Download Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats that are Ruining the Game, the New Ones that are Running it, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball Audiobook

Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats that are Ruining the Game, the New Ones that are Running it, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball Audiobook, by Keith Law Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Keith Law Narrator: Mike Chamberlain Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2017 ISBN: 9780062660947
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Predictably Irrational meets Moneyball in ESPN veteran writer and statistical analyst Keith Law’s iconoclastic look at the numbers game of baseball, proving why some of the most trusted stats are surprisingly wrong, explaining what numbers actually work, and exploring what the rise of Big Data means for the future of the sport.

For decades, statistics such as batting average, saves recorded, and pitching won-lost records have been used to measure individual players’ and teams’ potential and success. But in the past fifteen years, a revolutionary new standard of measurement—sabermetrics—has been embraced by front offices in Major League Baseball and among fantasy baseball enthusiasts. But while sabermetrics is recognized as being smarter and more accurate, traditionalists, including journalists, fans, and managers, stubbornly believe that the "old" way—a combination of outdated numbers and "gut" instinct—is still the best way. Baseball, they argue, should be run by people, not by numbers.

In this informative and provocative book, the renowned ESPN analyst and senior baseball writer demolishes a century’s worth of accepted wisdom, making the definitive case against the long-established view. Armed with concrete examples from different eras of baseball history, logic, a little math, and lively commentary, he shows how the allegiance to these numbers—dating back to the beginning of the professional game—is firmly rooted not in accuracy or success, but in baseball’s irrational adherence to tradition.

While Law gores sacred cows, from clutch performers to RBIs to the infamous save rule, he also demystifies sabermetrics, explaining what these "new" numbers really are and why they’re vital. He also considers the game’s future, examining how teams are using Data—from PhDs to sophisticated statistical databases—to build future rosters; changes that will transform baseball and all of professional sports.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Mike Chamberlain narrates with a clear, resonant voice that is appropriately reminiscent of sports broadcasting…Law is prickly towards baseball writers and executives who adhere to the old ways, and Chamberlain captures his snark precisely. Smart Baseball is informative and enjoyable listening for the contemporary baseball fan.”


  • “ESPN senior baseball writer Law brilliantly dismantles some of the game’s most sacred and most misleading statistics…with a style in which smart trumps snarky.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Law’s background as an analyst gives him the knowledge and experience to put these different statistics in perspective and explain why they are more or less valuable. If you’re unsure of the way the new statistics operate, or wonder why the old approaches are being disparaged, this book is for you.”

    Library Journal

  • “A must-read for everyone who brings a curious head as well as an impassioned heart to the ballpark.”


  • “A spirited exploration of statistics sure to start arguments among devoted baseball fans…Law offers a smooth combination of erudition and his obvious love of the sport.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Keith Law is a senior baseball writer for ESPN Insider and an analyst for ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. Prior to joining ESPN in 2006, Law was a Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Toronto Blue Jays, and wrote for Baseball Prospectus. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and holds an MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon, where he earned Beta Gamma Sigma honors. Law lives in Delaware.

About the Narrator

Mike Chamberlain is an actor and voice-over performer in Los Angeles whose audiobook narration has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards. His voice credits range from radio commercials and television narration to animation and video game characters. Stage trained at Boston College, he has performed works from Shakespeare and the classics to contemporary drama and comedy.