The Only Rule Is It Has to Work

The Only Rule Is It Has to Work

Our Wild Experiment Building A New Kind of Baseball Team

Book - 2016 | First edition
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Baker & Taylor
Two statisticians describe what happened when they were given the chance to run the Sonoma Stompers, an independent minor-league team in California, according to the most advanced statistics.

McMillan Palgrave

The New York Times bestseller about what would happen if two statistics-minded outsiders were allowed to run a professional baseball team

It’s the ultimate in fantasy baseball: You get to pick the roster, set the lineup, and decide on strategies -- with real players, in a real ballpark, in a real playoff race. That’s what baseball analysts Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller got to do when an independent minor-league team in California, the Sonoma Stompers, offered them the chance to run its baseball operations according to the most advanced statistics. Their story in The Only Rule is it Has to Work is unlike any other baseball tale you've ever read.

We tag along as Lindbergh and Miller apply their number-crunching insights to all aspects of assembling and running a team, following one cardinal rule for judging each innovation they try: it has to work. We meet colorful figures like general manager Theo Fightmaster and boundary-breakers like the first openly gay player in professional baseball. Even José Canseco makes a cameo appearance.

Will their knowledge of numbers help Lindbergh and Miller bring the Stompers a championship, or will they fall on their faces? Will the team have a competitive advantage or is the sport’s folk wisdom true after all? Will the players attract the attention of big-league scouts, or are they on a fast track to oblivion?

It’s a wild ride, by turns provocative and absurd, as Lindbergh and Miller tell a story that will speak to numbers geeks and traditionalists alike. And they prove that you don’t need a bat or a glove to make a genuine contribution to the game.

& Taylor

Shares how the authors were given the chance to use the most advanced statistics to run the Sonoma Stompers, an independent minor-league team in California, for a season.

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781627795647
Branch Call Number: 796.3576 LINDBERG
Characteristics: x, 343 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Miller, Sam (Sportswriter),- Author


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Mar 24, 2018

Enjoyable read. I liked the interplay between the two authors, though I did feel like the ending was rushed.

Nov 15, 2016

It's definitely a book meant for baseball fans, but the themes run deep beyond the game: winning and losing, breaking past tradition to implement new ideas, chasing a dream. It's an enjoyable ride from start to finish, with Miller and Lindbergh (they alternate writing chapters) sharing their thoughts on baseball, life, and the deep connections they make with baseball. Go Sonoma Stompers.


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