Weaver on Strategy

By Jason Wojciechowski on June 24, 2004 at 3:53 PM

I've finally managed to finish Weaver on Strategy, mainly because I decided to just sit down and finish it before I started the next magazine. The book was as good as advertised, and I can heartily recommend it to any baseball fan anywhere, anytime. You can see a lot of parallels between the things that Weaver was doing and saying at the time (the book was written in 1984) and the modern analytical movement.

I think Earl Weaver is at least as influential as Bill James in the game, at least in terms of changing the game from the inside. Who knows how long the information revolution would have taken to reach baseball had it only been the geeks on the outside who were doing the analysis. Having a Weaver show that using data inside the game could really have a strong effect has probably made a world of difference in the rapidity of acceptance of these ideas in front offices and clubhouses around the major leagues.

The book ends with a 2002 update, based on an interview done by Chris Kahrl, from Baseball Prospectus (this version of the book was published by Brassey, BP's publisher up until the 2004 version of the annual), but it's fairly short and far from comprehensive. I think I'm going to end up doing a series of posts about the book, particularly its relevance to the modern game. I'll probably go chapter-by-chapter, or something that approximates that. It should be a fun little exercise.