But Can He Get Us Any Data?

It’s nice to see that Astros third baseman Morgan Ensberg is planning to read Freakonomics — or at least he was until a last-minute call-up to the All-Star squad — but here’s the big question: can he help us tap into any data that might help solve the myriad mysteries of modern baseball?

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  1. What exactly are the “myriad mysteries” of modern baseball, and how could “Morgan Ensberg” possibly help us understand them? The man can swing a bat, I’ll give you that.

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  2. To Jonathan Hall:

    I was mostly kidding, but: umpire discrimination; sign-stealing; performance enhancement; etc.

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  3. RJ says:

    This is not the topic of this blog

    (blogs are overrated, by the way, who wants to read what amounts to as public diaries of strangers? Not I).

    Anyway, I am curious. Mr. Dubner is not an Economist, but he is a widely regarded journalist/author. How did you two approach writing this book? I understand that a good writer can write about a subject he is not an expert about (just look at the popular non-fiction titles about Super String Theory and such), so it’s no suprise that Mr. Dubner could write about this subject matter, I am just curious how you two delegated what to write about. Thanks

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Man, I wish people would stop writing “myriad”.

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  5. DRDR says:

    But do you really need data from Ensberg? There are PLENTY of places where you can get baseball data (as opposed to financial records of a crack gang) and I don’t think there’s a shortage of sabermetricians and sports economists researching such questions. And to the list of ‘mysteries’ in baseball, I’d add one popularized by Billy Beane’s assertions to the contrary in Moneyball, do clutch hitters exist? Conventional wisdom says they certainly don’t exist on the A’s ;).

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  6. Ed Cotton says:

    Did someone write a book about baseball data-Michael Lewis?

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  7. Thomas says:

    Could one of the “myriad mysteries of baseball” be why average working-class Americans continue to subsidize wealthy people’s lifestyles with a smile on their faces?

    At least can we recognize that the average fan is being used by the players, owners, and advertisers?

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  8. DRDR says:

    thomas – No and no. Many people enjoy attending baseball games, so that’s why they smile. And if buying baseball tickets a subsidy, then how could you not call most every economic transaction a subsidy? And the No. 1 reason why fans get sucked into baseball isn’t the players, owners, and advertisers — it’s other people. See network externalities. That’s why new leagues/sports have a tougher time growing and MLB/NFL keep extending their reach.

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