The Book: The Baseball Economist
The Author: J.C. Bradbury
Rating: Recommended read, 4-out-of-5
Ever want to know why there are no left handed catchers? Or how good Leo Mazzone actually is? Or how much a player is worth? Or just want to know a little more about Sabernomics? Then you should probably pick up a copy of The Baseball Economist.
J.C. Bradbury is an associate professor of Economics at Kennesaw State University and The University off the South. This book takes a look at baseball from an economists’ point of view. The book is split into four parts, “On the Field,” “Almost Off the Field,” “Way Off the Field,” and “What Field?”
Don’t expect to be put to sleep by this book though. The book does a good job of introducing the field of Sabernomics without piling statistics on top of you and keeping the the book fun and informal. This may not be for the serious stat-heads, but if you are a serious stat-head you’ve probably read this book a long time ago. If you are like I was and had some knowledge of Saber, but wanted to start getting into it more than this book is perfect. Afterwards I found myself going to Bradbury’s site to read more in depth stuff.
The book does tend to lose its pace as you go along and get away from stuff like managers lobbying to balls and strikes and start getting into multiple regression analysis. Bradbury does a good job keeping the theories in plain english, but really there is only so much you can do.
Despite the fact that the average fan might not like the second half as much as the first, both parts are worth reading and it shouldn’t stop you from getting this book if you have the chance.