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The Sabermetric Revolution

Assessing the Growth of Analytics in Baseball

Benjamin Baumer and Andrew Zimbalist

Publication Year: 2013

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press


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p. C-C

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vii


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xiv

Michael Lewis wrote Moneyball because he fell in love with a story. The story is about how intelligent innovation (the creative use of statistical analysis) in the face of market inefficiency (the failure of all other teams to use available information productively) can overcome the unfairness of baseball economics (rich teams can buy all the best players) to enable a poor team to...

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1. Revisiting Moneyball

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pp. 1-22

Michael Lewis’s 2003 bestselling book Moneyball has sold well over a million copies. The 2011 movie Moneyball has exceeded $120 million in box-office sales and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including best actor and best picture. It is safe to assume that the story that Michael Lewis fell in love with back in 2002 has been widely assimilated by people...

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2. The Growth and Application of Baseball Analytics Today

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pp. 23-37

We have called into question many of the assertions made in Moneyball, and examined their veracity with the benefit of hindsight. Nevertheless, the impact that Moneyball has had on the baseball industry is seismic, and undeniable. The book has been massively influential within front offices...

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3. An Overview of Current Sabermetric Thought I: Offense

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pp. 38-56

In the next two chapters we will present an overview of the current state of baseball analytics, while making careful attempts to compare the current results to those that were mentioned in Moneyball. Our emphasis is on exposition, in that we will attempt to explain and justify the basics of sabermetric theory to the reader. Although much lies beyond the scope of what we...

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4. An Overview of Current Sabermetric Thought II: Defense, WAR, and Strategy

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pp. 57-84

In this chapter we first turn our attention to how sabermetricians have approached the analysis of defense in baseball and then focus on unresolved issues in sabermetric thought. As we will see, for a variety of reasons, the accurate measurement of player contributions on the defensive side has...

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5. The Moneyball Diaspora

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pp. 85-101

Baseball was the first professional team sport in the United States. It was also the first sport to introduce collective bargaining and free agency in the players’ market. And, it was the first sport to spawn the use of critical analytics to assess player performance and game and franchise business strategy. The other team sports have always followed baseball, and the case with...

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6. Analytics and the Business of Baseball

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pp. 102-114

Quantitative analysis has been increasingly introduced over the last two decades to understand the business of baseball (and other sports). It has been applied to a variety of issues, such as efficient ticket pricing, regulation of secondary ticket market policies, impact of stadiums and teams on a local economy, threshold city size for hosting a team, franchise valuation,...

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7. Estimating the Impact of Sabermetrics

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pp. 115-136

Sabermetricians measure performance—mostly performance on the field, but also in the dugout and in the front office. They seek to inform us through new metrics and analysis what produces wins and profits. In this chapter, we turn the tables by endeavoring to measure the output of sabermetricians. In Chapter 1, we expressed skepticism about the story...


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pp. 152-169

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The Expected Run Matrix

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pp. 139-140

At various points in this book we have referred to the Expected Run Matrix. As we indicated in the Preface, there are eight possible configurations of the baserunners in baseball (two possibilities for each of the three bases), and three possibilities for the number of outs in an inning. Thus, at any given point in an inning, the game can be classified as being in exactly one of twenty-four...

Modeling the Effectiveness of Sabermetric Statistics

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pp. 141-150

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Modeling the Shifting Inefficiencies in MLB Labor Markets

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pp. 151-154

In this section we describe how we modeled our test for the morphing inefficiencies in baseball’s labor market. Our approach is an extension of the one employed by Hakes and Sauer in 2006.7 There are two main components to this procedure. First, we construct a model for team performance in terms of simple performance metrics. In this...


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pp. 155-178


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pp. 179-188

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p. 189-189

Many practitioners, colleagues, friends, and sports industry mavens have been enormously helpful to us in the preparation of this book. In particular, we would like to thank Ben Alamar, Jim Albert, Sandy Alderson, Dave Allen, TJ Barra, Dave Berri, Roger Blair, Dave Cameron, Will Carroll, James...

E-ISBN-13: 9780812209129
E-ISBN-10: 0812209125
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812245721
Print-ISBN-10: 0812245725

Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 14 illus.
Publication Year: 2013