Monday, October 26, 2020

Why I don't love analytics

One of the wackiest endings of any World Series game occurred Saturday night when the Tampa Bay Rays scored the tying and winning run on a base hit by a walk on player and two blunders by normally solid fielders.   I'm a Dodger fan but I guess more of a baseball fan because I loved it.   

The unpredictability of it was jaw dropping.  And in such a big moment.  As Rays' radio announcer, Andy Freed said on the air (and I'm paraphrasing): "We should save 'unbelievable' for moments like these."  

But here's my point.  The big hit was delivered by a walk on player only up there because there was no one else left on the bench.  The Dodger pitcher was their all-time leader in saves.  So what would the analytics tell you?   For all the numbers and all the analysis, the game of baseball defies expectations.  

How many times in the World Series have we seen unlikely heroes?  For every Mickey Mantles and Willie Mays, there is also a Scott Podsednik, Jim Leyritz, Pat Borders, Luis Sojo, Kurt Bevacqua, Carlos Ruiz, Tony Womack, Brian Doyle, Steve Pearce, Christian Colon, David Freese, David Eckstein, Francisco Rodriguez, Mickey Hatcher, Rick Dempsey, Gene Tenace, Donn Clendenon, Don Larson, and now Brett Phillips (who hadn't batted in 17 days).    And I bet I'm leaving out four or five other World Series heroes. 

It's a form of collusion now since all teams use the same analytics.  A free agent may have hit 25 home runs last year but if his OPS is under a certain number no one wants him.  Forget that he was a model player, a mentor to young players, and a pillar of the community.  His OPS was too low.  Or a pitcher's WIP was too high.  

And yet, it's the intangibles.  Nerves under pressure, anticipation, preparation, and just dumb luck.  Analytics can predict many things, but until they can predict dumb luck they should just be used as a tool and not the yardstick by which all decisions are made.  

The argument is made that young people are into analytics and Major League Baseball is slavishly trying to lure that coveted demographic.  But consider this:  what should be a World Series game ending for the ages was seen after midnight on the east and in the key 18-34 demographics it was beaten by SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.  So MLB is not exactly captivating Millennials.   

How many of you, even baseball fans, are hearing about this Saturday night finish for the first time?  

Last night the Dodgers came back to win.  Clayton Kershaw, the team's ace and future Hall-of-Famer, started a little shaky.  Worked out of a huge jam and then settled down.  In the 6th inning he retired the first two batters on two pitches.  And was lifted for a rookie pitcher who had struggled but has great potential.  What the fuck?   The kid got some outs (thankfully for the manager and organization), but what does it say about the faith they have in Clayton Kershaw?   I can't imagine the Dodgers taking Sandy Koufax out in the 6th inning after getting two outs on two pitches and leading by two runs.  You can say "OK Boomer" but I contend the game was more fun and exciting.  And some people must've liked it because World Series games were seen by 40 million people instead of three or four. 

And on an unrelated note, Happy Birthday to my writing partner, David Isaacs.  Happy 39th. 


Glenn said...

Tell David Isaacs I hope he enjoys his 40s.

Arlen Peters said...

Can't agree with you more Ken ... and I love these baseball facts that show just how much the game has changed (it was more fun back then!) ... during the 1963 World Series, one of the greatest in my estimation, when the Dodgers swept the Yankees in four games, the Dodgers used FOUR PITCHERS THE ENTIRE SERIES (Koufax, Drysdale, Podres, Perranski) ... and the Yankees scored FOUR RUNS TOTAL IN THE ENTIRE SERIES. That was a great series, and no one had ever even heard the term "analytics"!

Mike Barer said...

I surprised to see that on the Mariner Facebook page, a majority of fans are supporting the Rays, even though Tampa Bay kept trying to get the Mariners to move, until we built a new stadium and they got an expansion team.
Also Happy Birthday, Mr. Isaacs!

Unknown said...

Since you are always posting about old time DJs, you probably have heard of King B, who passed at 86:

Vrej said...

I'm a baseball fan and yes, I'm only now hearing about Saturday's finish.

To be fair, I have fallen off following MLB since the Expos moved to DC... :(

ventucky said...

