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David Berri
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Entries by David Berri

Why Masahiro Tanaka's Yankees Contract Is Good for Baseball

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 4:45 PM

A few days ago, the New York Yankees signed Masahiro Tanaka to a $155 million contract. As Bryan Hoch of MLB.com notes, this is the fifth-highest salary for a pitcher in Major League history. But the Tanaka contract is different from the top four on the...

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Losing Is Not a Winning Strategy in the NBA

(7) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 5:39 PM

The NBA season is beginning this week and fans of each team are, of course, optimistic. At this point, everyone can hope a title is possible come next summer.

Although everyone could theoretically have dreams of a title in 2014, it is clear that every NBA fan isn't actually...

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A Former NBA Coach Argues That Coaches Are Not Responsible for Outcomes

(6) Comments | Posted May 30, 2013 | 6:53 PM

The coaching carousel continues to spin in the NBA. In recent days, the Los Angeles Clippers -- coming off the best season in franchise history -- have decided not to bring back Vinny Del Negro as head coach. The Phoenix Suns -- coming off their worst season since they were...

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Seattle Is Frustrated By the NBA's Command Economy

(5) Comments | Posted May 23, 2013 | 5:26 PM

For 41 years, the city of Seattle enjoyed NBA basketball. And then the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder.

Across the past year, though, there was hope that the NBA was returning to the Emerald City. Sure the team was the Kings -- a squad that has...

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Applying MVP Voting Standards to Wall Street Executives

(3) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 1:05 PM

LeBron James was recently given his 4th Most Valuable Player award by 120 sportswriters. Well, at least 119 sportswriters agreed LeBron was MVP. Gary Washburn -- of the Boston Globe -- thought Carmelo Anthony was the league's MVP in 2012-13.

It doesn't take...

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How to Fix College Coaching

(22) Comments | Posted April 8, 2013 | 4:33 PM

Rutgers University fired Mike Rice -- the head basketball coach -- last Wednesday. This firing came about after ESPN released a video that showed Rice abusing his players. Such a video had already been seen by Rice's boss at Rutgers in November, but until the video was...

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How About a Free Market for College Athletes?

(42) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 11:57 AM

In 2010, CBS and Turner Broadcasting agreed to pay $10.8 billion to broadcast the NCAA men's basketball tournament from 2011 to 2024. As a result of this contract, fans of this tournament can watch these games on four different networks. And perhaps more importantly (for those of...

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An Economist on the Oscars

(33) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 12:26 PM

The "best" picture of 2012 was Argo.

At least that's the film that won the Oscar for best picture. According to the Oscars, the decision to give this award toArgo was made by the nearly 6,000 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As

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A Guide to Better Sports Analysis

(1) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 4:01 PM

This blog post first appeared on Wages of Wins.

"Analysis" is defined by Websters as "separation of a whole into its component parts."

So when we listen to an analyst on television during a basketball game, we should hope to hear analysis that takes what we...

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How Did the Worst Team in NBA History Become a Title Contender?

(35) Comments | Posted January 8, 2013 | 3:10 PM

This blog post originally appeared on Freakonomics.com

Kobe Bryant says that "other team" in LA -- the Clippers -- are title contenders in 2013.

And Kobe made this statement before the Clippers defeated the Lakers on Friday night and then destroyed the Golden State...

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How Can a New College Football Coach Avoid Getting Fired?

(3) Comments | Posted January 3, 2013 | 4:12 PM

This post first appeared on Freakonomics.com

More than 25 college football teamshave decided to change head coaches in the past few weeks. As the new coaches get hired and settled into their new jobs, one suspects that all of them believe that they will be...

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Is Changing the Coach Really the Answer?

(15) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 3:49 PM

This post originally appeared on Freakonomics.com

Much of the focus today on college football is on the teams at the top. Will Notre Dame win the national title and finish undefeated? Can Alabama win another championship? Then there are the 34 other bowl games. In all,...

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Does the 'Best' Team Win the World Series?

(25) Comments | Posted November 9, 2012 | 11:38 AM

This post originally appeared on Freakonomics.com.

It's been a few days. And although I ain't over it yet, I think I can write about the Detroit Tigers losing the World Series.

When the playoff in baseball began, 10 teams -- and their fans -- were very happy. But...

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The Oklahoma City Thunder Stumble While Following the Oklahoma City Thunder Plan

(6) Comments | Posted October 30, 2012 | 7:29 PM

This post originally appeared on Freakonomics.com

Much has been made of the plan the Oklahoma City Thunder followed in building a title contender. Here are the basic steps the Thunder supposedly followed:

  1. Lose a bunch of games across a few seasons, which allows a team to accumulate...
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Money Didn't Buy Happiness in Baseball in 2012

(2) Comments | Posted October 11, 2012 | 6:38 PM

This post first appeared on Freakonomic.com

If you wish to win in baseball, your team has to spend money. Just look at the New York Yankees. USA Today reports that in 2012 the Yankees led the American League in spending. And the Yankees finished with the best record...

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It Really Is All About the Players

(5) Comments | Posted August 14, 2012 | 1:42 PM

The post originally appeared on Freakonomics.com

Economists are often asked -- and perhaps, just as often just volunteer -- to make predictions. This is odd, since -- as the old joke goes -- economists only seem to exist to make meteorologists look good. In other words, economists often...

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Woulda, Coulda, and the Real Story Behind the Redeem Team

(4) Comments | Posted July 31, 2012 | 4:34 PM

The post originally appeared on Freakonomics.com

ESPN.com recently offered a somewhat confusing article comparing the 2012 U.S. Men's Olympic basketball team to the 1992 Dream Team. The headline of the article -- "LeBron: We Would Beat Dream Team" -- makes it clear that LeBron...

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Price Controls in the NBA Force Teams to Find Different Ways to Keep Their Stars

(9) Comments | Posted July 19, 2012 | 11:06 AM

The post originally appeared on Freakonomics.com

The NBA free agent market opened this month and the moves making headlines include:

  • Steve Nash signing with the L.A. Lakers
  • Ray Allen signing with the Miami Heat
  • Jason Kidd signing with the New York Knicks
  • Deron Williams re-signing with the Brooklyn...
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Michael Jordan, the Bobcats and Running the Lottery Treadmill

(7) Comments | Posted June 5, 2012 | 10:00 PM

The Charlotte Bobcats came into existence in 2004. At the conclusion of the next five seasons, the Bobcats finished out of the playoffs and hence earned a trip to the NBA's lottery.

After all of these lottery picks, the Bobcats finally made the playoffs in 2010. That Bobcat team...

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Are Voters Just Rooting for Clothes?

(97) Comments | Posted May 24, 2012 | 8:27 PM

The blog post originally appeared on Freakonomics.com

Matthew Yglesias recently noted that the very rich are unhappy with President Obama because he would like to increase the taxes on the very rich. Although this might be true, the number of people unhappy with...

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