Browsing by Subject "Major League Baseball (Organization)"
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- ItemA case for rescinding professional baseball's antitrust exemption(2004) Schwartz, Craig; Waldman, Sidney R., 1940-2016My thesis has attempted to give the reader an objective overview of the issues surrounding Major League Baseball's antitrust exemption. In addition, I have presented the history leading up to the exemption as well as the subsequent history that has served to maintain the exemption. Finally, I have presented the arguments both for and against maintaining the exemption and have concluded that Congress as well as the Supreme Court has shirked their responsibility in not removing the exemption.
- ItemMajor League Baseball Managers and Proactivity(2020) Baffuto, David; Owens, David M.This thesis analyzes Major League Baseball managers and the proactive choices they make in a baseball game. The research question is does manager proactive behavior benefit a team. A literature review on managers is conducted for background on risk aversion and success. The data used in this paper is play-by-play and season-level data. OLS regressions are used to create expected runs models and analyze proactive choices like stolen bases, intentional walks, and bunts. Ejections are utilized as aggressive behavior. The analysis is sorted by each type of base runner scenario; there is not one conclusive finding for all proactive strategies. One scenario studied was a runner on first base and finding that stolen base attempts might not lead to more runs scored in an inning but may do so over the rest of the game. For a runner on second base, intentional walks might lead to more runs in an inning, but less over a game. These situations occur regularly and may highlight unobserved behavior when a risk fails in the short term but succeeds in the long term. Baseball managers are faced with risks; taking them may not pay off right away but may by the end of the game.
- ItemThe Effectiveness of Long-Term Contract Incentive Mechanisms in Major League Baseball(2020) Jenkins, Brandon; Preston, Anne ElizabethIn Major League Baseball, long-term contracts which guarantee players' salaries, regardless of the players' level of play, are commonplace. This gives rise to a potential principal-agent problem, where the player, upon signing a long-term contract, is incentivized to behave opportunistically and reduce effort. This would cause players to play below expectations, or "shirk". Major League Baseball teams have responded to this incentive by offering award bonus clauses in some long-term contracts, which are aimed to incentivize a high level of play and/or increased playing time. The focus of this paper is to establish the level of shirking that occurs in long-term contracts, and then to examine how effective these award bonus clauses are at reducing shirking. This paper also estimates and controls for the likelihood that each player will retire after a given contract. Using contract, award bonus, and injury data from Baseball Prospectus Legacy and Spotrac, as well as projections for each player's expected performance from The Baseball Guru and actual performance from the Lahman Baseball Database, I do not find significant evidence that players' shirking behavior changes throughout a contract. I find that increased time on the disabled list (where players go when injured) increases shirking, and that the presence of cash award bonuses decreases the time that a player spends on the disabled list. This suggests that the presence of cash bonuses may decrease shirking indirectly, but the effects of cash bonuses on shirking are still insignificant when controls for disabled list stints are taken out of the regression of shirking on cash bonuses. Overall, I am unable to reject the hypothesis that players' shirking behavior in a contract changes when given award bonuses, more guaranteed years in a contract, or a higher likelihood of retirement. This may suggest that award bonuses are ineffective at combating any incentive to shirk.
- ItemThe Impact of Heterogeneity on Team Performance(2015) Vega, Alejandro; Preston, Anne ElizabethWhat is the best team dynamic to produce the best performance? In various settings, there are an infinite amount of combinations of team dynamics measured in different ways. In this paper, I examine how heterogeneity of salary and expertise is correlated with team performance using data from the National Football League and Major League Baseball. Heterogeneity is measured using variance of Salary and Expertise. The NFL and the MLB are chosen because of the highly competitive setting and lucrative signing deals they contain. Furthermore, since the “Salary Cap” exists in the Major League Baseball (MLB) and not in the National Football League (NFL), the paper will see whether team performance with respect to salary variance is impacted by salary thresholds placed on each team by the league. The results indicate that there is not a significant correlation between the salary/expertise variance and team performance. However, the results do indicate that when only NFL offensive players were being considered, there is a positive correlation between salary average and variance to team performance.
- ItemThe Relation Between Tommy John Surgery and MLB Pitchers' Country of Origin and the Implications on Human Capital(2021) Clark, Julianna; Preston, Anne ElizabethA trend of increasing Tommy John surgeries across all levels of baseball is cause for concern. Through probit and OLS regression analysis I analyze MLB pitchers and the likelihood of injury based on country of origin, as well as the effects of Tommy John surgeryon career length. I found that pitchers from Asia and South America are less likely to get the surgery than pitchers from other countries, and Tommy John surgery reduces career length by approximately a year and a half. This analysis also helps to highlight the issues of youth specialization and the need for robust prevention methods to reduce the likelihood of future injury in youth athletes. Tommy John surgery can have lasting implications on health, career earnings, as well as daily lifestyle.
- ItemUncertainty in the Hiring Process: The Effect of College Baseball Playoff Performance on the MLB Draft(2019) Phillips, Tom; Preston, Anne ElizabethWith the high level of volatility and financial investment involved in the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, teams are faced with difficult choices when determining which players will project as MLB contributors years down the line. This makes the MLB draft an intriguing laboratory to explore high-value decision making and analyze which biases are at play. Out of the draft eligible population, college players make up a significant portion. Previous literature suggests that the availability bias may have an effect on executive decision making. Due to the close proximity between the college baseball playoffs and the MLB draft, as well as the exciting and suspenseful nature of postseason baseball, the availability bias may have an important effect on MLB team decision making. The focus of this paper is to assess which factors MLB teams view to be most important and analyze if teams are correctly valuing the factors that ultimately lead to production at the MLB level. Using draft and MLB performance data from Baseball Reference, as well as a personally-created college performance dataset built from roster and box score information from collegiate archives and The Baseball Cube, I find that MLB teams are most influenced by regular season performance and player exposure in the college baseball playoffs when making draft decisions, and this is justified, as scouts’ valuation of college playoff performance aligns with performance at the MLB level. This result is found following the methodological framework laid out in Ichniowski & Preston (2017), as I utilize tobit, probit, and OLS models to reach my conclusion. Ultimately, this paper adds to the literature on high-value decision making, as well as providing information to aid in MLB draft strategy.