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The Shift

The Next Evolution in Baseball Thinking
Narrated by: Kyle Tait
Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
Categories: Sport, Other

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With its three-hour-long contests, 162-game seasons, and countless measurable variables, baseball is a sport which lends itself to self-reflection and obsessive analysis. It's a thinking game. It's also a shifting game. Nowhere is this more evident than in the statistical revolution which has swept through the pastime in recent years, bringing metrics like WAR, OPS, and BABIP into front offices and living rooms alike. 

So what's on the horizon for a game that is constantly evolving? Positioned at the crossroads of sabermetrics and cognitive science, The Shift alters the trajectory of both traditional and analytics-based baseball thought. With a background in clinical psychology as well as experience in major league front offices, Baseball Prospectus's Russell Carleton illuminates advanced statistics and challenges cultural assumptions, demonstrating along the way that data and logic need not be at odds with the human elements of baseball - in fact, they're inextricably intertwined. 

Covering topics ranging from infield shifts to paradigm shifts, Carleton writes with verve, honesty, and an engaging style, inviting all those who love the game to examine it deeply and maybe a little differently. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 Russell A. Carleton (P)2019 Tantor

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  • Casey
  • 20-06-19

Baseball Players are Human? Who knew?

Baseball is one of my favorite subjects to read about. I don't know exactly how many baseball related audiobooks I have in my collection but the number is significant. This will stand as one of my favorites.

I love statistics and am a supporter of the advanced analytics movement. However, the one thing that has kept me from embracing it with even more enthusiasm is the tendency of some to disregard the human element of the sport. This book does not do that, in fact it is the perfect marriage of statistical analysis and the human behavior that make baseball the great sport that it is...the sport that I call my favorite.

Highlights for me include the chapter on managers and the talk of baseball cards because it is always nice to take a walk down memory lane. I enjoyed how each chapter opened with a story from the author's own life that relates to that chapters information.

As for the narration...I have listened to several titles narrated by Kyle Tait and am a big fan of his work on baseball texts. According to his bio, he spent time announcing for the Braves AA affiliate in Mississippi, so he clearly has a passion for the game. And the way the book was written gives him a chance to have some fun with the narration. This is the exact opposite of a dry, academic text. If you don't believe me...fiddlesticks.

I would recommend this book to any baseball fan looking for a greater appreciation of the sport!

2 people found this helpful