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The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 15, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
I enjoyed this book and I recommend it to baseball fans that are not afraid of charts, numbers and economic concepts. I would be the first in line to buy his second book if Bradbury expands his economic analysis and writing into other sports.
Some of his economic observations are interesting, those where he really studies the game and statistics. I, for one, can find other, more rewarding but boring books to give me a Saturday afternoon snooze. And Bradbury should stick to his statistical analysis of the game (where he excels), not the policy points (where he only debates under the ruse of economic theories).
That sounds kind of dry, but the author is a better writer than I am, so the book is quite interesting. The first section I found particularly convincing, as it applies principles of economics to identifying why the DH promotes more hit batsmen, why there are almost no lefty catchers, and the over-ratedness of the protection afforded by the on deck hitter. Latter chapters discuss how baseball differs from a true monopoly, and how this has worked to the benefit of the fans.
In the Epilogue, the author writes that he considered calling this book, "An Economist Ruins Baseball", which I'm glad he didn't. That would have done a disservice to this book. Very interesting book to the general baseball fan, and not just a number cruncher book. Probably the best baseball book I have read since MoneyBall.
In this book Dr. Bradbury a professor of economics and a baseball fan looks at baseball through the eyes and science of economics. The result is some surprising findings in all kinds of areas such as the use of steroids, scouting practices, establishing a real value (as opposed to salaries) for players, why are there no left handed catchers, does location in a big city or small city make any difference.
To the baseball fan, the results of his analysis are going to be very interesting. To the more statistical minded, the approach to solving different kinds of problems is somethat could be used in a wide variety of situations where economics theory could provide insight not otherwise visible.
All in all, an easy to read book that brings economics theories to light with clarity and understanding.
First, any analysis of a complex system with many interdependent variables requires making many assumptions. There is simply not enough data to control for everything. The author gets credit for effort, but almost every conclusion he draws could be seriously argued the other way.
Second, humans are not purely economic creatures. Sure, we respond to incentives, but we also behave irrationally. We get emotionally attached to teams and players, we live by superstitions, we are convinced that Brand X is better simply because we saw more ads for it. This book's old-style economic vantage point is ripe for challenge. Every conclusion here deserves a huge chunk of salt.
I am especially troubled about the author's treating of baseball like a physical commodity. Baseball is not a widget, it is entertainment. A more modern treatment would compare baseball to the music business or the movies, where network effects, brand, costless replication, venue, and fashion are the main drivers, not old-fashioned supply and demand for a limited product. There's another, better, book waiting to be written here by some other author whose specialty is the economics of modern media.
The book could be written better. In several places the logical introduction of ideas is misarranged, and in others the dryness parches the throat. Still, if you like baseball and your team has got lame announcers like most do, this book is worth a read. (If you live in San Francisco with the best play-by-play and color announcers in the business, then might as well save this book for the off-season.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this book. It applies microeconomics theories in an easy-to-understand baseball related examples. Read morePublished 23 hours ago by Komson Chanprapan
Economics and statistics; two topics that generally turn people of. But join them together with baseball, and we have the makings of a good book, such as this one here. Read morePublished on May 21, 2011 by Newton Ooi
The book The Baseball Economist by J.C. Bradbury takes America's pastime and mixes together with both economics and statistical analysis. Read morePublished on October 7, 2009 by Justin E. Williams
The Baseball Economist was a interesting book that opened my eyes into some aspects of the game that I never thought extensively about. Read morePublished on June 18, 2009 by Michael Sollitto
This is a fun, informative book. It is written in a breezy, informal tone. However, there is serious research underlying the informal presentation. Read morePublished on June 4, 2009 by Michael A. Leeds
After reading Michael Lewis' "Moneyball" and being fascinated (if not altogether convinced) by the concepts he discussed, I picked this book up to see how another mind would... Read morePublished on March 19, 2009 by Zachary Koenig
The most boring baseball book I've ever read. As hasrd as I tried, I could not get to the 3rd chapter, and retained nothing from the first two.Published on September 30, 2008 by Richard Mailloux
This book gives unique insight into popular baseball issues such as the big-city-versus-small-city economic disparity problem we face today, the argument against having left-handed... Read morePublished on August 29, 2008 by Jorge F.
I found this book worth reading overall, with a few flaws. The author shines on the sections that are more pure statistical analysis to argue a particular point about the... Read morePublished on August 16, 2008 by CJ