Big Data Baseball: Math, Miracles, and the End of a 20-Year Losing Streak – Intimatenights.co.uk


Big Data Baseball: Math, Miracles, and the End of a 20-Year Losing Streak Big Data Baseball is a useful, entertaining look back at how the Pirates turned a small market, longtime loser into a playoff team a very illuminating book Baseball America Big Data Baseball is a particular kind of nerd heaven and if youre even vaguely interested in advanced analytics, you should already be halfway through the second chapter by now Sawchiks real achievement is making the sabermetrics story accessible to everyone, even people who might have been scared off by it at first MLBHow this motley collection of men from data geeks to throwback coaches to reluctant players worked the numbers together to mold a winner makes Sawchik s tale as compelling as Michael Lewis MoneyballWhich is saying a lot Booklist, starred reviewThis enlightening book by Sawchik explains how the team helped redefine the game Taking cues from Michael Lewis s Moneyball and Jonah Keri s The Extra %, Sawchik wonderfully dissects statistics and the game itself in a style that will score with a broad range of readers Publishers WeeklyThis important and highly readable book will introduce the changes in the way the game is being played today to many fans who are not even aware of those changes Spitball Magazine In Travis Sawchik s Big Data Baseball, fans of Moneyball have the perfect sequel Fascinating, and a must read for anyone curious about baseball s analytic movementGive the book a read to gain understanding of not only new wave baseball data, but also how a well functioning organization is run The Sports DailyIn Big Data Baseball, Travis Sawchik reveals one of the great untold baseball stories of the early st century how the Pittsburgh Pirates ended a twenty year streak of futility by using data to revolutionize the way they positioned their defenders Sawchik s fascinating tale is not merely about numbers, however It also is about a spirit of collaboration between the new age analysts and old school field operatives that elevated the Pirates above other teams with access to the same information For those who truly want to understand how the game has changed, Big Data Baseball is a must read Ken Rosenthal, Senior MLB writer for FOXSportsAn author s goal when telling a story like this is to combine gripping storytelling with fresh insight into the wonkish methods an underdog baseball team uses to defy odds and win The former is a great achievement for anyone, let alone a first time author The latter, given how incredibly secretive sports teams have become, is damn near impossible In Big Data Baseball, Travis Sawchik pulls both off, and he does so masterfully Jonah Keri, author of The Extra % and writer for GrantlandI read and loved Big Data BaseballHighly recommend if you dig baseball stats and anecdotes Seth MeyersAt times, the story reads almost like a John R Tunis baseball book for boysTunis optimism, idealization of character, and overall enthusiasm all are here Most important is Sawchik s realization, however, that the diamond will never again be so rough data gatherers and analysts are polishing assiduously Both a comprehensive and a focused look at how computer recorded data are fundamentally altering America s pastime Kirkus ReviewsThe paradox is that as baseball becomescomplicated, the Pittsburgh Pirates are making it less complicated with one single word communicationBig Data Baseball intelligently reveals how the symbiotic relationship between the data and the human factor is the future of baseball Ron Darling, former major league pitcher and MLB Network and SNY analystInsightful, thorough, and outstanding Travis takes us beyond the field to show where we are in the post sabermetric revolution The Pirates have combined scouting, analytics, and old fashioned attention to detail to revitalize their franchise Want the state of the art in winning baseball Big Data Baseball gives it to you Brian Kenny, analyst anchor for MLB NetworkSawchik provides us with farthan the binary debate of stats versus scouts Rather, he s produced the definitive narrative of how one organization forged a way forward using both objective and subjective methods and made a great, skeptical baseball city believe again Jon Morosi, national baseball writer for Fox SportsIt s too simplistic to call this Moneyball , but Sawchik has done much the same as what Michael Lewis did he s found an interesting story about how a team is forced to do things differently Much like the Pirates, Sawchik finds a way to not go with the herd, not take the simple approach, and to make us understand how Neal Huntington changed a culture Sawchik s ability to find insights and the human stories inside of rows and columns on a spreadsheet is what makes Big Data Baseball a great read Will Carroll, writer at BleacherReport and former writer for Sports Illustrated and BaseballProspectus Big Data Baseball is the logical successor to