Monday, February 21, 2011

"Scorecasting" reviews

Coincidentally, Chris Jaffe and I both have reviews of "Scorecasting" out today. Here's Chris, at The Hardball Times. Here's me, at Baseball Prospectus.



At Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:06:00 AM, Anonymous Jim A said...

As I read these reviews it occurred to me that Scorecasting is more or less the same book as Wayne Winston's Mathletics a year ago in that it's a survey of sabermetric-type research across multiple sports. Perhaps the Scorecasting writing is a bit more polished for the mainstream reader and it has the SI marketing machine behind it, whereas Mathletics is more technical and more appreciative (or at least aware) of non-academic research. A fair assessment?

It appears that the home field advantage stuff is really the only original research in Scorecasting and even that leaves a bit to be desired.

It still feels like there's a book waiting to be written that is more satisfying than both of these.

At Tuesday, February 22, 2011 11:07:00 AM, Blogger Phil Birnbaum said...

Hi, Jim,

Scorecasting covers only the academic research (and the authors' own). "Mathletics" extensively covered the basic sabermetric stuff, like Pythagorean Projection and so on.

Also, "Mathletics" included lots of math, with the idea that the reader wanted to know how the numbers worked. "Scorecasting" does not ... it looks only at the *interesting* results, not the ones most useful to practitioners.

It's like ... Mathletics talks about the math and physics of relativity theory. Scorecasting talks briefly about e=mc squared, then discusses the atomic bomb and what it means in world affairs.

At Wednesday, February 23, 2011 9:34:00 AM, Anonymous Jim A said...

Thanks, Phil. That's about what I figured. I enjoyed Mathletics and am debating whether to pick up Scorecasting.

BTW, your blog and criticism of the 299/300 study was mentioned in the recent Jonah Keri podcast interview with L. Jon Wertheim, one of the authors of Scorecasting.

At Wednesday, February 23, 2011 9:37:00 AM, Blogger Phil Birnbaum said...

Thanks, Jim ... someone posted that a couple of days ago, and I found the part that mentions the .300.

At Wednesday, February 23, 2011 3:57:00 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

Hi Phil,

I just found this podcast and this paper on steroids claiming "the steroid era" had little or no effect on homeruns scored. Have you seen these and if so, what is your take on them?


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