Browsing All Posts published on »June, 2006«

Columbia Statistics Professor Asks a Few Questions

June 14, 2006 by

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Andrew Gelman, a professor of statistics at Columbia University, has taken an interest in The Wages of Wins.  At his blog he posted a few questions concerning the methods we use in our book.  Below are his questions with my answers.  These were very good questions and hopefully my answers further clarify the methods we […]

Yglesias and the Least Valuable MVP

June 11, 2006 by

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On June 7 Matthew Yglesias wrote a column for Slate.com, boldly entitled “Least Valuable MVP” where he made the following argument: “The conventional wisdom says that great players in general, and Nash in particular, make their teammates better. But in the case of the Mavericks, Nash made Nowitzki—the team's best player and his best friend—distinctly […]

The Law of Diminishing Returns in the NBA

June 11, 2006 by

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Very few ideas in economics rate the title “Law.” The idea of diminishing marginal returns is one of these. For those who did not take an introductory economics class in high school or college, or simply forgot the formal definition, here is what this law states: As one increases a variable input (such as labor), […]

Writing for the New York Times

June 11, 2006 by

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Last Sunday I posted a list of items I would write about last week. The week has ended and it turns out I wrote, let me see… okay, none of these.  The week ended and I posted zero new items. I do have an excuse.  On Monday morning I received an e-mail from an editor […]

Michelle Wie, Moneyball, and Alan Greenspan

June 9, 2006 by

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On Monday, Michelle Wie ultimately failed in her attempt to qualify for the 2006 United States Golf Association’s US Open.  This should allow golfers Vijay Singh and Greg Norman to sleep peacefully now that the integrity of the PGA has been maintained. I do not share the fears of Singh and Norman and was actually […]

The Bottom Line on the New NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement

June 9, 2006 by

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On February 5th 2004, the NHL released Arthur Levitt’s review of the financial status of the NHL during the 2003-2004 season.  While short on detailed data, we were told that eleven clubs made a profit, nineteen clubs were losing money, and perhaps most alarming, the average NHL team was losing $9.1 million. The NHL cancelled […]

Jesse Kellerman Likes Our Book

June 8, 2006 by

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A few days ago we received the following e-mail from Jesse Kellerman.  “Great book!  I read it in a single afternoon.  Not only is it well-conceived, well-supported, and funny, it provokes lots and lots of fascinating questions–I closed it more curious and full of thoughts than when I opened it.  To me, that's the highest […]

This Week at The Wages of Wins Journal

June 5, 2006 by

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This is finals week at California State University–Bakersfield, the location of my day job (and I guess night since I taught classes at night this quarter). I mention this because although I have many issues I wish to comment on at The Wages of Wins Journal, my real job often takes me away from posting […]

Commenting on the NBA Finals

June 5, 2006 by

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Also posted at The Sports Economist The NBA, relative to the other major sports leagues, tends to suffer from a lack of competitive balance.  One way to see this, though (as I have noted before) not the only or perhaps the best way, is the distribution of championships in The Association. The following cities have […]

A Clarification on Rodman and Jordan

June 3, 2006 by

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As I noted in  The Case for Michael Jordan, we do not say in The Wages of Wins that Dennis Rodman was “better” than Michael Jordan.  Matthew Yglesias, a writer for the American Prospect, has confirmed that story.  Today he wrote the following at his blog: A Clarification Since I'm partially responsible for the confusion, […]