Moneyball, a blueprint for how the successful teams of the next decade will get ahead Sawchik has done a masterful job of pulling back the curtain to show how one team used advanced data analysis and technology to gain a competitive advantage Serious fans will find the story fascinating and enlightening, and baseball executives who choose to ignore Sawchik s insights do so at their own peril Sean Lahman, Database Coordinator for the Society of American Baseball Research and Data Reporter for Gannett Newspapers Big Data Baseball takes readers inside the Pirates analytics department, clubhouse, and beyond One of the best baseball books I ve read in years David Laurila, writer for FangraphsIn his two seasons on the Pirates beat, Sawchik has demonstrated a great facility for understanding how a radical, analytically driven change in direction breathed new life into a struggling franchise Just as a unique cast of players, coaches, analysts, and executives Clint Hurdle, Neal Huntington, Dan Fox, Mike Fitzgerald, Russell Martin, Francisco Liriano, Ray Searage, Gerrit Cole, andwere exactly the right people in the right place at the right time to put baseball s latest wave of statistics into practice, Sawchik is the right man to tell the story Jay Jaffe, contributing writer to SportsIllustratedThe Pittsburgh Pirates were the story of the season in , but Travis Sawchik set his reporting eye on something bigger The story of the decade He found it in Pittsburgh s use of big data, which is forcing teams and analysts to rethink a century of baseball wisdom Sawchik is perfectly positioned to tell this story, with a backstage pass to the Pirates season and the keen baseball mind necessary to illuminate a complex subject Sam Miller, coeditor, Baseball ProspectusBig Data Baseball is a Moneyball story for a new era, one in which the people and numbers work in tandem, rather than against each other This book is a comprehensive, well told case study of one team s success at implementing a plan that wouldn t have been possible a couple of decades ago Mark Simon, ESPN Stats and InformationTravis Sawchik has really captured the essence of successful big league teams in today s data driven world by illuminating not only the strategies now being employed by teams, but also that critical partnership between a major league GM and his staff, with managers, coaches, and players Vince Gennaro, President of the Society for American Baseball Research and author of Diamond Dollars The Economics of Winning BaseballA great read What Moneyball did for offensive analysis,Big Data Baseball does for defense and shows how the Pirates shifted the field in their favor Mike Ferrin, MLB Network Radio Big Data Baseball shows how the small market Pirates outsmarted their opponents and became the talk of the game during their historicplayoff run Travis Sawchik describes the Pirates tactics in fascinating detail, noticing crucial bits of strategy most commentators miss and explaining how members of the Bucs unglamorous roster formed a team far greater than the sum of its parts In an era in which most clubs have already learned the lessons of Moneyball, Big Data Baseball is as close to a sequel as we re likely to get As a Pirates fan, I can t recommend it highly enough, unless you re the GM of an opposing team, in which case I hope you ll stay far, far away Charlie Wilmoth, editor of BucsDugout and author of Dry Land Winning AfterYears at Sea with the Pittsburgh PiratesTravis Sawchik paints a picture of thePirates and their successful pursuit of a postseason berth equal parts new age data, front office decision making, management s leadership ability, and on field player success all contributing to Pittsburgh ending a twenty year losing streak Sawchik s style of writing is convincing, entertaining, and a quick read Any baseball fan can learn the attributes of a winning organization by reading Big Data Baseball Jim Duquette, baseball analyst for XM Radio and former General Manager with the Mets Big Data Baseball is the next logical step in the Baseball Sabermetric nonfiction collection, preceded by Michael Lewis Moneyball and Jonah Keri s The Extra % Travis Sawchik is able to take some relatively complicated concepts and provide a soft, inviting touch for less data obsessed readers Camden DepotThe book is a love letter to sabermetrics It is not just a book for Pittsburgh Pirates fansand it will likely serve as great fodder in strategy sessions for baseball s twenty nine other teams, and for baseball analysts everywhere Sawchik makes sense of it all from both high level and nuts and bolts views Hardball TimesTRAVIS SAWCHIK covers the Pirates and Major League Baseball for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review Sawchik has won national Associated Press Sports Editor awards for enterprise writing and numerous state level awards Sawchik s work has been featured or referenced on ESPN, Grantland, and the MLB Network



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