March 13th, 2013
Book Review: Trading Bases: A Story About
Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball
(not necessarily in that order)
By Joe Peta
I’m not a gambler. I’m of the opinion that I am better served staying home and setting my money on fire than losing it at the casino 15 minutes from my house–that way, at least I save the gas money to get there…
I am also not a stat-head. Don’t get me wrong, I like stats, and refer to them frequently, but the whole “calculation, how to get from A to B” completely escapes me. Unfortunately, a good portion of this book is stats, calculations and the like, which were very difficult for me to get interested in, and subsequently follow.
Despite that, There is still a lot to be learned by reading Trading Bases. For example, I never knew that the algorithm for projection individual player performances, and providing the comparable historical players as a reference point, was named PECOTA, after a little known KC Royals infielder from the 80’s, Bill Pecota. And for those of you who like acronyms, it stands for “Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm”
I also learned that often folks focus on the wrong data when making decisions, whether it be betting, baseball, or the business world. For example, when playing competitive poker, It’s not about winning the most hands, it’s about winning the MOST MONEY” Seems pretty obvious, but apparently, people put more focus on advancing deeper into games, that the ultimate goal, which is to win it all…
It was also very well written, with a lot of wit, so even tho the stats were hard to get through, I did enjoy everything around it…
Available where all good books are sold, Trading Bases is the perfect book for your favorite sports stat head. Check it out!