Brian Kenny, the saber metrics guy on MLB Network, who never played professionally, I presume, has as much clout and influence on perspective of the game, as his former MLB playing cohorts. He is they guy who says wins and RBI's mean nothing. Yet, consistently through history, the leaders in those categories are amongst the greatest players saber metrically. Clutch is a REAL thing in baseball. Some truly excel in pressure beyond their analytic stats. As a former So Cal resident, I have to say, it seems the whole world outside of Dodgerland is die hard Rays fans right now.

Robert C Mercieca said...

Don't forget Kirk Gibson's home run against Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series:

Dana King said...

I was an early advocate of Bill James when analytics better explained things no one had ever seriously studied, and I still look at those stats. The problem I have now is that too many people believe EVERYTHING can be described and broken out. While analytics may prove out over a full 162-game season, they don't tell you what's going to happen today, as we learned Saturday night.

What everyone using the same analytics has done is make the game too often a snoozefest. Every hitter only cares about launch angle and every team shifts, so too many home runs are solo shots while hitters ignore the free base defenses give them if they'd hit the ball the other way once in a while, or even lay down a crappy bunt. With no one within 60 feet of third base, how good does the bunt have to be? Even with a runner on first, a righthanded batter can push a bunt between the pitcher and first and there's no play to be made if the firs baseman has to leave the bag. Yet these opportunities are wasted because the analytics don't bear them out.

I used to say the three most important thing in my life were my family, my music, and baseball, not necessarily in that order. This year I didn't watch more than five minutes of any game until Games 6 & 7 of the LCSes. I am considering canceling my subscription. I am clearly no longer part of baseball's intended audience.

Dave Widel said...

I just started watching this series since the local team is in it. I haven't watched a game since the 90's. Wow, there's been some changes. One thing I've found a little frustrating is they're doing a weird shift but a lot of times I don't know what it was until the ball goes through a gap and I realize there's nobody there. Maybe they could show more pics of the fielders instead of somebody I don't know in the dugout spitting on the floor?

Roger Owen Green said...

I was watching the game Sunday morning (recorded, sound off, didn't know the final score) when my wife called. I should have paused it, but I was letting it play. And then IT happened, and I apologized to my wife because I no idea what she said for that 20 seconds. After she hung up, I watched it three more times.

And you're right about that whole "25th guy on the roster". Once the Dodgers regained the lead, you got the vibe from the announcers that the game was all but over. Hey, that's why they actually PLAY the damn game.

cjdahl60 said...

Ken: I half way agree with you. I think the relatively recent embrace of analytics has a place but the human factor also plays a huge role. That's the reason for watching sports, right? It would be very boring if we were able to accurately predict the outcomes based on analytics. Why even watch sports if that were the case?

I'm lucky enough to live on the West Coast, so the time zone thing doesn't have much of an impact on my viewing. If anything it skews the other way. Start times on the East Coast in the early afternoon are late morning here. As long as I stay away from spoilers on web sites and other media, DVR and let me watch at my convenience (and fast forward the commercials).

West Coast = the best coast.

Happy Birthday, David!

Unknown said...

I think that owners are using analytics to justify to decrease costs while increasing short term profits at the expense of mid to long term profits. That's the mandate that has been passed down to their front offices and dictated by who they hire and cut.

There is also a broader societal trend there and I think that it comes down to quantitative versus qualitative. The former is in vogue right now.

Anonymous said...

"...and not the yardstick by which all decisions are made." And so what is that yardstick? The manager's intuition? That's what they used when they had no other choice, before data research. If you want the occasional great play that people will remember for a long time go for it on 4th and 25, bet on boxcars 3 times in a row and let Albert Pujols try to steal second. Those odds beaters are great when the work. They are what we as viewers want to see. They are the improbable events we'll celebrate. But if you ignore the numbers too often, Mr. Manager, quantitative analysis will whup your ass in the long run.


John Parrish said...

