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

Since the baseball statistics revolution began in the 1970s, no one had written the book that reveals, across every area of strategy and management, how the best practitioners of statistical analysis in baseball think about numbers and the game. Until now.

*Baseball Between the Numbers*covers every aspect of the national pastime, examining the subtle, hidden aspects of base ...moreKindle Edition

Published
(first published 2006)

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## Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)

*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 ...more

Mar 20, 2011
Kevin
rated it
really liked it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
baseball,
non-fiction

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 ...more

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 ...more

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 ...more

The opinions are all backed up with solid numbers, and the authors are ver ...more

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 ...more

Mar 21, 2007
Dan Koulomzin
rated it
it was amazing
·
review of another edition

Recommends it for:
baseball geeks

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).

Mar 28, 2012
William Johnson
rated it
did not like it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
abandoned,
diamond-tales

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. . .sucks.

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 th ...more

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. . .sucks.

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 th ...more

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 ...more

For the baseball junkie, almost every chapter in this book rai ...more

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 ...more

Apr 22, 2008
Shane
rated it
it was amazing
·
review of another edition

Recommends it for:
Baseball fans, statisticians

Shelves:
non-fiction

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
...more

I'm also a bit lucky to be read ...more

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 ...more

Jan 04, 2017
Brent Soderstrum
rated it
it was amazing
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
favorites

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 ...more

I enjoyed the essays on managers letting their closers go to wast ...more

In any case, this is a great place to start your initiation into t ...more

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 ...more

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 ...more

Mar 20, 2008
Leonora
rated it
really liked it
·
review of another edition

Recommends it for:
baseball fans, stats nerds

Shelves:
baseball

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 ...more

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 ...more

*Baseball Between the Numbers*has much better writing than books like this usually do (I read it over a 4 day period). The chapters are structured around specific questions like "Did Derek Jeter Deserve the Gold Glove?" that are used to discuss larger issues like evaluating defense, the value of a stolen base or the most effective method of using closers, etc...I found the chapters about evaluating pitching t ...more

I originally gave "The Book" five stars, but after reading this, I realize that was a bit ridiculous. "The Book" is practically the textbook it's filled with so many numbers and formulas. Baseball Between the Numbers balances actual writing with numbers much ...more

BP has made an incredible contribution to baseball and stats such as OBP, VORP and WXRL are becoming more commonplace.

From my perspective, the greatest contribution by Sabermatricians is that the game is coming around to rewarding the players that really do make the great ...more

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