In his new book, "The Inside Game: Bad Calls, Strange Moves, and What Baseball Behavior Teaches Us About Ourselves," baseball writer Keith Law ("Smart Baseball") argues that baseball is a sport of decisions, big and small. As those decisions have become increasingly data-driven and less tied to conventional wisdom, figuring out what’s behind them has become ever more critical to understanding the game.
By applying behavioral science to the sport, and using the principles laid out in psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” as a guide, Law examines what was going through the heads of players, managers and executives as they made some of the biggest decision-making successes and failures in modern baseball.
Law weighs in on some of baseball’s longest-running debates (Does throwing harder really increase a player’s risk of serious injury? Do teams overvalue trade prospects?) and explains how calculated risks, bad calls and head-scratching moves have shaped the game.
Keith Law, senior baseball writer for online sports publication, The Athletic; his new book is “The Inside Game: Bad Calls, Strange Moves, and What Baseball Behavior Teaches Us About Ourselves” (William Morrow, April 2020); he tweets @keithlaw