the arm inside the billion dollar mystery of the most valuable commodity in sports

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The Arm

Author : Jeff Passan
ISBN : 9780062400383
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 86. 46 MB
Format : PDF
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Yahoo’s lead baseball columnist offers an in-depth look at the most valuable commodity in sports—the pitching arm—and how its vulnerability to injury is hurting players and the game, from Little League to the majors. Every year, Major League Baseball spends more than $1.5 billion on pitchers—five times more than the salary of every NFL quarterback combined. Pitchers are the game’s lifeblood. Their import is exceeded only by their fragility. One tiny band of tissue in the elbow, the ulnar collateral ligament, is snapping at unprecedented rates, leaving current big league players vulnerable and the coming generation of baseball-playing children dreading the three scariest words in the sport: Tommy John surgery. Jeff Passan traveled the world for three years to explore in-depth the past, present, and future of the arm, and how its evolution left baseball struggling to wrangle its Tommy John surgery epidemic. He examined what compelled the Chicago Cubs to spend $155 million on one arm. He snagged a rare interview with Sandy Koufax, whose career was cut short by injury at thirty, and visited Japan to understand how another baseball-mad country treats its prized arms. And he followed two major league pitchers, Daniel Hudson and Todd Coffey, throughout their returns from Tommy John surgery. He exposes how the baseball establishment long ignored the rise in arm injuries and reveals how misplaced incentives across the sport stifle potential changes. Injuries to the UCL start as early as Little League. Without a drastic cultural shift, baseball will continue to lose hundreds of millions of dollars annually to damaged pitchers, and another generation of children will suffer the same problems that vex current players. Informative and hard-hitting, The Arm is essential reading for everyone who loves the game, wants to keep their children healthy, or relishes a look into how a large, complex institution can fail so spectacularly.

Any Given Monday

Author : James R. Andrews
ISBN : 9781451667103
Genre : Medical
File Size : 30. 87 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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From tennis elbow to severe trauma, Dr. James Andrews has treated countless sports injuries during his unparalleled medical career. An orthopedic surgeon, well known for performing Tommy John surgeries, and a consultant to some of the fiercest teams in college and professional sports, Dr. Andrews is the father of modern sports medicine and one of the most influential figures in the world of athletics. In Any Given Monday, he distills his practical wisdom and professional advice to combat a growing epidemic of injury among sports’ most vulnerable population: its young athletes. Every year more than 3.5 million children will require medical treatment for sports-related injuries, the majority of which are avoidable through proper training and awareness. Any Given Monday is Dr. Andrews’s sport-by-sport guide to injury prevention and treatment, written specifically for the parents, grandparents, and coaches of young athletes. From identifying eating disorders to preventing career-ending ACL tears and concussions, Any Given Monday is a compendium of practical advice for every major sport, including football, gymnastics, judo, basketball, tennis, baseball, cheerleading, wrestling, and more. This invaluable guide reveals how young athletes can maximize their talent and maintain a lifetime of health both on the field and off.

The Only Rule Is It Has To Work

Author : Ben Lindbergh
ISBN : 9781627795654
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 34. 27 MB
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What would happen if two statistics-minded outsiders were allowed to run a professional baseball team? It’s the ultimate in fantasy baseball: You get to pick the roster, set the lineup, and decide on strategies -- with real players, in a real ballpark, in a real playoff race. That’s what baseball analysts Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller got to do when an independent minor-league team in California, the Sonoma Stompers, offered them the chance to run its baseball operations according to the most advanced statistics. Their story in The Only Rule is it Has to Work is unlike any other baseball tale you've ever read. We tag along as Lindbergh and Miller apply their number-crunching insights to all aspects of assembling and running a team, following one cardinal rule for judging each innovation they try: it has to work. We meet colorful figures like general manager Theo Fightmaster and boundary-breakers like the first openly gay player in professional baseball. Even José Canseco makes a cameo appearance. Will their knowledge of numbers help Lindbergh and Miller bring the Stompers a championship, or will they fall on their faces? Will the team have a competitive advantage or is the sport’s folk wisdom true after all? Will the players attract the attention of big-league scouts, or are they on a fast track to oblivion? It’s a wild ride, by turns provocative and absurd, as Lindbergh and Miller tell a story that will speak to numbers geeks and traditionalists alike. And they prove that you don’t need a bat or a glove to make a genuine contribution to the game.

