Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Baseball Economist” as Want to Read:
The Baseball Economist
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Baseball Economist

3.18 of 5 stars 3.18  ·  rating details  ·  207 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Freakonomics meets Moneyball in this provocative expos of baseball's most fiercely debated controversies and some of its oldest, most dearly held myths Providing far more than a mere collection of numbers, economics professor and popular blogger J.C. Bradbury, shines the light of his economic thinking on baseball, exposing the power of tradeoffs, competition, and incentive ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published February 26th 2008 by Plume Books (first published 2007)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Baseball Economist, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Baseball Economist

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 346)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Eric Hines
The more I read this sort of book, the more I appreciate the uniqueness of Bill James. Math-minded folks seem to have a inveterate tendency toward belaboring the obvious and making huge, crucial assumptions on the way to trivial conclusions. For many of these folks quantification is a sort of religion--there *must* be a way of quantifying anything. If the quantification is inadequate to the phenomenon, well it's the best we've got, so we'll put the inadequacy aside and start drawing conclusions. ...more
I got to this book in a somewhat circuitous manner. When I saw Rick Porcello intentionally hit Kevin Youkilis with a pitch on August 11 it led me to make the commonplace observation that the designated hitter rule has led pitchers to be more likely to throw at batters in the American League because they don't have to worry about standing in the batter's box and facing retaliation.

This time I went beyond that to look for comparative statistics on hit batsmen in the American and National Leagues,
I read a bit more than half of this book and just didn't feel like finishing. The topics discussed aren't new and aren't presented in an interesting way. Many of the statistical analyses were either slightly flawed or had a lack of depth. The author seemed caught between attempting thorough analyses at risk of losing the reader, and performing simple analyses at risk of losing depth. I took one statistics class in graduate school and could easily spot flaws in some of the arguments.

The chapter o
The book's an uneven read and suffers from dry prose throughout and an entry-level use of baseball statistics/sabermetrics. Some chapters are interesting, but too many are simplistic takes on complicated subjects. He had some good insights throughout, but most of these add up to a step one. The essays on the monopoly concerns are intriguing, but don't fully address the player side of the issues. The study on market size makes some strong arguments but neglects factors. Probably worth a read only ...more
Christopher J.j.
Written by an economist. DULL, DULL, DULL. Very difficult to read.
Ivan Taylor
I found this book quite interesting. Having studied economics in university, I was quite familiar with the concepts that were applied. Having worked on baseball statistics for many years, I was also familiar with the sabermetric terms. However, I was happily surprised with the way these two different subjects could be combined in a thoughtful manner. I felt that the book ended a little abruptly and I thought that a lot of pages in the Annex were wasted with old data and analysis on marginal reve ...more
All right, so I didn't actually finish it. I've put off reading this for a few years and by the time I actually got around to trying, it was a bit stale for me. Not because the ideas are stale or that the writing was stale, but just because I had seen all the thoughts before. If you don't spend your free time reading baseball analysis, I recommend this book. If you do, well, you have probably already read it before (even if the book was the origin for a lot of the thoughts).
Oct 15, 2008 Eric rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: baseball fans, econ people
Parts of this were pretty interesting, but most of it really wasn't. I should have guessed that from his blog, which I've been reading for a while. Some of it was insightful and dealt with baseball-related issues that I find interesting, but the rest of if was just stuff he thought would be fun to research I think. It probably was, but it doesn't necessarily make it interesting to read.
Aug 22, 2010 Jose rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: baseball fans & economic minds
Shelves: baseball
So far, a great economic perspective of baseball. Particularly, it looks at baseball economics not in the popular trades, salaries way, but also in terms of strategies and using specific economic methods. You probably don't need any formal economics training to understand this, either, as his appendices do a good job of laying a foundation.
Rob Olson
I would describe this as the high school stats reading level version of Moneyball without the interesting narrative.

It 's a tough book to get through. I only recommend it to die-hard baseball fans. That said I found several of the topics to be interesting and thought provoking.
Christian Schultz
Bradbury apparently couldn't decide whether he wanted to write a statistics book or a baseball book. Nonetheless, I found about half of it interesting and readable, particularly those chapters concerning players' real values.
It's econ which is naturally a little dry, but it brings up good questions. Some of the math can get a little nerdy as well, but the book was worth reading.
Come on, dude. If you're going to publish a book on this subject, at least take the time to make sure it doesn't read like stereo instructions.
Fresh new perspective on things like revenue sharing, left-handed catchers (or the lackthereof), and determining player value.
Awesome math/baseball nerdery. If you like the way Baseball Prospectus looks at the world of hardball, you'll like this book too.
Apr 15, 2007 colin rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: for the data-minded
Think a more economics-minded version of "moneyball" without the fluffy personal insights into the various characters.
You gotta be a nerdy baseball fan to enjoy this one. Still, the last few chapters were quite boring.
It's nice to see some economics mixed in to the normal analysis of baseball stats.
I'm a baseball fan and statistics major, so this book was right up my alley.
An easy read and a great introduction to sabermetrics.
Gina Long
Very thick on economic theory but fun
Ron Kaplan
Dec 18, 2013 Matthew marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
mid-manhattan, queens

Chad Mbogo
Got boring fast.
Sean Asbury
Very disappointed.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball
  • The Bill James Handbook
  • Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion
  • Game Theory for Applied Economists
  • Fair Ball: A Fan's Case for Baseball
  • Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power, and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball
  • Weaver on Strategy: The Classic Work on the Art of Managing a Baseball Team
  • Baseball Between the Numbers: Why Everything You Know About the Game Is Wrong
  • Trading Bases: A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball (Not Necessarily in That Order )
  • The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong Fascination with Statistics
  • Convex Optimization
  • The Command: Deep Inside The President's Secret Army
  • Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale Told Through Baseball Cards
  • The Physics of Baseball
  • Are We Winning? Fathers and Sons in the New Golden Age of Baseball
  • Dr Euler's Fabulous Formula: Cures Many Mathematical Ills
  • Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership
  • Bayesian Data Analysis
Hot Stove Economics: Understanding Baseball's Second Season

Share This Book