Ahead of the Curve: Inside the Baseball Revolution

Brian Kenny. Simon & Schuster, $28 (432p) ISBN 978-1-5011-0633-0
Kenny, studio host for the MLB Network, built his career on sabermetrics, the data-based analysis of baseball statistics pioneered by Bill James. In this straight-shooting, opinionated book, he presents his lineup of pet peeves, arguing that baseball must buck century-old traditions and embrace information over ignorance. Among his suggestions: no more classifying pitchers as “starters” or “closers,” and a greater emphasis on defensive stats. He’s taken heat over the years for his unconventional views. Kenny’s not shy regarding his disdain of bunting, the batting average, the crediting of pitchers with wins and saves, and the onus of the error. Much like his on-air delivery, Kenny’s writing takes wicked hops, and he throws beanballs at fellow sportswriters. He also ranks baseball’s $100 million free-agent contracts based on the wild discrepancies between perception and reality, and takes issue with voting for candidates for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Part memoir, part baseball history, and part record book, Kenny’s debut is written for the serious fan who is prepared to consider the relevance of such new-school acronym-based statistics as WAR (wins above replacement) and FIP (fielding independent pitching). Fortunately, Kenny includes a glossary for added context. Agent: David Vigliano, AGI Vigliano. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/09/2016
Release date: 07/05/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-5159-5745-4
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-5011-0635-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-5159-0745-9
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