Hey, Ken. Friday question. I’ll get to my point in a minute, but first have to set up a situation. I’m a Rays fan living in Tampa. The Rays continually draw among the lowest attendance in the league. It's not for a lack of support from the Tampa Bay Area, as we have a huge TV audience. It’s because the team is located across the bay in St. Petersburg, and if you're a fan who lives in Tampa and want to get to a weekday game after work, good luck. We’re a metro area of nearly 3 million people, with lousy public transportation – which makes the task of getting to a game a monumental time-consuming effort no sensible season ticket holder wants to endure every day. There's been a lot of talk getting the Rays to move to Tampa, which is much more centrally located to many more fans. It would have much more corporate support and could possibly even draw from Orlando. (Especially when a proposed high-speed train from Orlando to Tampa gets built). We do require a domed stadium because of our summer rainy season. An exciting new stadium was proposed in Tampa with an estimated budget of $1B, which all us taxpayers basically gagged on – so it went nowhere. WHICH LEADS ME TO MY POINT. The owner of the Rays has floated an idea to split the Rays time between two cities. Have the Rays play in the Tampa Bay Area the first half of the season (which would still require a new stadium be built somewhere). Then play the second half of the season in Montreal after our rainy season begins. I think it’s a ridiculous idea. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Analytics has its place, but good scouting and human intuition take the other spots. Bob Gibson pitched 3 complete games in the '68 World Series. We will never see that again.

Pam, St. Louis.

Ere I Saw Elba said...

Happy Birthday to my writing partner, David Isaacs. Happy 39th.

I think you misspelled 71st. Maybe they'll catch that in editing (a Millennial, no doubt).

Kevin B said...

Let me start with, Screw the Astros. However, I did like how Dusty Baker still managed old school. With gut, instinct and a little faith. In addition to some analytics.

Kaleberg said...

Anonymous asks what was the decision making yardstick in the past. Maybe it was entertainment value. They had statistics. I remember having baseball cards with a pile of numbers on the back, and I am sure that they were part of decision making, but I think a good manager would go for crowd feel and team theme. The Yankees, if I remember correctly, went for high priced home run hitters. Other teams focused on the pitching, having a team of spunky underdogs or great base runners. One goal was to win games. The other goal was to fill seats in the stadium, and later to build up radio and television ratings.

As a television writer, I am sure our host understands this, and understands that it isn't just about filling slots in an ensemble based on some statistic, for example, ratings in prior shows. There's also the matter of creating dramatic balance to drive lots of seasons worth of stories. There's a high cost to bringing in a pinch hitter. Obviously, this analogy breaks down since a baseball team requires players who have to be better at playing the game than the typical fan or you'll wind up with some kind of weird reality show.

Anonymous said...

Two points:
Yes, you left out the greatest World Series hero of them all. The guy who hit the only game winning game 7 walkoff.
In what is arguably the greatest World Series of them all - 1960. The Yankees probably lost because Casey Stengel refused to use his ace, the late Whitey Ford in Game1 or Game 2. Then Bill Mazeroski hit the greatest home run in World Series history and maybe in baseball history.

The idea that analytics is a new thing is a Millenial conceit. Analytics in baseball aren't new - what's new is computers. That's what allows more sophisticated stats, and concepts like launch angles. Analytics were being used by John McGraw 100 years ago, Branch Rickey 75 years ago, and Earl Weaver 50 years ago among others. They just didn't have computers to punch the data in and collate.

blinky said...

Speaking of statistics, I wonder if someone is keeping track of how the games outcome would be different if the Balls and Strikes were automated. The correct call is there for all to see with that box overlay. It seems like almost every other at bat has a questionable call.

Moe said...

The analytics work for the long haul - see Billy Beane.

The Seattle fans for Tampa are likely Blake Snell's relatives. Who in Seattle really cares about either team?

But let's hear it for the 66 Orioles who not only swept LA but shut them out 3 straight games. Where in the world is Wally Bunker? Let's go O's!

Steve_Law said...

Hi Ken - Just a quick Devil's Advocate note. what gets lost in the either/or analytics argument is the difference between the regular season (over 100 games if not COVID'd and the post season 1/3/5/7 game series. Analytics like any strategy based on probability works when the sample size (in this case games played) is sufficient to take into account streaks and regression to the mean. Just as.we are not surprised that every spring there is always a player who goes on a streak for a couple weeks that if he kept it up on a pregame basis would bat .600 who then regresses to his mean and bats .300 or whatever, we shouldn't be surprised by unlikely short series heroes, and nothing about this detracts from the overall theory of the analytics folks. The analytics are most useful for suggesting that over the course of a long season, the probabilities will work out and the team will succeed at a mean level. The fact that this success is trumped by individual performances in short series, I've always thought of as the "tyranny of small numbers." Think of that streaky .600 hitter any the beginning of the season and put the same 7 games in a short championship or World Series and you have the unlikely hero. Anyway, love the blog. Wish I still loved baseball enough to know the correct pronunciation of the Rays "Lowe."

cb said...

