The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team
What would happen if two statistics-minded outsiders were allowed to run a professional baseball team?
It’s the ultimate in fantasy baseball: You get to pick the roster, set the lineup, and decide on strategies -- with real players, in a real ballpark, in a real playoff race. That’s what baseball analysts Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller got to do when an independent minor-...more
More lists with this book...
Well, I don't want to give anything away so I' ...more
However, The Only Rule Is It Has to Work only partially deli ...more
Sam Miller and Ben Lindbergh cohost Effectively Wild, a podcast that makes predictions and offers insights about baseball based on crazy in-depth statistics (called sabermetrics). Bo ...more
As for the book itself, it's a fun ride through a season in a league, far, far from the major leagues, but still professional baseball. You get a great feel for the personalities o ...more
These statheads have some interesting ideas and the numbers to back them up, and this book chronicles their use in a professional league, albeit a small one. To write this book, they alternated chapters, covering the season, the strategies, and the social dynamics of the Sonoma Stompers. There is some humor here, along with some hubris.
At times, the authors range away from thei ...more
The fifth star is for love, and three and a half years after reading it the first time, I have to say that I love this book. It is no coincidence that I've also come to love the podcast hosted by the book's authors, something I started doing because I initially read the book in 2016.
What I can appreciate on a second read is how well structured the book is, the discernible differences in tone in the alternating Ben and Sam chapters. I love how they can take the banalities of a b ...more
Baseball books tend to fall into one of two major categories: the sentimental and the mathematical. This book combines both of those genre attributes admirably, but it's bigger than that.
Ben and Sam, two of the most likable narrators you'll ever meet, brilliantly recount their adventure with the Sonoma Stompers. You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll learn something!
The authors are sabermatricians, but t ...more
The two authors switch off chapters from one to the other, but I didn't notice an abrupt shifts in voice. Weather that says more about the book or my inability to notice things is another matter...
It's really honest in how the pair go over all their insecurities and uncertainties, chronicling not only their s ...more
We went and saw Ben Lindbergh, one of the authors, give a book talk about The Only Rule Is It Has to Work at a Busboys and Poets in 2016. He was super engaging and I remember hoping that the actual book would capture Lindbergh's enthusiasm about all things stats and baseball.
The Only Rule Is It Has to Work tells the story of Ben Lindbergh and co-author Sam Miller's attempt to run the Sonoma ...more
As with Moneyball, although the book documents a process, its sharpest insights are reserved for the people who comprise that process. The characters that inhabit this world—players, ma ...more
There's a lot to get upset about with athletes and sports in general these days, this book is ...more
However, once removed from ...more
Given their occupations and obsession with statistical analysis, th ...more
This book starts out as a captivating "Moneyball"-style journey of how to build a team's roster from virtually scratch on a miniscule budget and with with no scouting, using sabermetric principles ...more
I wanted Ben and Sam to have more authority and utilize their strategies more often, whether it's a five-man infield or telling hitters to how to approach counts. Instead, the majority of the book is focused on the duo conflicting with their manager. There's also a lot o ...more
The authors, Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller, are young but well known baseball writers in the new media (places like BASEBALL PROSPECTUS, GRANTLAND, and their joint podcast, EFFECTIVELY WILD). Lindbergh and Miller are sabermetricians, statistica ...more