The final out of the World Series marks the beginning of baseball's second season, when teams court free agents and orchestrate trades with the hope of building a championship contender. The real and anticipated transactions generate excitement among fans who discuss the merit of moves in the arena informally known as the “hot stove league.” In a new book Hot Stove Economics − Understanding Baseball’s Second Season
, J.C. Bradbury debunks the common myths of the hot stove league and answers the league's most important question: What are baseball players worth?
With in-depth analysis, Bradbury identifies the game’s best and worst contracts − revealing the bargains, duds, and players who are worth every penny they receive. From minor-league prospects to major-league MVPs, Bradbury examines how factors such as revenue growth, labor rules, and aging − even down to the month in which players are born − shape players' worth and evaluates how well franchises manage their rosters.
Bradbury answers questions such as:
• Who are baseball’s “most valuable” players?
• Who is overpaid and who deserves a raise?
• Why are free agents worth their seemingly exorbitant salaries?
• Which teams get the most out of their budgets?
• the economics of trades.
• how the Mets lose and the Twins win, both on and off the field.
• that general managers are rational, not crazy.
tells us why:
• small-market teams aren’t doomed to fail.
• contract terms are just as important as playing ability.
• baseball’s economic system isn’t broken.
and debunks common myths, such as:
• there is no such thing as a clutch hitter/pitcher.
• the number of available free agents doesn’t affect salaries.
• GMs can’t sell high or buy low.
Bradbury’s independent brand of analysis has provoked the ire of traditionalists and “Moneyball” sabermetricians alike. Readers may not always agree with Bradbury, but his passion for baseball and the objective rigor with which he pursues answers result in an enjoyable book that will entertain and educate fans who what to learn more about baseball’s off-field games.
J. C. Bradbury is a sports economist at Kennesaw State University in metropolitan Atlanta. He is the author of the ESPN sports bestseller The Baseball Economist
and runs the blog Sabernomics.com. He is a nationally recognized expert on sports economics whose work has been featured in outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN Magazine, CNBC, and Fox Business Channel. He is a lifelong Braves fan, and lives in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife and two daughters.
J.C. BradburyHot Stove Economics – Understanding Baseball’s Second Season
2010, 250 pages, 17 illustrations
Softcover $24.95, £16.99, €19.95
The author is available for interview.