39...again. Happy birthday, David...!

Michael said...

On Clayton, Justin Turner was lobbying for him to stay in the game, and I was reminded of a comment from The Vin when he was asked to compare the other two greatest left-handers in Dodger history (The Vin being the greatest). He said that Koufax pitched every fourth and sometimes third day, was expected to complete games, and didn't have pitch counts. That didn't necessarily make him better or worse, but it was a different era. And I thought of Don Drysdale, who pitched with a cracked rib at one point; small wonder his arm blew out at 33, and Carl Erskine, whose career ended around the same age and said in his third start he hurt his arm and never pitched without pain again. A different time, indeed.

Jeff Boice said...

I live on the East Coast. The games start too late and take too long. They end just before midnight and then it takes awhile for me to fall asleep. And why bother watching when I can see all the highlights when I get up in the morning. I do wish I had seen that attempted steal of home live.

Cowboy Surfer said...

my online impression of vin scully doesn't need any analytics

deuces are wild, two runners on, two outs, two strikes, two balls in the 2nd inning of a doubleheader, the batter is 2nd baseman tommy tutone, wearing number two, batting 2nd on Tuesday with a 2 mile wind blowing across 2nd base to the 2nd pitcher this inning, I have a dinner date for two planned with my lovely wife tonight, this will be the 2nd time we are eating out this week, I usually order two...

Mike Barer said...

Moe, I don't see you getting much love from Ken on the '66 Series. It was a dark time for Dodger fans and marked the end of the Koufax era
Great, well balanced team, though.

Curt Alliaume said...

Hi, Ken. Two notes:

1) I completely agree regarding the times World Series games start. Yeah, it's great for people living on the West Coast, because a 5 PM start means they're probably home from work. (Except we're in the middle of a pandemic and this was a Saturday night game.) But if you're trying to get kids to watch (or listen), they aren't going to make it that long. Especially kids rooting for Tampa Bay, which needs all the fans they can get. This has long been a pet peeve of mine, and I don't know how to solve it short of the fans puting together a petition to Fox Sports.

2) I get your argument regarding Clayton Kershaw. He did only throw 85 pitches. That said, it wasn't his best game (56 strikes, 29 balls, 10 swinging strikes, 55 game score), and flipping the Rays' lineup over is never a bad idea (especially getting Hunter Renfroe, who can't hit righties at all, out and forcing the Rays to put in Austin Meadows, who's not nearly as good a fielder).

On a completely different note, here's a question. I'm transitioning my career from print production and project management into freelance writing--I spent the last 10 months working with a political strategy firm. Not surprisingly, they're not going to need as many writers after the election ends. What did you do during the early years when you were breaking into the industry and looking for writing work? How did you search and how much time did you dedicate daily to finding jobs?

VP81955 said...

This Nationals fan notes that despite a Game 4 ending for the ages, in the overnights Game 5 on Fox was beaten by NBC's Sunday night game between Seattle and Arizona, two teams not initially slated for prime time. (The Tampa Bay at Las Vegas game was moved up by the NFL, supposedly because several Raiders players had missed practice due to illness but more likely because the Bucs and Rays would've gone head-to-head.) While it turned out to have a great finish as the Cards rallied to win late in OT, the World Series should always outdraw regular-season football, no matter which teams are playing in either game. Our society has indeed devolved.

Saburo said...

I don't think Game Four necessarily inspires the analytics debate as much as the general notion that baseball is a GREAT game.

A great game that you can't run the damn clock on. Or pass the final at bat to your S*T*A*R player. No need to bring up analytics or advanced metrics. The awesomeness is right there.

I saw a pathetic tweet during Game Five about the greatest thing in sports being some NFL quarterback on TV passing a pigskin. This was about the same time a FRIGGIN' STRAIGHT STEAL ATTEMPT OF HOME happened! Keep yer Fuuttyball!

Moe said...

I forgot to mention Happy Birthday to David.

Mike Barer, no I don't expect Ken to applaud the 66 Orioles. But my point was Wally Bunker was one of the unknowns in the series. That he was a pitcher makes him even more admirable. However, since Ken's first MLB broadcasting job was with the great John Miller in Baltimore, I'm guessing he's got a lot of warm feelings for the O's, but not the 66 version.

