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Publisher's Summary

Most people who resist logical thought in baseball preach "tradition" and "respecting the game". But many of baseball's traditions go back to the 19th 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.

Kenny also points out how fossilized sportswriters have been electing the wrong MVPs 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".

Ahead of the Curve debunks the old way of analyzing baseball and ushers in a new era of straightforward logic. Illustrated with unique anecdotes from those who have reshaped the game, it's a must-listen for fans, players, managers, and fantasy enthusiasts.

©2016 Brian Kenny (P)2016 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Groundbreaking

I have grown up in the age of saber metrics but this book allowed me to understand it in a more comprehensive way. The narrating is done by Brian Kenny and he does an amazing job at it. The book has long chapters that don't just give a form of thinking, but gives many facts and statistics to back it up. The book doesn't tell you that saber metrics is the only way to look at things, it's just that it is a new way which allows teams to have a competitive advantage over ones hat don't. Great book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very well done, my favorite audiobook thus far

If you could sum up Ahead of the Curve in three words, what would they be?

Brian Kenny Unleashed...

What does Brian Kenny bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Brian does a fantastic job with the book itself, but I absolutely loved hearing him tell the stories and share the experiences that he does in the book. Finally someone that tells it in a way that makes it impossible to not understand.

Any additional comments?

An absolute must read, for anyone who loves baseball and/or wants to better understand the new metrics and analytics that are transforming the game today.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bradley
  • Hailey, ID, United States
  • 07-27-16

Wonderful detail on baseballs past and future

I've been an audible subscriber for well over 10 years and this is the first review I've decided to submit. Brian Kenny in his book Ahead of the Curve really shows us how backwards thinking baseball can be. It is wonderful to hear someone think outside the box, and show and prove that the game can change. I know it can take a long time, but it is possible. I love the fact that Brian read the book himself. Although I am sure there are better readers out there, his enthusiasm and excitement for the game and his process shines through the entire book. Highly recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Baseball Book

I enjoy listening to Brian Kenny on the MLB Network and love the inside numbers he provides. This book illustrates how the old school of thought by MLB clubs and “expert” sportswriters is and was so obviously flawed. He goes into numbers and situations that make sense and why baseball grinds slowly and reluctantly toward common sense. Ironically he predicts in this 2016 book that the Astros would be 2017 World Series winners. If that doesn’t build the credibility of this book, nothing will. I really liked the audio version and that he is the reader so he knows when and how he wants things relayed to the listener. I highly recommend.

  • Overall

Great audio book

Brian Kenny agrees with and expands on many things I've thought about baseball for the past 40 years. He eloquently uses words and examples to prove points about logical and illogical baseball stats and strategies. If your "old school" and don't wish to be told you're wrong you may wanna skip this, however if you enjoy baseball from a numbers and logic viewpoint or just wana learn more about the game and be entertained I highly reccomend

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Great book for any thinking baseball fan!

I learned a lot while being thoroughly entertained. The author is a great performer, but I'll bet it's not a performance. His passion for the game and it's history shines through.

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Come on Kenny

I love your comments about how to look at baseball, but as a lifelong 50 year astros fan I found a little love for the hated cardinals for giving us a great GM and with reading the book after the 2017 World Series a real Justice for saber and beating the Red Sox, Yankees and yes the dodgers outstanding!

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informative grating know-it-all

I usually avoid books read by the author I can see why Kenny wanted to read this. He has the bully pulpit and uses it to mock anyone or anything that doesn't agree 100% with him and he can tell you over and over again how he is right about everything and always has been.

He makes a lot of good points and wins arguments and can change your thinking about things but he also offers many ridiculous theories and cherry picks situations in an attempt to prove he is correct.

  • Overall

Well Done

Thoroughly enjoyable book. Blending new thinking with old school theory makes this a great book for the baseball fan.

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Surprisingly Good Stuff

I am a baseball fan. I am neither a purist nor a stat geek, however those terms are perceived. Living abroad, I watch every game of my team on MLB.tv, and attend up to a dozen games a year when I return to the states. I do not watch pre-game, post-game or any sports-based program, on tv or radio. I watch the games, perhaps keep an eye on the hot stove league in the winter, and on rare occasions, read baseball related books.

That being said, I enjoyed this book, even through its somewhat laborious recitation of statistics. I suppose it is more suitable to print form in that regard. I have no idea of who Bill Kenny is, other than vaguely as a name on ESPN. But he does give very convincing reasons, presented very methodically, for teams to adopt sabermetric evaluations. I won't say that I was skeptical going in, but I think I may have expected a lesser quality pitch, as I have heard and read in the past. (Having purchased this audiobook on a $4.95 sale may have helped, as well!).

I will continue to stay away from the ocean of stats and historical comparisons, and the endless jabbering of sports talk radio and tv. But I do feel that I have a greater appreciation for how the behind the scenes will work from now on. One particular part that I find quite intriguing are the ideas of an Opener to pitch the first couple innings only, handing over to a traditional starter, and bullpenning. Purists will hate these ideas, but I am curious to see if/when it comes to pass. Perhaps my team will implement some of these strategies.

1/2 star off for putting himself on the cover (I guess he's a sports brand, but really, there was no baseball related photo available?). But he gets the 1/2 star back because the Astros really did become the 2017 World Series Champs.