The next quantum leap beyond Moneyball, this book offers powerful new insights into all human decision-making, because if sports teams are getting it wrong this badly, how do you know you're not? Sometimes the decisions that teams make are simply inexplicable. Consider: sports teams have an immense amount of detailed, quantifiable information to draw upon, more than in virtually any other industry. They have powerful incentives for making good decisions. Everyone sees the results of their choices, and the consequences for failure are severe. And yet... they keep making the same mistakes over and over again... systematic mistakes you'd think they'd learn how to avoid. Now, two leading sports economists reveal those mistakes in basketball, baseball, football, and hockey, and explain why sports decision-makers never seem to learn their lessons. You'll learn which statistics are connected to wins, and which aren't, and which statistics can and can't predict the future. Along the way, David Berri and Martin Schmidt show why a quarterback's place in the draft tells you nothing about how he'll perform in the NFL... why basketball decision-makers don't focus on the factors that really correlate with NBA success... why famous coaches don't deliver better results... and much more.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The book presents various statistical analyses that were done on the professional football, baseball and basketball. They discuss several points including: (1) bad decision making in the NBA as GMs and couches tend to overvalue (both in salary and playing time) high scoring players. They exemplify it very nicely with Isiah Thomas terrible building of the New-York Knicks. (2) An interesting chapter discusses the way black quarterbacks are undervalued in the NFL. (3) Another chapter discusses couches and their impact of individual players performances, and yes, as expected Phil Jackson's motivational speeches have a significant positive impact.
I found the results and presentation highly interesting. The writing style if nicely flowing, the explanations are good and should fit people with very little knowledge in statistics. It will be interesting to see in the next couple of years how teams adapt to the new statistical era and change their decision making accordingly. We...
If your not a Bill James fan or a sabrmetric type of diehard this isn't the book for you.However,if you really love to break down the stats and what they mean,or you have always wondered how you quantify a players true value in team sports you will enjoy this study.Baseball is the one that is perhaps easiest to quantify with stats,so you can consult any number of sources on that,but the authors do a good job tackling those sports which are not so easy to deduce a players value and/or greatness like basketball,football,and hockey.Sure to tee off a lot of fans,they show who may be overrated and underrated as well using statistical theories they have devised to show this.Some of the theories and math might be over most peoples heads(like mine) but the results are interesting,and they are shown in well done graphs and charts.The book even covers as to what point it is feasible to test your luck on 4th down in football,a debate that will go on forever.Theorizes about the way...
This book struggles to find its depth. One paragraph presumes you've got a well-rounded understanding of statistics, then the next gets completely hand-wavey with the numbers and equations. For example, there are multiple "tables" of which factors are relevant to success in a particular field, but they're merely divided into "significant" and "insignificant"--no figures to speak of, excepting the one or two that inadvertently sneak into the surrounding text.
The major points of the book are superficial. They spend a chapter regurgitating the Moneyball thesis. Then they argue that in basketball shooting efficiency is more important than points scored, even though the latter tends to get guys paid. Well-trod ground. The authors spill a lot of ink pretending their thesis is whether or not the people running sports franchises make good decisions or not, but apart from Moneyball (which no longer works because the inefficiency has been eliminated) and Isaiah Thomas (nuff said)...
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