"We’re all winners, as Dayn Perry serves as our trusted guide on this idiosyncratic but profoundly informative walking tour of the great teams and players of the last few decades."
--Rob Neyer, ESPN.com
"Dayn Perry's really got something here. Part history, part handbook, Winners is an essential read for anyone trying to understand how great teams get that way."
--Joe Sheehan, BaseballProspetus.com
"We look at baseball from so many angles today that we too often forget the point is not to look at the game from an interesting view for its own sake, but to learn how it works, in the service of learning why teams win. Any fan who wants to know will find their answers in this book."
--Tim Marchman, baseball columnist, The New York Sun
"Dayn Perry crafts a lively narrative that blends astute analysis with clever storytelling. He gets to the bottom of what makes a great team tick."
--Kevin Towers, General Manager and Executive Vice President, San Diego Padres
From the Inside Flap
In this raucous, entertaining, and sure-to-be-controversial guide for the dedicated fan and unpaid organizational watchdog, Baseball Prospectus columnist Dayn Perry dives deep into the stats and comes up with some mind-blowing answers to the most important question in baseball: How do winners win?
Analyzing records, lineups, defense, and pitching staffs of the 124 teams that made it to the playoffs between 1980 and 2003, Perry separates baseball myth from hardball reality, slays some sacred cows, and gives you new, more accurate ways to analyze both individual and team performance.
You'll discover why stats like batting average, RBI, and even OBP don't tell you what you really need to know about a hitter's contribution to the team; why that much ballyhooed trading-deadline pickup probably won't help your team move up in this year's standings; and why you need only one certified ace in the rotation to make it into the post season. You'll also find out why:
- A huge payroll doesn't guarantee success (but it helps)
- Slugging percentage is a hitter's most important traditional stat
- There's no such thing as a player who "knows how to win"
- Middle relievers are typically the most important people in the bullpen
- Speed helps, stealing bases doesn't
Perry backs up every one of his brash claims with solid statistical evidence. He illustrates each point with colorful, engaging stories about some of the most successful teams and admired players of the last quarter century, from dynasties like the Braves and the Yankees to one-season wonders like the '87 Tigers and the '01 Diamondbacks. He shows you how to identify the young players most likely to have long and successful careers; analyzes the achievements of such greats as George Brett, Rickey Henderson, Pedro Martinez, and Barry Bonds; and reveals how one of the greatest teams of all time managed an eleven-year winning spree using ten (count 'emten!) different closers.
Whether you're buttonholing the GM, dialing your local sports call-in show, or commiserating with your buddies as the local nine go down in flames yet again, Winners gives you a leg up in every baseball argument. Maybe your team still can't winbut you can!
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