Jay Moriarty said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to David! Doesn't look a day over 38!

Randy @ WCG Comics said...

If analytics was 100% foolproof, then that kind of play at the end of the game wouldn't have happened. So it seems like there's still plenty of room for the unpredictable, as this play showed, which makes baseball and most sports a thrill for spectators. Before analytics, stats were still part of the mix. But As someone mentioned, analytics took it up a notch a bit by using more sophisticated number crunching and computers. But clearly the human factor can still throw all that out of the window.

sanford said... also viewership. The ratings and the viewership have gone down for quite a while now. There are a number of things that have caused viewership to go down. Certainly long games have to bree one of them. It is not good when games end after 12 in the east. There is more to watch on television. Maybe it has to do with the younger kids having fathers that were not interested in baseball. My son's are in their 30's. They like baseball but they are not as invested as I am. As for taking Kershaw out. I certainly would have left him in for one more batter. It wasn't a comparison to Gibson per se, but some mentioned all the complete games that Gibson pitched in the World Series. There was just the world series and not rounds of play offs.

VP81955 said...

To Sanford:

Was Roberts thinking of Game 5 of the 2019 NLDS, when he left Kershaw in too long and Rendon and Soto made him pay for it?

Mike Bloodworth said...

Speaking of Aaron Sorkin, I had never heard of "analytics" until I saw the movie "Moneyball." Despite a few instances of Sorkin's trademark verbosity it was an O.K. movie. I give it a 7 out of 10.

But, if you're going to ignore the math doesn't that poke a hole in the "trust science" thing?

Even though I'm not a baseball fan I'm really enjoying this series. And I always root for the Dodgers when they're in contention.
Regarding start times, it's six of one... In a normal, non-pandemic year those in the Pacific time zone with 9 to 5 jobs are usually stuck in rush hour traffic and would miss a big chunk of the beginning of the games. This applies to "Monday Night Football" and the NBA playoffs as well. Although, with an exciting game like basketball it's easier to stay awake till the end.

I peaked in my thirties. So for David it's down hill from here.

Go Dodgers!


Mike Barer said...

Moe, I think that team had a reliever named Moe Drabowski. You know, I didn't watch that series since I didn't get into baseball until 1967, but I had a book on Sandy Koufax, so I read up on Series in '63, '65, and '66.

Mike Bloodworth said...

P.S. I just heard on "TMZ" that rapper Lil Pump has endorsed Donald Trump. I guess you'll be crossing his name off the list as well.


Cap'n Bob said...

Happy birthday, David.

And happy birthday to my daughter Stephanie.

And happy anniversary to the Gunfight at the OK Corral.

Anonymous said...

1. 2019 Regular seasons
NFL (32 teams, 16 games) An average of 66,479 people a game- a total of 16.67 million spectators in 2019
MLB (30 teams, 165 games) An average of 28,317 people a game- a total of 68.48 million spectators in 2019

How much would NFL average attendance change if number of games - sponsored by brain surgeons- increased per team by a multiple of ten ?

2. World Series Ratings Booster
Hire the greatest music stars- they’ll work for “free” (like NFL half-time entertainment) -
to play three songs during each seventh inning stretch

benson said...

This is a roundabout way of turning the OK Boomer thing around on the kids.

All of the above that's been written, sure. But what is baseball worst problem and has been for years now? Pace of play. Watch any game on youtube from prior to say, 1970. People did their job. Nobody was *icking around,, adjusting their cup after every pitch, etc., waiting for the walk up music to finish. "Celebrate me, me, me."

Play the freakin' game. Games routinely went just slightly over two hours and many times clocked in at 1:50 or so, until the millennials, et al., slowed it down to this.

Yes, analytics has ruined baseball. Nothing but home runs and strike outs. Who cares. But fix the pace of play problem first.

And, the night game issue: Baseball needed the revenue to pay the players (and themselves), but you've lost an entire generation with World Series night games. You seriously couldn't play the weekend games during the afternoon?

And happy birthday Mr. Isaacs.

T.J. said...

OK Boomer.

