Derek Bain is a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games who enjoys spending quality time with his family. Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises was published in 2015 and received runner-up honors in the Shelf Unbound 2016 Best Indie Book contest.
In Hardball Retrospective, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original teams. Using a variety of advanced statistics and methods, I generated revised standings for each season based entirely on the performance of each team’s “original” players. I discuss every team’s “original” players and seasons at length along with organizational performance with respect to the Amateur Draft (or First-Year Player Draft), amateur free agent signings and other methods of player acquisition. Season standings, WAR and Win Shares totals for the “original” teams are compared against the real-time or “actual” team results to assess each franchise’s scouting, development and general management skills.
Edited by Marianne Landrum. Foreword by Don Daglow.
"General Manager Scorecard" and the "Worst Trades" chapters evaluates the front office acumen of top MLB executives since 1950. "Taking the Extra Base" examines the art of base running on an individual and team basis. Trivia for one of the most breathtaking plays in baseball is chronicled in "Fun Facts About Inside-the-Park Home Runs". "The Journey From Expansion to Competitive Team" chronicles the path to success for each franchise established since 1960. "Rotisserie vs. Reality" measures organizational performance by the standard Fantasy Baseball categories. The "Best Pitchers Who Never Threw a No-Hitter" are determined based on Sabermetric principles, "BABIP By Location" is a comprehensive look at individual and league statistics with regards to batted balls in play. The WBC is re-imagined back to the dawn of professional ball in "Baseball Birthplaces and the Retro World Baseball Classic". Rediscover your favorite hardball arcade and simulations in "Play Retro Baseball Video Games In Your Browser". "Minors vs. Majors" assesses every franchise's minor league successes and failures in relation to their major league operations.
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.