New Book Destroys Moneyball, Bill James, Red Sox, Tooth Fairy

From a press release (which means it must be true):

A new book, just released by McFarland and Company, promises to create shock waves in the baseball world. The Beauty of Short Hops: How Chance and Circumstance Confound the Moneyball Approach to Baseball exposes the myths perpetrated by the bestselling book Moneyball and the philosophy of baseball that it described.

But wait, that's not all ...

 

The Beauty of Short Hops demonstrates that the Moneyball approach is doubly doomed. First, it fails on its own terms: it cannot make baseball a predictable game wholly understandable in numerical terms. Indeed, the teams which use this approach have not fared well. Second, the Moneyball approach blocks out what is most compelling about the sport – its relentless capacity to surprise. The authors watched all 162 Red Sox games in 2009, and catalog the crazy events (such as a game turning on a ball striking a pigeon in the outfield) that enrich baseball and defeat the best-laid plans of sabermetricians.

Former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent calls The Beauty of Short Hops "a welcome book for those of us who have long questioned the focus on statistics in baseball. . . . Messrs Hirsch take apart the Bill James-Moneyball myths." Library Journal deems the book "highly recommended to both fans and opponents of sabermetrics."

Is it worth pointing out that these same Red Sox have built their organizational philosophy around the Bill James-Moneyball myths? That without sabermetrics the Red Sox wouldn't have won one World Series, let alone two? That every respectable sabermetrician (and most of the other ones, too) is highly aware of the Pigeon in the Outfield Factor?

Anyway, I think I ordered this book months ago. Should be a hoot.

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