Also, each isolated event in a game has a huge amount of chance. That's part of what makes the game 9and sports in general) great. I'm a Cub fan, for example, but I loved (in retrospect) what Rajai Davis did in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series to Aroldis Chapman (also because of the kind of person Chapman appears to be, but that's a different topic). But everything is percentages. Teams should do what they can to increase their percentages over time.

I'm rereading BALL FOUR. When you look at the decisions Joe Schultz, Sal Maglie, and the other coaches and GMs made and how badly treated and underpaid the players were back then, it's hard to argue that the game isn't better now.

VP81955 said...

My favorite period of baseball was the 1980s, particularly in the National League -- arguably the best-ever blend of power and speed. Perhaps the much-maligned multi-purpose stadiums and artificial turf played a role, but if ballparks today were built with higher outfield walls (say, 25 to 30 feet in height), we'd have a lot more caroms and far more triples (the game's most exciting play). Also, considering Mike Schmidt played two-thirds of his career on turf (and no, I'm not suggesting it be brought back), he justifiably earned those many Gold Gloves.

A Frank Sinatra song title best describes today's static, home run-or-strikeout game: "All Or Nothing At All."

Anonymous said...

OK Boomer

it would hardly be fair to judge the state of baseball - the game, not the business - based on Jim Bouton's account of the 1969 or 1970 Seattle Pilots.

Would be like trying to judge the state of professional football based on this year's Atlanta Falcons or Dallas Cowboys.

Buttermilk Sky said...

I see you're not allowing comments on your Tuesday post, but I wanted to alert you to this article where some prominent screenwriters look at this year as if it were a movie. How would you end it?

Jahn Ghalt said...

It's a form of collusion now since all teams use the same analytics. A free agent may have hit 25 home runs last year but if his OPS is under a certain number no one wants him. Forget that he was a model player, a mentor to young players, and a pillar of the community. His OPS was too low. Or a pitcher's WIP was too high.

If Michal Lewis shall be believed, Beane and Podestra had much the same access to stats as their rivals (though, it may well be they were well plugged in to the "new stats" already gathered for every MLB game by SABRE by 2003). Lewis asserted that those two valued commonly-available metrics differently than others.

These days, it would be no surprise if various teams were similarly distinctive.

This year the Mariners took "the long view" with Evan White - promoted this year from AA. He was one of four Mariners with a minimum of 200 plate appearances and one of three who appeared in a minimum of 50 games.

He started his first month starting in 31/37 games and was an MLB Leader - in K's. I suppose Sims and Blowers were well-informed to say that White, even as a rook, had one of the best gloves (at 1st base) in the majors.

He started in all 28 team games in September and ended up batting .176/.252/.346 with 8 HR and 26 RBI in 202 PA.

Let's see if he bats like a major leaguer in 2021.

IIRC, early in my fandom Gene Tenace "broke out" for the A's in the 'Series to get the WS MVP in '72. He hit 4 dingers, and went .348/.400/.913 in 25 PA and 7 games. In the ALCS that year he went .059/.200/,059 in 20 PA and 5 games.

From 1972-1976 he made a "comfortable living" - averaging $40,000/season. He then became "wealthy" in the early days of free agency - the Padres (and Cards) paid him about $300,000/season 1977-1982.

Why? It may have had something to do with his extreme patience as a hitter. '73-'79 he twice led the AL in walks and averaged 104 BB and 575 PA in those years.

For his career he batted .241/.388/.429

DrBOP said...

Off-Topic ALERT

Jerry Lee Lewis 85th Birthday Celebration tonight at 8pm(ET). And will be archived:

Breadbaker said...

Ken, you and a lot of broadcasters (the late Joe Morgan, who instinctively knew a lot of sabermetric principles, such as the value of walks, as a player, among them) set up a straw man argument of "modern Analytics versus traditional statistics" that is unrealistic.

A very interesting and far more accurate perspective can be found in "The Only Rule is it Has to Work", by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller. It's the true story of two stats guys, Baseball Prospectus writers and podcasters, who are given personnel and other control over an independent league team in the low, low, low minors. The result was that they and the traditional baseball people both learned things. It's a far more nuanced look at how these decisions are made plus it gives a really nice picture of the economics for players and owners in the bottom rung of professional baseball. Well-written and honest and I commend it to anyone interested in these issues.

mike said...

Except that Billy Beane's teams won bupkis.