The Wages of Wins: Taking Measure of the Many Myths in Modern Sport.

The Wages of Wins: Taking Measure of the Many Myths in Modern Sport.

Paperback Stanford Business Books

By (author) David J. Berri, By (author) Martin B. Schmidt, By (author) Stacey L. Brook

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  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 312 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 224mm x 20mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 4 September 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Palo Alto
  • ISBN 10: 0804758441
  • ISBN 13: 9780804758444
  • Edition: 1
  • Edition statement: Updated ed
  • Illustrations note: 58 tables, 4 figures
  • Sales rank: 289,962

Product description

Arguing about sports is as old as the games people play. Over the years sports debates have become muddled by many myths that do not match the numbers generated by those playing the games. In "The Wages of Wins", the authors use layman's language and easy to follow examples based on their own academic research to debunk many of the most commonly held beliefs about sports. In this updated version of their book, these authors explain why Allen Iverson leaving Philadelphia made the 76ers a better team, why the Yankees find it so hard to repeat their success from the late 1990s, and why even great quarterbacks like Brett Favre are consistently inconsistent. The book names names, and makes it abundantly clear that much of the decision making of coaches and general managers does not hold up to an analysis of the numbers. Whether you are a fantasy league fanatic or a casual weekend fan, much of what you believe about sports will change after reading this book.

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Author information

David J. Berri is Associate Professor of Economics at California State University, Bakersfield. Martin B. Schmidt is Associate Professor of Economics at the College of William and Mary. Stacey L. Brook is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Sioux Falls.

Review quote

"Wages is provocative, stimulating, and challenging." - Dick Friedman, - Sports Illustrated "The Wages of Wins brilliantly and provocatively argues that our eyes betray us when we watch professional athletes. To see the truth about how good a point guard or a quarterback really is, we need the help of algorithms." - Malcolm Gladwell,author of Blink and The Tipping Point "When I read the book, I was impressed by the amount of effort that went into compiling the reams of data that underlie the work... The fundamental case the authors make is that the statistical analysis shows that the conventional wisdom about sports is dead wrong - that the data, as they put it, 'offers many surprises.'" - Joe Nocera, New York Times "Sports fans with an analytical bent shouldn't skip this book. And come to think of it, perhaps sports executives should be reading it as well." - The Free Lance-Star "This book presents complex economic analysis in a breezy manner that the casual sports fan and econophobe will appreciate and enjoy. I plan to assign it to students and recommend it to friends." - Michael Leeds, Temple University, and author of The Economics of Sports

Back cover copy

"When I read the book, I was impressed by the amount of effort that went into compiling the reams of data that underlie the work...The fundamental case the authors make is that the statistical analysis shows that the conventional wisdom about sports is dead wrong--that the data as the put it, "offers many surprises."--Joe Nocera, The New York Times "In The Wages of Wins, the authors attempt to puncture some popular myths--saying that payroll and wins are not highly correlated, and that in baseball, football....attendance hasn't been significantly affected by players strikes or owner lockouts."--Sue Kirchhoff, USA Today "In The Wages of Wins, the economists David J. Berri, Martin B. Schmidt, and Stacey L. Brook set out to solve the Iverson problem. Weighing the relative value of fouls, rebounds, shots taken, turnovers, and the like, they've created an algorithm that, they argue, comes closer than any previous statistical measure to capturing the true value of a basketball player. ...Looking at the findings that Berri, Schmidt, and Brook present is enough to make one wonder what exactly basketball experts--coaches, managers, sportswriters--know about basketball."--Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker

Flap copy

Arguing about sports is as old as the games people play. Over the years sports debates have become muddled by many myths that do not match the numbers generated by those playing the games. In The Wages of Wins, the authors use layman's language and easy to follow examples based on their own academic research to debunk many of the most commonly held beliefs about sports. In this updated version of their book, these authors explain why Allen Iverson leaving Philadelphia made the 76ers a better team, why the Yankees find it so hard to repeat their success from the late 1990s, and why even great quarterbacks like Brett Favre are consistently inconsistent. The book names names, and makes it abundantly clear that much of the decision making of coaches and general managers does not hold up to an analysis of the numbers. Whether you are a fantasy league fanatic or a casual weekend fan, much of what you believe about sports will change after reading this book.