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Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball Hardcover – March 5, 2007

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Diamond Dollars provides an insightful look at the business of baseball--at the free agent market, teams' scouting and player development systems, and how clubs market their brands. The book mixes Vince's business acumen as a top executive at a Fortune 50 company with his passion for the national pastime." --Mark Attanasio, Chairman and Principal Owner, Milwaukee Brewers

"Vince Gennaro shows a profound understanding of the economics of a team's baseball decisions. His analyses of a team's win-revenue relationship, the player development system and player valuation, make for a remarkably innovative examination of the baseball front office model that's just as informative for a baseball executive as for a fan." --Chris Antonetti, Assistant General Manager, Cleveland Indians

"Diamond Dollars offers up exciting and stimulating new ideas about the business of baseball. It provides a set of metrics for decisions that have typically been a "gut feeling" for many organizations. I think teams should make this required reading for everyone in their organizations." --Jim Beattie, former Executive VP and General Manager, Baltimore Orioles and Montreal Expos

"Vince Gennaro has written the best book I've read on the business of baseball. It serves as both a "how-to manual" for baseball owners and a tour guide for fans who scratch their heads at the things their teams do. It should find plenty of readers in both camps." --Dave Studenmund, Editor, The Hardball Times Annual

About the Author

Following a highly successful twenty-year career at Pepsico, where he was president of a billion-dollar division, Vince Gennaro is currently a consultant to Major League Baseball teams. His innovative analytical work on the business and economics of baseball has been featured in the New York Times and he has written for The Hardball Times, Boston Baseball, the Maple Street Press 2006 Red Sox Annual, and the Baseball Research Journal. He recently authored his first book, Field of Dreamers: Tales From Baseball Fantasy Camp. A member for the Society for American Baseball Research, Gennaro holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. He resides in Purchase, New York.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Pub. by Maple Street Press, Dist. by Potomac Books; First Edition edition (March 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977743632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977743636
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #911,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Phil Kasiecki on August 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a very interesting book that I enjoyed, but there are certainly caveats to those who may be interested in reading this. This book isn't for everyone and there are a couple of recommended prerequisites from my vantage point.

For one, if you're just a casual baseball fan, this book is not for you. It goes into a lot of detail about the business side of baseball and on all levels, and many times I thought to myself that if I didn't know the game and players as I do, I'd probably be lost. It helped me greatly that I have played and coached in addition to having been a serious fan for many years.

Second, it doesn't hurt to understand a little about the business side of anything, as this book is very business-oriented. If you have no business intuition at all, the material in this book will just fly over your head. You don't have to be a Fortune 500 CEO, but at least know a little about how businesses are run and some of the terminology.

In short, while a very good book, it's not light reading and not for everyone. Officials of baseball teams are a primary audience, and this is a must-read for such people. If you're a baseball fan and know a little about business, you'll enjoy it, although even then there will be parts that aren't easy to digest. Early on, I had a little trouble keeping up with all the information being thrown at me, from pure numbers to other facts, and it's almost too much right away. But once I got past that, the rest of the book came much more easily for me.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By FRG on April 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'm a big Mets' fan living in LA and found this to be a great read. The author gets into some pretty interesting ways for Major league teams to run their business. He talks about a way to put a dollar value on players that I hadn't seen before, since most methods use comparables for what similar players are paid in the free agent market, but this book talks about how much a player is worth to different teams at different level of competitiveness. He shows that the Carlos Beltran signing (which so many experts were criticizing) really paid off financially for the Mets in 2006. There's a lot more to the book than player value, but that was the highlight for me.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Mccully on April 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am bringing up my background because as you will see it will become important in my view of this book. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Business Administration with a double major in Accounting and Finance. Also, I have a M.S. in Taxation. As a result, I have a very good financial background.

If you want to have a good understanding of the material in this book, then I would recommend that you have a decent understanding of using basic fundamental analysis to value a business. Finally, I would highly recommend understanding models that are produced by regression. There is tons of data in this book, and the researcher used a lot of regression models. He went back 30 years, and if a team was not around for 30 years, then he used all the data they had since they started playing Baseball. The book is broken into 4 parts.

Part 1:
Discusses how wins effect the future attendance of a team. He uses the term "Win/Curve", and concluded that in general, attendance is maximized when a team wins around 92 or 93 games. The latter is most likely caused by a team in a Pennant Race. Also, the farther a team goes into the Playoffs, the more season tickets that will be sold the following season. Finally, there are different levels of revenue generated from the "Win/Curve" that are broken into different revenue categories, multiple revenue streams and multiple revenue layers. Revenue streams are the daily revenue such as cash from attendance, concessions, local broadcasts and sponsorships. On the other hand, multiple reason layers are broken into 4 categories (1) Win Dollars - represents the change in revenue from daily revenue sources when a team wins over a period of years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. J. B. on November 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a great, insightful look into the structure of MLB teams from the major leagues to the team's player development and minor league system. It delves into areas rarely discussed before and opens up new arenas of discussion for baseball fans.

I've read "Moneyball" and "The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed," and I think Diamond Dollars goes places where these two reads don't. First off, it is the first piece of baseball literature I have ever read to identify a player's marquee and asset value to his team. Second, this book talks about all aspects of organizing a team, from acquiring the right players, to how to use the players to generate revenue for the team, to how to build the brand of your organization.

I would take the concepts in this book a step further and say they can be incorporated into any aspect of business management.

A great read and a MUST-READ for any baseball fan or business person (would make a great holiday gift!).
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Format: Hardcover
In 1972, St Louis Cardinals owner August Busch insisted on trading future Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton, because the hurler requested a $10,000 raise. Clearly, Busch didn't understand how "saving" that lousy ten grand would ultimately cost him millions in lost revenue, since the Cardinals would be also-rans for the next ten years. Meanwhile, Carlton's new employer - the Philadelphia Phillies - were now on their way to becoming one of the NL's premier franchises, reaching the post season several times in the '70s, finally winning it all by 1980. Carlton was one of the biggest bargains in baseball history.

Nowadays, the business of creating winning baseball is far more challenging, with the multi-million dollar contracts that are routinely paid out to run-of-the-mill players; every contract signing has tremendous impact on a franchise's bottom line, which author Vince Gennaro explains in this fascinating book. The successful teams make the right free agent acquisitions; the unsuccessful teams make poor choices or stay on the sidelines altogether. The business of baseball can be a very lucrative enterprise for those making the post season on a regular basis; winning the World Series is icing on the cake.

The key to success in maximizing a baseball team's bottom line, is spending wisely; finding value where others don't, and understanding when the high-priced free agents quite often don't pay the dividends at the end of the season. Winning pays, much more than most casual observers understand.
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