Big Data Baseball

Author: Travis Sawchik
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1250063507
Format: PDF, ePub
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Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was old school and stubborn. But after twenty straight losing seasons, his job on the line, and knowing the small-market Pirates had few resources to spend on quick fixes, he was ready to try anything. So when he met with GM Neal Huntington in October 2012, they decided to discard much of what they knew about the game and instead adopt drastic "big data" strategies. Going well beyond the infancy of number-crunching that was featured in Moneyball, the data the Pirates employed was not easily observable and it was not found on the back of baseball cards. They collected millions of data points on pitches and balls in play, creating a tome of reports that revealed key insights for how to win more games without spending a dime. They discovered that pitchers could dramatically improve by adding a new pitch, that an aggressive adoption of defensive shifts could turn more batted balls into outs, and that a catcher's most valuable skill was hidden. But maximizing this data also required a human element. The old school and new school camps had to work together, not against each other. Hurdle had to convince the Pirates' clubhouse to embrace these unconventional, yet groundbreaking methods. Under his leadership a culture of collaboration and creativity flourished as he successfully blended whiz kid analysts with graybeard coaches. This symbiotic teamwork was unique to the sport, and it helped the Pirates reveal hidden value from the avalanche of data pouring into the game. All this led to the end of the longest consecutive run of losing seasons in North American pro sports history. The Pirates' 2013 season is the perfect lens for examining baseball's burgeoning big-data movement. InBig Data Baseball award-winning journalist Travis Sawchik uses flawless reporting to take you behind-the-scenes to reveal a game-changing book of miracles and math.

Big Data Baseball

Author: Travis Sawchik
Publisher: Flatiron Books
ISBN: 1250063515
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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New York Times Bestseller After twenty consecutive losing seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, team morale was low, the club's payroll ranked near the bottom of the sport, game attendance was down, and the city was becoming increasingly disenchanted with its team. Pittsburghers joked their town was the city of champions...and the Pirates. Big Data Baseball is the story of how the 2013 Pirates, mired in the longest losing streak in North American pro sports history, adopted drastic big-data strategies to end the drought, make the playoffs, and turn around the franchise's fortunes. Award-winning journalist Travis Sawchik takes you behind the scenes to expertly weave together the stories of the key figures who changed the way the small-market Pirates played the game. For manager Clint Hurdle and the front office staff to save their jobs, they could not rely on a free agent spending spree, instead they had to improve the sum of their parts and find hidden value. They had to change. From Hurdle shedding his old-school ways to work closely with Neal Huntington, the forward-thinking data-driven GM and his team of talented analysts; to pitchers like A. J. Burnett and Gerrit Cole changing what and where they threw; to Russell Martin, the undervalued catcher whose expert use of the nearly-invisible skill of pitch framing helped the team's pitchers turn more balls into strikes; to Clint Barmes, a solid shortstop and one of the early adopters of the unconventional on-field shift which forced the entire infield to realign into positions they never stood in before. Under Hurdle's leadership, a culture of collaboration and creativity flourished as he successfully blended whiz kid analysts with graybeard coaches—a kind of symbiotic teamwork which was unique to the sport. Big Data Baseball is Moneyball on steroids. It is an entertaining and enlightening underdog story that uses the 2013 Pirates season as the perfect lens to examine the sport's burgeoning big-data movement. With the help of data-tracking systems like PitchF/X and TrackMan, the Pirates collected millions of data points on every pitch and ball in play to create a tome of color-coded reports that revealed groundbreaking insights for how to win more games without spending a dime. In the process, they discovered that most batters struggled to hit two-seam fastballs, that an aggressive defensive shift on the field could turn more batted balls into outs, and that a catcher's most valuable skill was hidden. All these data points which aren't immediately visible to players and spectators, are the bit of magic that led the Pirates to spin straw in to gold, finish the 2013 season in second place, end a twenty-year losing streak.

