Sunday, February 19, 2006

Book Review: Winners by Dayn Perry

Baseball book Review:
Winners: How Good Baseball Teams Become Great Ones
by Dayne Perry

Perry writes for Baseball Prospectus, but this is not the typical book one would expected to be come from one of BP’s writers. Avid readers of BP may be disappointed as there will not be much new to them in this book. This book can serve as a good introduction to the intelligent way of looking at baseball statistics that is common at BP. Throughout the book, Perry refers to studies done by the folks at BP (Nate Silver and others), Bill Jamees, Voros McCracken and others, and explains them thoroughly in English (as opposed to Math) that will make sense to everybody. Perry’s subjects are the 124 teams that made the playoffs from 1980 to 2003. Throughout the book, he introduces biographical information about many different players and teams – to the point where the book is better described as a biographical look at the 124 playoff teams, with a sprinkling of statistics rather than the reverse. This was not what I was expecting, but after getting over that surprise, the book is a fine read.

Overall I recommend it for baseball fans who are interested in learning more about the intelligent use of statistics. That does seem like the audience that Perry is trying to attract, and the 5 stars I give this book is reflective of that audience.

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