Big Data Baseball

Author : Travis Sawchik
ISBN : 9781250063519
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 75. 57 MB
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New York Times Bestseller After twenty consecutive losing seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, team morale was low, the club's payroll ranked near the bottom of the sport, game attendance was down, and the city was becoming increasingly disenchanted with its team. Pittsburghers joked their town was the city of champions...and the Pirates. Big Data Baseball is the story of how the 2013 Pirates, mired in the longest losing streak in North American pro sports history, adopted drastic big-data strategies to end the drought, make the playoffs, and turn around the franchise's fortunes. Award-winning journalist Travis Sawchik takes you behind the scenes to expertly weave together the stories of the key figures who changed the way the small-market Pirates played the game. For manager Clint Hurdle and the front office staff to save their jobs, they could not rely on a free agent spending spree, instead they had to improve the sum of their parts and find hidden value. They had to change. From Hurdle shedding his old-school ways to work closely with Neal Huntington, the forward-thinking data-driven GM and his team of talented analysts; to pitchers like A. J. Burnett and Gerrit Cole changing what and where they threw; to Russell Martin, the undervalued catcher whose expert use of the nearly-invisible skill of pitch framing helped the team's pitchers turn more balls into strikes; to Clint Barmes, a solid shortstop and one of the early adopters of the unconventional on-field shift which forced the entire infield to realign into positions they never stood in before. Under Hurdle's leadership, a culture of collaboration and creativity flourished as he successfully blended whiz kid analysts with graybeard coaches—a kind of symbiotic teamwork which was unique to the sport. Big Data Baseball is Moneyball on steroids. It is an entertaining and enlightening underdog story that uses the 2013 Pirates season as the perfect lens to examine the sport's burgeoning big-data movement. With the help of data-tracking systems like PitchF/X and TrackMan, the Pirates collected millions of data points on every pitch and ball in play to create a tome of color-coded reports that revealed groundbreaking insights for how to win more games without spending a dime. In the process, they discovered that most batters struggled to hit two-seam fastballs, that an aggressive defensive shift on the field could turn more batted balls into outs, and that a catcher's most valuable skill was hidden. All these data points which aren't immediately visible to players and spectators, are the bit of magic that led the Pirates to spin straw in to gold, finish the 2013 season in second place, end a twenty-year losing streak.

Ahead Of The Curve

Author : Brian Kenny
ISBN : 9781501106361
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 88. 79 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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Brian Kenny—outspoken MLB Network host and commentator—uses stories from baseball’s present and past to examine why we sometimes choose ignorance over information, and how tradition can trump logic, even when directly contradicted by evidence. Forget batting average. Kill the “Win.” Say goodbye to starting pitchers. And please, please stop bunting. In Ahead of the Curve, Brian Kenny shows how baseball has been revolutionized—not destroyed—by analytical thinking. Most people who resist logical thought in baseball preach “tradition” and “respecting the game.” But many of baseball’s traditions go back to the nineteenth century, when the pitcher’s job was to provide the batter with a ball he could hit and fielders played without gloves. Instead of fearing change, Brian Kenny wants fans to think critically, reject outmoded groupthink, and embrace the changes that have come with the “sabermetric era.” In his entertaining and enlightening book, Kenny discusses why the pitching win-loss record, the Triple Crown, fielding errors, and so-called battling titles should be ignored. He also points out how fossilized sportswriters have been electing the wrong MVP’s and ignoring legitimate candidates for the Hall of Fame; why managers are hired based on their looks; and how the most important position in baseball may just be “Director of Decision Sciences.” Ahead of the Curve debunks the old way of analyzing baseball and ushers in a new era of straightforward logic. Illustrated with unique anecdotes from those who have reshaped the game, it’s a must-read for fans, players, managers, and fantasy enthusiasts. A fresh, fascinating analysis of baseball, Ahead of the Curve will deepen every reader’s appreciation of the game.

The Best Team Money Can Buy

Author : Molly Knight
ISBN : 9781476776316
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 29. 72 MB
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With a new Afterword covering the 2015 season. The bestselling, inside-the-clubhouse story of two tumultuous years when the Los Angeles Dodgers were re-made from top to bottom, becoming the most talked-about and most colorful team in baseball. “It’s as if Molly Knight ushers you behind the closed clubhouse doors.” (Buster Olney, ESPN) In 2012 the Los Angeles Dodgers were bought out of bankruptcy in the most expensive sale in sports history. Los Angeles icon Magic Johnson and his partners hoped to put together a team worthy of Hollywood: consistently entertaining. By most accounts they have succeeded, if not always in the way they might have imagined. In The Best Team Money Can Buy, Molly Knight tells the story of the Dodgers’ 2013 and 2014 seasons with detailed, previously unreported revelations. She shares a behind-the-scenes account of the astonishing sale of the Dodgers, as well as what the Dodgers actually knew in advance about rookie phenom and Cuban defector Yasiel Puig. We learn how close manager Don Mattingly was to losing his job during the 2013 season—and how the team turned around the season in the most remarkable fifty-game stretch of any team since World War II. Knight also provides a rare glimpse into the in-fighting and mistrust that derailed the team in 2014 and paints an intimate portrait of star pitcher Clayton Kershaw, including details about the record contract offer he turned down before accepting the richest contract any pitcher ever signed. Exciting, surprising, and filled with juicy details, “a must-read for fans of the Dodgers and all Los Angeles sports teams….Knight’s undercover work is like none other” (Library Journal). The Best Team Money Can Buy is filled with “fascinating perspectives” (Los Angeles Times) and “interesting anecdotes about some of baseball’s most compelling figures” (The Sacramento Bee).

The Baseball Whisperer

Author : Michael Tackett
ISBN : 0544387643
Genre :
File Size : 62. 16 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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A real life "Field of Dreams, " "The Baseball Whisperer" is the story of a small Iowa farmtown that over the course of several summers became a powerhouse of collegiate baseball steered by the vision and perseverance of an old ballplayer turned coach who broughtkids in from all over the country and taught them how to become ballplayers and men."

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