Big Data Baseball

Author: Travis Sawchik
Publisher: Flatiron Books
ISBN: 9781250094254
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
After twenty consecutive losing seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, team morale was low, the club's payroll ranked near the bottom of the sport, game attendance was down, and the city was becoming increasingly disenchanted with its team. Big Data Baseball is the story of how the 2013 Pirates, mired in the longest losing streak in North American pro-sports history, adopted drastic big-data strategies to end the drought, make the playoffs, and turn around the franchise's fortunes. Award-winning journalist Travis Sawchik takes you behind the scenes to expertly weave together the stories of the key figures who changed the way the small-market Pirates played the game; from manager Clint Hurdle shedding his old-school ways to work closely with Neal Huntington, the data-driven GM and his team of analysts; to the pitchers changing what kinds of pitches they threw; to Russell Martin, the undervalued catcher, whose expert use of the nearly invisible skill of pitch framing helped the team's pitchers turn more balls into strikes; and to Clint Barmes, a solid shortstop and one of the early adopters of the unconventional on-field shift that realigned the entire infield into positions they never stood in before. Big Data Baseball is Moneyball for a new generation. It is an entertaining and enlightening underdog story that uses the 2013 Pirates season as the perfect lens to examine the sport's burgeoning big-data movement.

Teaching Statistics Using Baseball 2nd Edition

Author: James Albert
Publisher: The Mathematical Association of America
ISBN: 1939512166
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book illustrates basic methods of data analysis and probability models by means of baseball statistics collected on players and teams. The idea of the book is to describe statistical thinking in a context that will be familiar and interesting to students. The second edition of Teaching Statistics follows the same structure as the first edition, where the case studies and exercises have been replaced by modern players and teams, and the new types of baseball data from the PitchFX system and fangraphs.com are incorporated into the text.

Ahead of the Curve

Author: Brian Kenny
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501106368
Format: PDF, Docs
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“A delight for baseball lovers” (Kirkus Reviews) and “one of the most significant baseball books of the year” (Bob Costas) Ahead of the Curve uses stories from baseball’s present and past to examine why we sometimes choose ignorance over information, and how tradition can trump logic. Forget batting average. Kill the “Win.” Say goodbye to starting pitchers. And please, please stop bunting. MLB Network anchor and commentator Brian Kenny provides “an excellent, entertaining read for the all-around baseball fan” (Library Journal) and shows how baseball has been revolutionized—not destroyed—by analytical thinking. Most people who resist logical thought in baseball preach “tradition” and “respecting the game.” But many of baseball’s traditions go back to the nineteenth century, when the pitcher’s job was to provide the batter with a ball he could hit and fielders played without gloves. Instead of fearing change, Brian Kenny wants fans to think critically, reject outmoded groupthink, and embrace the changes that have come with the sabermetric era. In his entertaining and enlightening book, Kenny discusses why the pitching win-loss record, the Triple Crown, fielding errors, and so-called battling titles should be ignored. He also points out how fossilized sportswriters have been electing the wrong MVP’s and ignoring legitimate candidates for the Hall of Fame; why managers are hired based on their looks; and how the most important position in baseball may just be “Director of Decision Sciences.” “Prepare to have your brain and your assumptions challenged. Guided by data and a deep love of the game, Brian Kenny takes a cutting-edge look at where baseball is and where it is going” (Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated). Illustrated with unique anecdotes from those who have reshaped the game, Ahead of the Curve is “a great story about the game in the age of information and technology” (Billy Beane).

The Only Rule Is It Has to Work

Author: Ben Lindbergh
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 1627795650
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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What would happen if two statistics-minded outsiders were allowed to run a professional baseball team? It’s the ultimate in fantasy baseball: You get to pick the roster, set the lineup, and decide on strategies -- with real players, in a real ballpark, in a real playoff race. That’s what baseball analysts Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller got to do when an independent minor-league team in California, the Sonoma Stompers, offered them the chance to run its baseball operations according to the most advanced statistics. Their story in The Only Rule is it Has to Work is unlike any other baseball tale you've ever read. We tag along as Lindbergh and Miller apply their number-crunching insights to all aspects of assembling and running a team, following one cardinal rule for judging each innovation they try: it has to work. We meet colorful figures like general manager Theo Fightmaster and boundary-breakers like the first openly gay player in professional baseball. Even José Canseco makes a cameo appearance. Will their knowledge of numbers help Lindbergh and Miller bring the Stompers a championship, or will they fall on their faces? Will the team have a competitive advantage or is the sport’s folk wisdom true after all? Will the players attract the attention of big-league scouts, or are they on a fast track to oblivion? It’s a wild ride, by turns provocative and absurd, as Lindbergh and Miller tell a story that will speak to numbers geeks and traditionalists alike. And they prove that you don’t need a bat or a glove to make a genuine contribution to the game.

