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Big Data Baseball Audiobook

Big Data Baseball: Math, Miracles, and the End of a 20-Year Losing Streak

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Publisher's Summary

Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was old school and stubborn. But after 20 straight losing seasons and his job on the line, he was ready to try anything. So when he met with GM Neal Huntington in October 2012, they decided to discard everything they knew about the game and instead take on drastic "big data" strategies.

Going well beyond the number-crunching of Moneyball, which used statistics found on the back of baseball cards to identify market inefficiencies, the data the Pirates employed was not easily observable. 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 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. Hurdle and Huntington got to work trying to convince the entire Pirates organization and disgruntled fans to embrace these unconventional yet groundbreaking methods. 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. Using flawless reporting, award-winning journalist Travis Sawchik takes you behind the scenes to reveal a game-changing audiobook of miracles and math.

©2015 Travis Sawchik (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (201 )
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Story
4.3 (179 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Me & My Girls 06-03-15 Member Since 2016

    Welcome to our group Dakota; welcome to my life Summer, you've made it so much better. Give back to our wounded warriors who gave so much.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Science of Baseball Choices"

    This is perhaps Moneyball 2.0 or Baseball Analytics Updated. Whereas Michael Lewis's 2002 bestseller focused on the offensive side of baseball this one focuses on defense. It includes the esoteric facets of the game like zone ratings, extreme shifts and pitch framing. Sawchik isn't as talented a writer as Lewis and I doubt that a movie based on this book starring Brad Pitt is likely in the future it's still a good read/ listen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon Woosley 02-06-16
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    "Great Book, Not a Great Read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Big Data Baseball to be better than the print version?

    No, because the reader mispronounced most of the names in the book. This was jarring repeatedly.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Sawchik's way of teasing out the story, jumping from one puzzle piece to another.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Peter Larkin’s performances?

    Yes, his voice was pleasant and his reading was solid, aside from the mispronounced names.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin Gibbs 06-15-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great story, poorly written and even worse narration"

    The information was great. The writing was redundant, cliched and prosed-up which was exacerbated by the narrators over dramatic reading. Also names of players were pronounced incorrectly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TG 314 07-20-15
    TG 314 07-20-15
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    "The game keeps changing"

    What a great book!

    After having endured many dismissive comments by various baseball announcers about the value of baseball data and the hidden value that it can uncover, it is refreshing to read that Moneyball was taken seriously by some teams and yielded excellent results.

    This book is at once a management book, a change leadership guide, a sequel to Moneyball, and an inspirational story about a team that once broke the heart of this Pittsburgh expat. The book fits is for anyone who appreciated Moneyball by Michael Lewis or The Book by Tom Tango, or any management book about challenging old thinking - and using the old timers to effect the change.

    I'm back as a Pirates fan. They are playing to win again.

    As an Audiobook, this was perfect. It helped fill the drive time from Chicago to Pittsburgh. The narrator kept me interested.

    Other teams will evolve and pass the Bucs, but I'm sure the organization will evolve and provide material for a sequel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie Fayetteville, AR, USA 07-16-16
    Jamie Fayetteville, AR, USA 07-16-16
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    "Narrator obviously not baseball guy"

    Very interesting book, narrator butchers some people's names. Loved the insight and reasons behind how the Pirates built a winner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Techy Teacher 04-19-16
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    "Learn the names please m"

    I am a baseball fan and a stat geek so this should have been the perfect audio book for me, but every time the narrator mispronounced another name I wanted to rip the speakers out of my car. Please please please make sure you know the players names before you agree to narrate anything having to do with sports.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 03-09-16
    Eric 03-09-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Interesting but DRY"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probably not. Although it was interesting to hear about the beginnings of data analytics in baseball the content is very number-heavy at times and caused me to lose interest. I can only chip away at this from time to time as there are many other more entertaining audio books out there.


    How could the performance have been better?

    back off on the reading of comparative statistics and spend more time on the player and coach resistance and acceptance.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noel 02-01-16
    Noel 02-01-16
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    "Better than $Ball"

    This book could be described as a thinking man's version of Moneyball. It is well written, well read, and well paced, with lots of interesting anecdotes and personalities. If you are interested in better understanding the game you'll enjoy this read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharpo Smith 01-25-16
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    "GREAT"

    fantastic story, good narration. shows the complexity of baseball and how the data revolution has opened the door for smaller market teams

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phil 01-10-16
    Phil 01-10-16
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    "worth the credit"

    enjoyed it, but not nearly as in depth as you might think. would recommend to anyone who liked moneyball.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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