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Traded: Inside the Most Lopsided Trades in Baseball History Paperback – November 1, 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

DOUG DECATUR lives in Williamsburg, Ohio, with his wife Caitlin and their two sons, Stephen and Joseph. Decatur has worked as a statistical consultant for the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Manager Phil Garner of the Houston Astros, and player agent Myles Shoda. He has an MBA from Xavier University. He is the author Behind-the-Scenes Baseball.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: ACTA Publications; First Edition edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879464127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879464127
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,347,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Doug Decatur was born in 1958 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Doug was one of the early statistical (money-ball type) pioneers in major league baseball. He began his career as an intern for the Cincinnati Reds (GM Bob Howsam) in 1984. In 1991 he was hired by the Milwaukee Brewers as a statistical consultant. By 1994 he was working for both the Chicago Cubs and the Brewers. In 1996 he began working for player agent Myles Shoda, clients Dave Burba and John Smoltz. Smoltz would sign the largest deal for any pitcher in major league history during that time. In 2004-05 he worked for Phil Garner, manager of the Houston Astros. The Astros would go to the 2005 World Series. Decatur's first book, Behind-the-Scenes-Baseball is based on those seasons. Decatur would later spend several season working for the Atlanta Braves' AVP Bruce Manno. Decatur is credited for developing the formula with adjusts a pitcher's record for five factors: defense, run support, hit compensation; ballpark and league. Decatur's book traded was selected as one of top 500 baseball book of all-time in the book 501 Baseball Books Baseball Fans Must Read Before They Die, by Ron Kaplan. Decatur is also the author of three plays Redford's Rules, 1832 and Righting Redford with co-author Joe Bobbitt. Decatur is currently writing a baseball book with the working title of: We Should Have Won with co-author Sean Kesler. Father of Stephen Decatur TV Meteorologist for K-TAB TV in Abilene, Texas and James Decatur, basketball player for University of Cincinnati-Clermont.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is a baseball site called "The Hardball Times" that have had articles using the system Mr. Decatur does here. Rob Neyer's "Big Book of Baseball Blunders" has also used maybe 20 or so examples of these. While they are fascinating to read and I'm sure perfectly worked out statistically by win shares they don't take into consideration the context the trade may be made in. Yes Mr. Decatur is correct in the assumption that a lot of teams trade away their prospects for their win for the moment glory but some trades I believe should not be blamed on the initial trade involved. Examples;

Dave Kingman a notorious home run hitter who struck out a lot, well should really any of his 3 1977 trades be counted. The Mets dump him on San Diego who then trade him to the Angels who then trade him to the Yankees. All the teams give up the minimum because Mr. Kingman is a free agent and none of these teams have any real intention of signing him. He ends up signing with the Cubs so the Yankees get nothing but nobody really expected anything to begin with. Notice statistically too the more notorious same day Mets trading Tom Seaver to the Reds doesn't qualify. The 4 players they received collectively never equaled his later value but realistically it hurt the franchise more. Beside the Mets later reaquired Mr. Kingman. Their original acquisition of him though is more deserving.

Another example is the 1960 trade of Norm Cash from the White Sox to the Indians who then flip him over to the Tigers. Is it really an awful trade for the White Sox, after all he contributed nothing to the Indians. On the other hand the Indians trading him to the Tigers where he played 15 years for Steve Demeter and his whopping future contibution of 0 win shares is an unmitigated disaster.

But you can see by one's complaints the book will create a lot of arguments or discussions and any book that does that for baseball stat fanatics is worth it's weight in gold.
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Format: Paperback
The Hot Stove League gets smoking with the recent release from ACTA Sports that finds statistical consultant Doug Decatur exploring the art of the deal in Traded: Inside the Most Lopsided Trades in Baseball History.

Decatur pitches an entertaining 192 pages of utter joy and disastrous heartbreak for fans by utilizing Win Shares, a statistic developed by Bill James to determine how many wins a player contributes to his team. A tricky curve ball is his ranking of the 306 most lopsided trades of the twentieth century. The 1920 sale of Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox to New York Yankees for $125,000 ranks second on the list. Pitcher Curt Schilling makes a pair of appearances in the top ten, but there is a personnel decision in 1914 that involved the Cincinnati Reds and the minor league team in Baltimore that could have changed the entire landscape of sports history.

"While this book does not address bad draft pick decisions, players lost in the Rule 5 Draft, or players not protected in the expansion drafts, an exception has to be made for the worst baseball decision of all-time, which was not a bad trade but a bad decision that cost a team 250 wins. That is 49 more wins than the most lopsided trade in history," Decatur writes. "But even James himself would admit that there is more to baseball than just the numbers."

Each franchise has its own section, with the Cleveland Indians ranking first in making the best lopsided deals, while the Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles are in the elite grouping. The best trade by Cleveland was in 1960, as outfielder Minnie Minoso, catcher Dick Brown and two others were shipped to the White Sox for first baseman Norm Cash, catcher Johnny Romano and infielder Bubba Phillips.
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This is a fascinating book on baseball trades made during the 20th century written by a baseball guru. Even if you have not heard of Doug Decatur (I read an article of his on ESPN.com but had not heard of him before that) do NOT discount this book. It is easy to read straight through or in small bites. It is organized well, is concise, sheds some light on the histories of teams most readers probably don't know. If you enjoy studying baseball team building and enjoy baseball history this is a really good book!
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This book reviews make no sense at all, They take some stupid Bill James sabermetrics type stats that have nothing at all to do with weather a trade is any good or not
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