Ye gods, someone wrote a sports book for me.
Except it’s not, quite, because a lot of it is not specifically about baseball. But there was more than enough baseball to keep me engaged throughout. Moskowitz and Wertheim apply scientific rigor to analyzing why perplexing issues like why teams and managers consistently make suboptimal decisions, how and why upstanding umpires can make bad calls, what factors don’t significantly contribute to homefield advantage, and the problems of draft pick valuations.
There are a lot surprises. For instance, Major League Baseball is one of the sports in which homefield advantage is least demonstrable, so much so that ballpark geometries and hitter/pitcher-friendly parks can virtually be eliminated as important contributors to homefield advantage.
It’s all laid out with commendable lucidity, so much so that I could almost follow the discussions of sports for which I have no real understanding of strategy.
Definitely recommended for anyone who doesn’t bristle at being called both a nerd and a fan of at least one sport.
needs more demons? no.