Book Review – Ahead of the Curve

Ahead of the Curve: Inside the Baseball Revolution
by Brian Kenny, 2016

We (Maria and I) met Brian Kenny at the 2013 SABR Analytics conference. He was the keynote speaker, and advocated such things at knuckleball academies (to train knuckleball pitchers), bullpenning (using your bullpen more effectively and moving away from the dominance of the starting pitcher), and a information-saavy managerial staff to replace intuitive managers. He’s incredibly well-spoken and brings that to his work on ESPN and MLB Network, and now to his book.

Kill the win. Kill the save. Don’t sign big-money free agents. All are topics in this book, but I think the overwhelming theme is that we need to halt the tyranny of backward-thinking sports media that constantly attacks and belittles analytical thinking. Great book.

Pairs well with Moneyball, obviously (my reading of that one pre-dates when I was writing book reviews for my website). Also pairs well with Big Data Baseball, Mathletics, How to Measure Anything, and Thinking, Fast and Slow.

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