big data baseball math miracles and the end of a 20 year losing streak

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Big Data Baseball

Author : Travis Sawchik
ISBN : 9781250063502
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 57. 73 MB
Format : PDF
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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
ISBN : 9781250063519
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 37. 44 MB
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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
ISBN : 1250094259
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 87. 43 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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
ISBN : 9781939512161
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 39. 36 MB
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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.

The Hidden Game Of Baseball

Author : John Thorn
ISBN : 9780226276830
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 41. 38 MB
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Long before Moneyball became a sensation or Nate Silver turned the knowledge he’d honed on baseball into electoral gold, John Thorn and Pete Palmer were using statistics to shake the foundations of the game. First published in 1984, The Hidden Game of Baseball ushered in the sabermetric revolution by demonstrating that we were thinking about baseball stats—and thus the game itself—all wrong. Instead of praising sluggers for gaudy RBI totals or pitchers for wins, Thorn and Palmer argued in favor of more subtle measurements that correlated much more closely to the ultimate goal: winning baseball games. The new gospel promulgated by Thorn and Palmer opened the door for a flood of new questions, such as how a ballpark’s layout helps or hinders offense or whether a strikeout really is worse than another kind of out. Taking questions like these seriously—and backing up the answers with data—launched a new era, showing fans, journalists, scouts, executives, and even players themselves a new, better way to look at the game. This brand-new edition retains the body of the original, with its rich, accessible analysis rooted in a deep love of baseball, while adding a new introduction by the authors tracing the book’s influence over the years. A foreword by ESPN’s lead baseball analyst, Keith Law, details The Hidden Game’s central role in the transformation of baseball coverage and team management and shows how teams continue to reap the benefits of Thorn and Palmer’s insights today. Thirty years after its original publication, The Hidden Game is still bringing the high heat—a true classic of baseball literature.

Ahead Of The Curve

Author : Brian Kenny
ISBN : 9781501106361
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 65. 65 MB
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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
ISBN : 9781627795654
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 57. 70 MB
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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.

The Extra 2

Author : Jonah Keri
ISBN : 9780345517739
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 68. 89 MB
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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.

Hot Stove Economics

Author : J.C. Bradbury
ISBN : 1441962697
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 36. 4 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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The final out of the World Series marks the beginning of baseball's second season, when teams court free agents and orchestrate trades with the hope of building a championship contender. The real and anticipated transactions generate excitement among fans who discuss the merit of moves in the arena informally known as the “hot stove league.” In Hot Stove Economics, economist J.C. Bradbury answers the hot stove league's most important question: what are baseball players worth? With in-depth analysis, Bradbury identifies the game’s best and worst contracts—revealing the bargains, duds, and players who are worth every penny they receive. From minor-league prospects to major-league MVPs, Bradbury examines how factors such as revenue growth, labor rules, and aging— even down to the month in which players are born—shape players' worth and evaluates how well franchises manage their rosters. He broadly applies the principles of economics to baseball in a way that is both interesting and understandable to sports fanatics, team managers, armchair economists and students alike.

Analyzing Baseball Data With R

Author : Max Marchi
ISBN : 9781315360591
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 37. 54 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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With its flexible capabilities and open-source platform, R has become a major tool for analyzing detailed, high-quality baseball data. Analyzing Baseball Data with R provides an introduction to R for sabermetricians, baseball enthusiasts, and students interested in exploring the rich sources of baseball data. It equips readers with the necessary skills and software tools to perform all of the analysis steps, from gathering the datasets and entering them in a convenient format to visualizing the data via graphs to performing a statistical analysis. The authors first present an overview of publicly available baseball datasets and a gentle introduction to the type of data structures and exploratory and data management capabilities of R. They also cover the traditional graphics functions in the base package and introduce more sophisticated graphical displays available through the lattice and ggplot2 packages. Much of the book illustrates the use of R through popular sabermetrics topics, including the Pythagorean formula, runs expectancy, career trajectories, simulation of games and seasons, patterns of streaky behavior of players, and fielding measures. Each chapter contains exercises that encourage readers to perform their own analyses using R. All of the datasets and R code used in the text are available online. This book helps readers answer questions about baseball teams, players, and strategy using large, publically available datasets. It offers detailed instructions on downloading the datasets and putting them into formats that simplify data exploration and analysis. Through the book’s various examples, readers will learn about modern sabermetrics and be able to conduct their own baseball analyses.

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