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

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Flatiron Books, May 3, 2016 - Sports & Recreation - 256 pages
2 Reviews

New York Times Bestseller

After twenty consecutive losing seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, team morale was low, the club’s payroll ranked near the bottom of the sport, game attendance was down, and the city was becoming increasingly disenchanted with its team. Big Data Baseball is the story of how the 2013 Pirates, mired in the longest losing streak in North American pro sports history, adopted drastic big-data strategies to end the drought, make the playoffs, and turn around the franchise’s fortunes.

Big Data Baseball is Moneyball for a new generation. Award-winning journalist Travis Sawchik takes you behind the scenes to expertly weave together the stories of the key figures who changed the way the Pirates played the game, revealing how a culture of collaboration and creativity flourished as whiz-kid analysts worked alongside graybeard coaches to revolutionize the sport and uncover groundbreaking insights for how to win more games without spending a dime. From pitch framing to on-field shifts, this entertaining and enlightening underdog story closely examines baseball’s burgeoning big data movement and demonstrates how the millions of data points which aren’t immediately visible to players and spectators, are the bit of magic that led the Pirates to finish the 2013 season in second place and brought an end to a twenty-year losing streak.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - 5hrdrive - LibraryThing

Terrific account of the increasing influence that sabermetric data is having on major league baseball. while mostly about defensive shifting, as a former catcher I particularly liked the huge amount written about pitch selection and pitch framing. Most of that data is still new and growing. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tgraettinger - LibraryThing

Breezy read about the Pittsburgh Pirates and their turnaround in 2013 (with a glimpse here and there into 2014). Decent mix of what happened on the field with what was being studied/analyzed off the ... Read full review

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About the author (2016)

TRAVIS SAWCHIK covers the Pirates and Major League Baseball for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Sawchik has won national Associates Press Sports Editor awards for enterprise writing and numerous state-level awards. Sawchik's work has been featured or references on ESPN, Grantland.com, and the MLB Network.

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