Diamond Dollars

Author: Vince Gennaro
Publisher: Diamond Analytics
ISBN: 1310496307
Format: PDF, Docs
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Diamond Dollars is a fresh, provocative, insightful, and analytical look at the business of baseball by author Vince Gennaro, a consultant to MLB teams. Gennaro addresses some key questions that affect how teams make decisions, how they assemble their roster, and ultimately, their bottom line: How does winning affect revenues for each team? How much value does a berth in the postseason generate for the Red Sox and Yankees? What is the Yankees’ marginal revenue vs. marginal cost of winning? What is the economic value of a highly productive Twins’ farm system? Why is a player’s value “situational”, depending on the competitiveness of his team and the market in which he plays? How much was Carlos Beltran worth to the Mets in 2006? How can we quantify Derek Jeter’s “marquee value”…his ability to draw fans? What is the relative cost of developing talent vs. buying it in the free agent market? How can we quantify Nomar Garciaparra’s injury risk and its impact on his dollar value? What is the dollar value of Cubs’ fans loyalty to their beloved team? How have the Red Sox, Yankees and Cubs built their team as a brand? How much Babe Ruth was worth to his Yankee teams of the 1920s and 1930s.? Baseball teams may have thought conceptually about some of these issues, but Diamond Dollars gives them the math to measure the effectiveness of their thinking and practices. This edition includes a 2013 preface by the author and a foreword by Jim Beattie, former Executive VP and General Manager of the Baltimore Orioles and Montreal Expos. “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, 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

Understanding Sabermetrics

Author: Gabriel B. Costa
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 0786451319
Format: PDF, Mobi
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"Numbers and baseball go together like America and apple pie. Sabermetrics, defined as the "search for objective knowledge about baseball" and "the mathematical and statistical analysis of baseball records" by noted author Bill James who coined the term, has become perhaps the most important baseball evaluation tool available to researchers. This book is a Sabermetrics primer"--Provided by publisher.

Sandlot Stats

Author: Stanley Rothman
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421406020
Format: PDF, Docs
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As Derek Jeter strolls toward the plate, the announcer tosses out a smattering of statistics—from hitting streaks to batting averages. But what do the numbers mean? And how can America’s favorite pastime be a model for learning about statistics? Sandlot Stats is an innovative textbook that explains the mathematical underpinnings of baseball so that students can understand the world of statistics and probability. Carefully illustrated and filled with exercises and examples, this book teaches the fundamentals of probability and statistics through the feats of baseball legends such as Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio, and Ted Williams—and more recent players such as Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, and Alex Rodriguez. Exercises require only pen-and-paper or Microsoft Excel to perform the analyses. Sandlot Stats covers all the bases, including• descriptive and inferential statistics• linear regression and correlation• probability• sports betting• probability distribution functions• sampling distributions• hypothesis testing• confidence intervals• chi-square distribution Sandlot Stats offers information covered in most introductory statistics books, yet is peppered with interesting facts from the history of baseball to enhance the interest of the student and make learning fun.

The Extra 2

Author: Jonah Keri
Publisher: ESPN
ISBN: 0345517733
Format: PDF, ePub
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What happens when three financial industry whiz kids and certified baseball nuts take over an ailing major league franchise and implement the same strategies that fueled their success on Wall Street? In the case of the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, an American League championship happens—the culmination of one of the greatest turnarounds in baseball history. In The Extra 2%, financial journalist and sportswriter Jonah Keri chronicles the remarkable story of one team’s Cinderella journey from divisional doormat to World Series contender. When former Goldman Sachs colleagues Stuart Sternberg and Matthew Silverman assumed control of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2005, it looked as if they were buying the baseball equivalent of a penny stock. But the incoming regime came armed with a master plan: to leverage their skill at trading, valuation, and management to build a model twenty-first-century franchise that could compete with their bigger, stronger, richer rivals—and prevail. Together with “boy genius” general manager Andrew Friedman, the new Rays owners jettisoned the old ways of doing things, substituting their own innovative ideas about employee development, marketing and public relations, and personnel management. They exorcized the “devil” from the team’s nickname, developed metrics that let them take advantage of undervalued aspects of the game, like defense, and hired a forward-thinking field manager as dedicated to unconventional strategy as they were. By quantifying the game’s intangibles—that extra 2% that separates a winning organization from a losing one—they were able to deliver to Tampa Bay something that Billy Beane’s “Moneyball” had never brought to Oakland: an American League pennant. A book about what happens when you apply your business skills to your life’s passion, The Extra 2% is an informative and entertaining case study for any organization that wants to go from worst to first. From the Hardcover edition.