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Andrew Zimbalist Responds to JC Bradbury PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Andrew Zimbalist   
Wednesday, 12 December 2007 07:18

Andrew ZimbalistI have quickly read the Bradbury response to my review [of Vince Gennaro's Diamond Dollars, and Bradbury's The Baseball Economist], as well as several other comments on the blog. I hope to have some time to write a fuller response down the road, but for now let me just note a few things.

(Read J.C. Bradbury's response on the Sabernomics website) 

First, as I wrote in my review, I actually found the sabermetric part of Bradbury’s book to be interesting and useful. While I admit to not being a sabermetrics maven, I have read a significant amount of the literature and have certainly read Moneyball and a good deal of what Bill James has written over the years. Hoping that this does not sound too condescending, I think that sabermetrics contains many valuable insights, but I also think it has limitations. It is not now, and I don’t believe it ever will be, the dominant method applied in player scouting and evaluation.

In any event, I am simply not persuaded by some of the specific arguments that often come out of that literature. As part of Bradbury’s rebuttal, he asserts that I used PROD back in my 1992 book, Baseball and Billions, and that I did not cite Thorn and Palmer. That’s incorrect.

Second, my main criticism of Bradbury’s book had to do with his treatment of the economics of baseball which I think he frequently misapprehends. The notion that you can teach economics with illustrations from an industry that is misunderstood and misrepresented is not particularly appealing to me.

Third, some bloggers suggested that I harbor some ill will toward Bradbury. I did not and I do not. I never met him and, as far as I know, we have never before commented publicly on each other’s work. (The same, by the way, goes for Vince Gennaro.)  Bradbury has a right to defend himself and the good news is that he’ll now sell a few more books, and the readers can make these judgments for themselves.

Andrew ZimbalistAndrew Zimbalist is the is the Robert A. Woods professor of economics at Smith College, and is a contributor to the Business of Sports Network. His Author Profile can be accessed here. Read interviews with Zimbalist on the current MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement, as well as an earlier interview on MLB in general.



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