Authors: Gabriel B. Costa, Michael R. Huber and John T. Saccoman
|via Barnes & Noble|
Understanding Sabermetrics is different from other books I've read on the subject - Moneyball and Baseball Between the Numbers - which were written by journalists. Costa, Huber and Saccoman are all mathematics professors. As such, their book delves deeper into the nitty gritty of statistical analysis. It's a worthy study, to be sure, and I'm a numbers geek so it's fun but Understanding Sabermetrics isn't as readable as the others. You really have to care about the subject matter to get much out of it.
That said, I'm glad to have read the book and I'll keep it around for quick reference. It's short and therefore easy to flip through to find a particular formula. The layout is like a text book, including problems to work through at the end of each chapter. I was tempted at first but then reminded myself that I'm not actually a college math student. I can just check the answers in the back and no one will care. The authors even include materials from the sabermetrics courses they teach at their colleges, a primer for those looking to design their own.
The book's editing leaves something to be desired. I caught one flat out mistake in their analysis but I was bothered more by the number of unanswered questions. I realize they want us (not it) to do some of the work but the choice of what to answer and what not seemed arbitrary, or even sloppy.
This is definitely not the starter book if you're interested in learning about sabermetrics. Moneyball is the better intro. Still, I'll keep Understanding Sabermetrics on the shelf with my other baseball geek books.