Synopses & Reviews
"... a smart and energetic collection of essays on baseball statistics. Curve Ball doesn't play misty-eyed homage to baseball's traditions and conventional wisdoms.... This is great stuff.... Curve Ball makes clear how pleasurable [stats] can be, and arguably how important, to view the great American game with real precision." -- The Wall Street Journal "Rating: 4.5 out of 5. Must own!" -- Baseballnotebook.com "In [Curve Ball] Albert & Bennett explain the game in ways the conventional press - even titans such as Bill James - cannot." -- Baseball America "[The book] illustrates how statistical reasoning can be useful in teasing out the role of chance from performance in baseball to better assess ability.... Curve Ball represents another advance in the genre of baseball and statistics books." -- Journal of the American Statistical Association There is a fascination among baseball fans and the media to collect data on every imaginable event during a baseball game and to use these data to try to understand characteristics of the game. But patterns in baseball data are difficult to detect due to the inherent chance variation that is present. This book addresses a number of questions that are of interest to many baseball fans - including how to rate players, predict the outcome of a game or the attainment of an attainment, make sense of situational data, and decide the most valuable players in the World Series. Curve Ball is directed to a general audience and does not assume that the reader has any prior background in probability or statistics, although knowledge of high school algebra will be helpful.
Review
From the reviews: "...a most interesting and useful introduction to the subject. It should make enjoyable reading for physicists who are also baseball fans, and it ought to be required reading for baseball managers, executives, and commentators." PHYSICS TODAY "...a smart and energetic collection of essays on baseball statistics. Curve Ball doesn't play misty-eyed homage to baseball's traditions and conventional wisdoms....This is great stuff....Curve Ball makes clear how pleasurable [stats] can be, and arguably how important, to view the great American game with real precision." -- The Wall Street Journal "Rating: 4.5 out of 5. Must own!" -- Baseballnotebook.com "In [Curve Ball] Albert & Bennett explain the game in ways the conventional press - even titans such as Bill James - cannot." -- Baseball America "[The book] illustrates how statistical reasoning can be useful in teasing out the role of chance from performance in baseball to better assess ability....Curve Ball represents another advance in the genre of baseball and statistics books." -- Journal of the American Statistical Association "This is a very good, fun and highly interesting book, applying some straightforward, and some more difficult, statistical estimation and modeling concepts to baseball. ... I am a statistician, and mostly Bayesian at that, and this definitely enhanced my interest and enjoyment of the book. ... Initially this book starts out as a sneaky introduction to statistics and Bayesian concepts, however, it turns into a delight for sports fans and statisticians alike. Highly recommended ... ." (Richard Gerlach, Gazette, Vol. 31 (5), 2004) "This book treats a wide variety of topics, including: comparing measures of batting ability; the impact of situation on performance; streaks; measuring a player's clutch performance; and did the best team win the World Series. This book has the appealing quality that you can start reading at almost any chapter and enjoy and understand the journey. And for those of us who are not statisticians by training, we can also learn some statistics." (Zentralblatt für Didaktik der Mathematik, September, 2003) "Curve Ball ... is a necessary addition to any library. ... Written for all followers of baseball, this book caters to those who find joy in reading (and if you are like me, memorizing) the statistics on the backs of baseball cards or who played baseball simulation games ... . For readers possessing no knowledge of statistics, this book is a great way of learning how to view and interpret data from a statistician's standpoint. Readers with statistics backgrounds will enjoy the book ... ." (Jonathan L. Templin, Chance, Vol. 15 (4), 2002)
Review
From the reviews:
"...a most interesting and useful introduction to the subject. It should make enjoyable reading for physicists who are also baseball fans, and it ought to be required reading for baseball managers, executives, and commentators." PHYSICS TODAY
"...a smart and energetic collection of essays on baseball statistics. Curve Ball doesn't play misty-eyed homage to baseball's traditions and conventional wisdoms....This is great stuff....Curve Ball makes clear how pleasurable [stats] can be, and arguably how important, to view the great American game with real precision." -- The Wall Street Journal
"Rating: 4.5 out of 5. Must own!" -- Baseballnotebook.com
"In [Curve Ball] Albert & Bennett explain the game in ways the conventional press - even titans such as Bill James - cannot." -- Baseball America
"[The book] illustrates how statistical reasoning can be useful in teasing out the role of chance from performance in baseball to better assess ability....Curve Ball represents another advance in the genre of baseball and statistics books." -- Journal of the American Statistical Association
"This is a very good, fun and highly interesting book, applying some straightforward, and some more difficult, statistical estimation and modeling concepts to baseball. ... I am a statistician, and mostly Bayesian at that, and this definitely enhanced my interest and enjoyment of the book. ... Initially this book starts out as a sneaky introduction to statistics and Bayesian concepts, however, it turns into a delight for sports fans and statisticians alike. Highly recommended ... ." (Richard Gerlach, Gazette, Vol. 31 (5), 2004)
"This book treats a wide variety of topics, including: comparing measures of batting ability; the impact of situation on performance; streaks; measuring a player's clutch performance; and did the best team win the World Series. This book has the appealing quality that you can start reading at almost any chapter and enjoy and understand the journey. And for those of us who are not statisticians by training, we can also learn some statistics." (Zentralblatt für Didaktik der Mathematik, September, 2003)
"Curve Ball ... is a necessary addition to any library. ... Written for all followers of baseball, this book caters to those who find joy in reading (and if you are like me, memorizing) the statistics on the backs of baseball cards or who played baseball simulation games ... . For readers possessing no knowledge of statistics, this book is a great way of learning how to view and interpret data from a statistician's standpoint. Readers with statistics backgrounds will enjoy the book ... ." (Jonathan L. Templin, Chance, Vol. 15 (4), 2002)
Synopsis
In this lively and thought-provoking look at the numbers, Jim Albert and Jay Bennett examine just what we learn, and just what we think we learn, from baseball statistics. Winner of a 2001 SABR award for its contribution to the study of baseball statistics, this new paperback edition is expanded and revised.
Synopsis
A look at baseball data from a statistical modeling perspective! There is a fascination among baseball fans and the media to collect data on every imaginable event during a baseball game and this book addresses a number of questions that are of interest to many baseball fans. These include how to rate players, predict the outcome of a game or the attainment of an achievement, making sense of situational data, and deciding the most valuable players in the World Series. Aimed at a general audience, the text does not assume any prior background in probability or statistics, although a knowledge of high school abgebra will be helpful.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Paperback Edition; Introduction; Ch01: Simple Models from Tabletop Baseball Games; Ch02: Exploring Baseball Data; Ch03: Introducing Probability; Ch04: Situational Effects; Ch05: Streakiness (Or, The Hot Hand); Ch06: Measuring Offensive Performance; Ch07: Average Runs per Play; Ch08: The Curvature of Baseball; Ch09: Making Sense of Baseball Strategy; Ch10: Measuring Clutch Play; Ch11: Prediction; Ch12: Did the Best Team Win?; Ch13: Post-Game Comments (A Brief Afterword); Appendix: Baseball Games; Glossary; Bibliography; Index