• The Inside Game

  • Bad Calls, Strange Moves, and What Baseball Behavior Teaches Us About Ourselves
  • By: Keith Law
  • Narrated by: Rhett Samuel Price
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (116 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this groundbreaking book, Keith Law, the ESPN baseball writer and author of the acclaimed Smart Baseball, offers an era-spanning dissection of some of the best and worst decisions in modern baseball, explaining what motivated them, what can be learned from them, and how their legacy has shaped the game.

For years, Daniel Kahneman’s iconic work of behavioral science Thinking Fast and Slow has been required reading in front offices across Major League Baseball. In this smart, incisive, and eye-opening book, Keith Law applies Kahneman’s ideas about decision making to the game itself.

Baseball is a sport of decisions. Some are so small and routine they become the building blocks of the game itself - what pitch to throw or when to swing away. Others are so huge they dictate the future of franchises - when to make a strategic trade for a chance to win now, or when to offer a millions and a multi-year contract for a twenty-eight-year-old star. These decisions have long shaped the behavior of players, managers, and entire franchises. But as those choices have become more complex and data-driven, knowing what’s behind them has become key to understanding the sport. This fascinating, revelatory work explores as never before the essential question: What were they thinking?

Combining behavioral science and interviews with executives, managers, and players, Keith Law analyzes baseball’s biggest decision making successes and failures, looking at how gambles and calculated risks of all sizes and scales have shaped the sport, and how the game’s ongoing data revolution is rewriting decades of accepted decision making. In the process, he explores questions that have long been debated, from whether throwing harder really increases a player’s risk of serious injury to whether teams actually "overvalue" trade prospects.

Bringing his analytical and combative style to some of baseball’s longest running debates, Law deepens our knowledge of the sport in this entertaining work that is both fun and deeply informative.

©2020 Keith Law (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

Featured Article: The Best Baseball Audiobooks of All Time


Ask any baseball fan and they'll tell you: some of their favorite sounds can only be heard at the ballpark—the smooth, satisfying pop of a catcher’s glove as a pitch hits its mark; the crack of a bat as it tears into a fastball, explosive and hopeful, drawing the crowd to their feet. Our list, a roundup of outstanding baseball audiobooks, offers a glimmer of that same ballpark magic with just a few of the greatest stories from our national pastime.

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What listeners say about The Inside Game

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator is negative value compared to replacement

The book is good, it’s about half behavioral economics and half baseball stories. There’s a lot of repetition of the concepts in different chapters, as if the book is a stitched-together set of magazine articles or podcasts.

The narrator is really weak. He seems not to know how to pronounce key words, phrases, or player names. The really annoying one is the hypothetical name the author uses for a generic player, Joey Bagadonuts, which the narrator pronounces as Bag-oh-doughnuts. Great enunciation, I guess, but very distracting.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Worst narrator ever

This is the first review I have written in which the narrator ruined the audiobook. I should have trusted the other reviews that noted how bad the narration was. Absolutely painful to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not what I was looking for

I'd love to see a baseball book be about baseball. I didn't need to wade through Law's diatribe on vaccination. Pro-tip Keith: Whether preaching to the choir or trying to change minds, neither resonate with me when I want to read about baseball.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Narrator wasn't a good fit

Great text, narrator was a bad choice. He used many accents for people who are US born and don't speak with accents. Many accents were very strange. That fact that he didn't ask Keith Law how to pronounce Joey Bag-o-donuts is strange. I know it's a thing you only recognize if you're from the tri state area, but the narrator sounds like he's reading from a science textbook when he says that phrase.

1 person found this helpful

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Narrator was horrific

Almost couldn’t listen due to the narration. His cadence and attempts at accents on quotes was very annoying. Book so so. Not many inside stories. Don’t waste your money or time. This was my last Keith Law book.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great content, distractingly poor narration

I hate leaving negative reviews, but I’m so bothered by this. I don’t know who decided that this was acceptable quality audio for an audiobook, but it’s not. I should have listened to the sample first. The audio is so overprocessed that it’s hard to understand in many cases, and is not helped by the narrator’s diction. Consonants are damped and unclear. It’s unfortunately very distracting and takes away from the content, which is great. I’ll probably stick to the Kindle version.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Book, Quirky Performance

So the book itself was great but I found the reading off it to be slightly strange I thought the voice was pleasant overall and not enough to prevent me from recommending this book. But some of the "impersonations" were distracting, and there were a couple mispronunciations that caught me off guard.

still a good book, definitely worth a listen

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An alright, if occasionally flawed, book.

This was a good book for understanding the mind of baseball management and the traps inherent in human decision making. Still, I found myself frequently disagreeing with some statements and dubious examples. While hindsight is 20/20 - he frequently uses the Astros in stories and points to x, y, or z strategy as some cause for their success. Of course, when the book was written their cheating was not known to the public.

One section in particular bugged me when Keith seems to lament recent seasons of juiced balls because it makes the “already difficult” job of scouting nearly impossible. My thought was - so what? Figure it out! There seems to be some confusion - are stats and analysis for baseball or is baseball for the stats?

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Incredible

I would highly recommend this to any baseball fan! it changes the way you look at the game of baseball

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    3 out of 5 stars

Not great.

The author's personality and sense of humor are a plus. The reading is inconsistent. I think this book is just the right level if you are a baseball fan who doesn't pay too much attention and are interested in the economic principles. If you have a lot of knowledge about either, the level will be too low.