A Century of Mistakes in Baseball by Martin B. Schmidt

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This is the eBook version of the printed book.

This Element is an excerpt from Stumbling On Wins: Two Economists Expose the Pitfalls on the Road to Victory in Professional Sports (9780132357784) by David J. Berri and Martin B. Schmidt. Available in print and digital formats.


Can sports decision-makers keep making the same mistakes for decades? Yes–and here’s the proof.


In 1997, the Oakland A’s ranked toward the bottom in Major League Baseball, in both team payroll and winning percentage. Next season, Billy Beane became general manager. Spending didn’t change. Outcomes did. From 1999 to 2002, only the Yankees won more games in the American League. It’s been argued the key was Beane’s ability to recognize specific inefficiencies in baseball’s labor market. For the empirical evidence…


About Martin B. Schmidt

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David J. Berri is associate professor of economics at Southern Utah University. He has written extensively on sports economics for academic journals, newspapers, and magazines, including The New York Times. Martin B. Schmidt is a professor of economics at the College of William and Mary and specializes in sports economics and macroeconomics. His writing has appeared in the field's leading academic and general interest journals. Berri and Schmidt coauthored The Wages of Wins and maintain a popular blog that discusses the economics of sports decision-making.
Published March 15, 2010 by FT Press. 10 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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