343

Index 347

Product Details

ISBN:
9780761140184
Subtitle:
How the Boston Red Sox Got Smart, Won a World Series, and Created a New Blueprint for Winning
Author:
Baseball Prospectus
Editor:
Goldman, Steve
Editor:
Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts
Author:
Goldman, Steve
Author:
Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts
Author:
Baseball Prospectus Team of Experts
Publisher:
Workman Publishing Company
Subject:
Baseball - Essays & Writings
Subject:
Baseball - Statistics
Subject:
Baseball - Specific Teams
Subject:
Boston red sox (baseball team)
Subject:
SPORTS and RECREATION / Baseball / Statistics
Subject:
SPORTS & RECREATION / Baseball/Statistics
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20050919
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.98 x 6 x 1.08 in 1.19 lb

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Related Subjects

Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Baseball » General
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Mind Game: How the Boston Red Sox Got Smart, Won a World Series, and Created a New Blueprint for Winning Used Trade Paper
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Product details 320 pages Workman Publishing - English 9780761140184 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The Red Sox finally did it. By making decisions that other clubs would not have made and using talent that other clubs ignored or lacked the statistical understanding to perceive, the new, focused Red Sox management built a championship team that overcame 86 years of baseball history. And along the way, argue the writers of Mind Game, created a blueprint for winning baseball.

Savvy, insightful, statistically brilliant, and filled with the thudding sound of the sacred cows of received baseball wisdom biting the dust, Mind Game relives one of modern baseball’s greatest success stories while revolutionizing the fan’s understanding of how baseball games are really won and lost. Created by Steven Goldman and the writers and analysts at Baseball Prospectus—the preeminent annual on the inside game of baseball, with 91,000 copies in print, and Web site, www.baseballprospectus.com, that receives 5 million hits a month—Mind Game explains why the unenlightened Twins gave up on David Ortiz; what led the Sox to understand Johnny Damon’s true value and give him the ideal place in the batting order; how Boston actually gained by having Keith Foulke as a closer vs. Mariano Rivera; and what would likely have happened if the Boston–A-Rod trade went through. (Hint: even worse for the Yankees.) And as the suspense ratchets up before the historic seven-game AL playoff, readers will never look at baseball the same way again, learning that leadoff hitters don’t need to be fast and RBIs are not the rocksolid barometer of an offensive player’s contribution. And all that stealing and bunting? Forget it! Just wait for a three-run homer.

As for the curse of the Bambino? Hogwash! The real curse behind Boston’s 86-year drought was its decades of bigoted, inept ownership and management.

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