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June 27, 2006

Baseball Hacks

I recently was given a copy of O'Reilly's Baseball Hacks and have really enjoyed digging into a deeper level of understanding baseball. Yes, I watch a fair amount of baseball, but I'm only beginning to understand some of the strategies that come into play during the game (e.g. pitching to a batter or positioning the players on the field).

A few hacks of note:

I initially was a bit skeptical about the book when Joseph Adler proclaimed himself a New York Yankees fan, but it doesn't deter from the hacks. In fact, it's nice to see credit being given to other teams and players throughout the league.

In general I'm also impressed with the use of R (which I'm just learning), and how much how much is done with SQL in queries against MySQL. Adler's (and contributor's) query-writing is impressive, some pretty nasty stuff in these pages.

I'm glad to have this on my shelf and will no doubt draw on it many times over the years as I attempt to figure out what's going on. It seems like every game the announcers say something, or something happens on the field that I wonder about and Baseball Hacks comes in handy in making sense of it all.

Posted by mike at June 27, 2006 8:38 PM