A.'s Reviews > Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way

Paths to Glory by Mark L. Armour
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Sep 11, 07

bookshelves: 2007, baseball
Recommended for: baseball nerds who love statistical analysis
Read in September, 2007

THINGS I LEARNED FROM THIS BOOK:

1. The Expos only went to the playoffs once because they all did too much cocaine.
2. It can be mathematically proven that Todd Walker sucks, which gave Keri no small amount of delight.
3. Joe Torre was once almost traded to the Astros for some dude I'd never heard of.
4. Joe Torre managed the Braves for a while in the 80s! AND GOT FIRED.
5. Charles O. Finley was Billy Beane-ing it up in Oakland about thirty years before Billy Beane would do it himself.
6. Milt Pappas for Frank Robinson: still the Worst Trade In The History Of Baseball, for the Reds, at least.

Interesting book; heavily reliant on mathematical models to explain why teams were great (or the opposite: why teams that should have been great never actually made it that far), but also contains a lot of personal anecdotes from owners and players about the teams they played on. Sometimes it goes on a bit long about irrelevant things -- brief predictions about Shoeless Joe Jackson's career if he hadn't been banned from baseball are one thing; twenty pages of predictions are entirely another -- but overall it was a worthwhile read, and the writing is excellent.
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