Synopses & Reviews
Freakonomics meets Moneyball in this provocative exposé of baseballs most fiercely debated controversies and some of its oldest, most dearly held mythsexplained through the language of numbers and cool cash.
Two hot topics team up in The Baseball Economist, and the result is a refreshing, clear- eyed survey of a playing field that has changed radically in recent years. Utilizing the latest economic methods and statistical analysis, writer, economics professor, and popular blogger J. C. Bradbury dissects burning baseball topics with his original Sabernomic perspective, such as:
Did steroids have nothing to do with the recent home run records? Incredibly, Bradburys research, reviewed by Stanford economists, reveals steroids had little statistical significance.
Is the big-city versus small-city competition really lopsided? Bradbury shows why the Marlins and Indians are likely to dominate big-city franchises in the coming years.
Which players are ridiculously overvalued? Bradbury lists all players by team with their revenue value to the team listed in dollarsincluding a dishonor role of those players with negative values.
Is major league baseball a monopoly that cant govern itself? Bradbury sets out what rules the owners really need to play by, and what the players union should be doing.
Does it help to lobby for balls and strikes? How would Babe Ruth perform in todays game? And who killed all the left-handed catchers, anyway? The Baseball Economist knows.
Providing far more than a mere collection of numbers, Bradbury shines the light of his economic thinking on baseball, exposing the power of tradeoffs, competition, and incentives. Statistics alone arent enough anymore. Fans, fantasy buffs, and players, as well as coaches at all levels who want to grasp what is really happening on the field today and in the coming years, will use and enjoy Bradburys brilliant new understanding of the national pastime.
"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 Times than the box score kind, the issues the book deals with are those discussed in many a barroom." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Bradburys Sabernomics blog offers a good glimpse into sabermetrics, the mathematical and statistical analysis of baseball. (The Wall Street Journal)
"Freakonomics" meets "Moneyball" in this provocative expos of baseball's most fiercely debated controversies and some of its oldest, most dearly held myths--explained through the language of numbers and cool cash.
About the Author
J. C. Bradbury is an associate professor of economics at Kennesaw State whose research has been featured in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. His op-ed pieces have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, and he writes about baseball, economics, and the Atlanta Braves on his blog at www.Sabernomics.com. Professor Bradbury coined the term Sabernomics to describe his way of combining the statistical revolution in baseball made famous by Bill Jameswhich he called Sabermetrics (derived from the acronym SABR, which stands for the Society for American Baseball Research)with the tools of modern economics. The Baseball Economist is his first book.