The Baseball Economist:

I just recently read John Charles Bradbury's marvelous new book The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed. J.C. is currently an economics professor at Kennesaw State University and writes the brilliant blog Sabernomics. I also had the pleasure of being the outside reader on J.C.'s PhD dissertation, which was a splendid public choice analysis of legislative bicameralism (which had the added virtue of reinforcing some of the themes in my Seventeenth Amendment scholarship).

J.C.'s blog is entitled "Sabernomics" and the idea behind the blog and his book is to combine standard sabermetrics analysis of baseball statistics with economics to generate hypotheses that can be tested. So, for instance, he tests the proposition of whether having "protection" by a good on-deck hitter helps the batter at the plate by making the pitcher give him something to hit (Bradbury says no, contrary to conventional wisdom). He also discusses the method by which player's on-field contributions can be converted into a measurement of their actual financial value to their team (which the Wall Street Journal also discussed a few weeks back). He also concludes that there really was a "Leo Mazzone" effect on pitchers with the Braves. And I think my favorite chapter is "The Extenct Left-Handed Catcher" which I think is the cleverest chapter in showing how adding clear economic thinking can help think through some baseball puzzles that sabermetrics alone can't answer.

It is really a great book and I think VC baseball fans will enjoy it. And if you enjoyed this, you'll certainly want to move on to read his empirical work on bicameralism (ok, maybe that part is just me).