There was a self-help book that came out awhile back called Eat the Frog. Don’t know where it came from since I never read this type of literature (not that there’s anything wrong with it). The premise is, you get the tough stuff out of the way first and the rest is easy-peasy. I guess there are few things more difficult than eating a frog (although they say it tastes like chicken. Doesn’t matter to me; I’m a vegetarian).
On the Baseball Bookshelf blog, it was art last week; this time it’s math. Two of my weaker subjects.
Nevertheless, I’m a long-time admirer of the work of Prof. Andrew Zimbalist, who writes about baseball numbers, both financial and sabermetrically (Baseball And Billions: A Probing Look Inside The Big Business Of Our National Pastime is one of the 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die). In fact, it’s the latter that’s the subject of his latest book, The Sabermetric Revolution: Assessing the Growth of Analytics in Baseball, coauthored with Benjamin Baumer.
Zimbalist — whose oeuvre on the game includes May the Best Team Win: Baseball Economics and Public Policy and In the Best Interests of Baseball?: Governing the National Pastime — will discuss his work at the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m.
Here ya go:
But the more germane connection to this blog is that Zimbalist was involved in the creation of the Israel Baseball League back in 2007.
He said he had been recruited by IBL founder Larry Baras to help set up the for the league, which barely made it through its inaugural season.
Zimbalist, the Robert A. Wood Professor of Economics at Smith College, said, “[Baras] put me together with Dan Kurtzer and Marv Goldklang and we had a couple of meetings in New York and cranked out some business plans. Larry ended up not listening to us. I’m not sure I had the influence that I wanted to have. Larry was impatient to get the thing going and we didn’t think it was possible to do it yet. We needed more time, we needed to egt more work don on the stadiums.”
Kurtzer, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel and Egypt, was commissioner for the league; Goldklang, a New Jersey businessman, owns several minor league franchises.
Over the past few years, there has been talk of trying to resurrect (to mix religious metaphors) professional baseball in Israel.
“I think there’s certainly potential there,” said Zimbalist. “[T]he relative success that the Israeli team had in the World Baseball Classic propelled that a little bit forward. I think that the Israeli Baseball League planted a seed and did, in fact, generate some interest. It just, unfortunately, could have been done in a way that the thread wasn’t lost.”