The Only Rule Is It Has To Work by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

What would happen if two statistics-minded outsiders were allowed to run a professional baseball team?

THE ONLY RULE IS IT HAS TO WORK

Our Wild Experiment Building A New Kind of Baseball Team

“Brutally honest . . . blissfully funny.” 
—Nate Silver

“A terrific read.” 
—Ken Rosenthal

The Only Rule Is It Has To Work by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

BUY THE BOOK

Buy The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller at Amazon Buy The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller at Barnes & Noble Buy The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller at Indiebound Buy the ebook edition of The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller at the Apple iBookstore Buy the Kobo Reader edition of The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

Press Box

Best Of 2016

Sports Illustrated
Wall Street Journal
NPR
Forbes
Boston Globe
Sportsnet
Buffalo News
Awful Announcing

EXCERPTS

Deadspin
FiveThirtyEight
Slate

Op-Eds

Statistics Level Baseball’s Playing Field - Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller's Opinion Piece for The Wall Street Journal
What Happens When Baseball-Stats Nerds Run a Pro Team? - Sam Miller's Opinion Piece for The New York Times

Reviews

“Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller have given us a brutally honest but blissfully funny look at where we really stand a decade into the ‘analytics revolution.’ If you want the insights that statheads and baseball traditionalists still need to learn from one another, start by reading this book.”
—Nate Silver, bestselling author of The Signal and the Noise and the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight

The Only Rule Is It Has to Work is a terrific read, as Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller – two of baseball’s leading sabermetric writers – put their beliefs on the line by taking over an actual team of actual players and trying to implement their unorthodox theories. The story of their season with the Sonoma Stompers is a fascinating human drama about the give-and-take between the new thinking and the old school.”
—Ken Rosenthal, MLB on FOX reporter, FOXSports.com senior baseball writer, and MLB Network insider

“In a phenomenal book that is a fun, breezy, and moving read, Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller invite us into their mad experiment. They show us the trials, travails, and challenges of running an independent league baseball team, and along the way they do something remarkable: they make us care deeply for the players who put their hearts into every point of on-base percentage.”
—Jonah Keri, bestselling author of Up, Up, and Away and The Extra 2%

“Irresistible premise...wildly entertaining.”
The New York Times

The Only Rule Is It Has to Work is the happy, improbable spawn of Moneyball and Bull Durham—a relentlessly smart and consistently funny journey into the dregs of the minors that proves one thing above all: No matter how many statistics you apply to baseball, you can never kill its heart.”
—Stefan Fatsis, author of Word Freak, A Few Seconds of Panic, and Wild and Outside

“Even if you loathe baseball, it’s a terrific yarn. This is what real-world data-driven organizational transformation looks and feels like. Practically speaking, the book is more insightful — and useful — than Moneyball.”
Harvard Business Review

The Only Rule might be the most important baseball book published this year — though to use the word ‘important’ detracts from the sheer fun of the situation. . . . You’ll never look at a baseball game, from professional down to fantasy, the same way again.”
—Allen Barra, Chicago Tribune

“A fun lark . . . a terrific book.”
—Will Leitch, Sports on Earth

“A worthy modern heir to [George] Plimpton’s 1950s stunt.”
—Jack Dickey, Sports Illustrated

“This hilarious, smooth-reading book . . . is a joy not just because it easily finds the humanity in cold data and spreadsheets, but because, like the best baseball books, it's the story of the life of dreams."
Maclean's

“The Only Rule Is It Has to Work [is] more than a book about using data and objectivity to build a better baseball team. It’s an intimately human story. . . . While readers will come for the stats, they’ll stay for the story.”
—Michael Kershner, Eephus

“Lindbergh and Miller are real storytellers, explaining their strengths and defects as they attempt to field a capable team, using the best stats money can buy. . . . For fantasy baseball junkies and baseball purists alike, this is a vivid, joyful exploration of recruiting and running a team by numbers—and instinct.”
Publishers Weekly

The Only Rule tops most works of its genre because it explains the real-world successes and pitfalls that come with trying to take theories and apply them to a team of real humans who might not always be as receptive to change as a simulation league team. If you ever wondered what it would be like to jump from running a fantasy team to being a GM, The Only Rule is your guidebook.”
—J. J. Cooper, Baseball America

“The Only Rule Is It Has to Work sounded like it would be a book that would document all the crazy things you could do on a baseball diamond. And while at times it did, it was more a story about loving baseball. As the authors note in the book’s acknowledgments, there is no wrong way to love the game, and this book drives that point home thoroughly and unflinchingly.”
—Paul Swydan, The Hardball Times

“Lindbergh and Miller revel in [esoterica], but they’re admirable communicators, too, and unafraid to explain exactly why and how a particular idea failed or succeeded. If the game has recently started to seem a little impenetrable to you, this might be the book that brings you back into the fold, a welcome reminder of all that’s eccentric, idiosyncratic and optimistic in baseball.”
—Dwyer Murphy, LitHub

The Guardian
Vulture
The Free Lance–Star
Hemispheres Magazine
Amazon
Goodreads
National Post
Boston Globe
About.com
The Weekly Standard
Lancaster Online
Omaha World-Herald
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Hockey-Graphs
Sports Book Guy
Joe Sheehan Newsletter
Walk Like a Sabermetrician
Bats Are Not Bugs
Bleacher Reader
A Foot In The Box
Blog Fiasco
Banished To The Pen
Barel Karsan
Camden Depot
Book Chase
Review (On Baseball & The Reds)
Vince Keenan
Matt Swanson
Two Weeks Notice
The Game Designer
Princeton Library Blog
A Building Roam
StatsbyLopez
Inside Higher Ed
90 Feet From Home

Interviews

Only A Game (NPR)
NPR Morning Edition (6/1/15)
NPR Morning Edition (8/5/15)
CBS Sports Radio
For the Win (USA Today)
Ben Lindbergh on MLB Now (5/2/2016)
Ben Lindbergh on MLB Now (5/17/2016)
FiveThirtyEight's What's The Point Podcast
WNPR
MLB.com Statcast Podcast
Playboy
Nerdist's Jonah Keri Podcast
Deadspin
Slate's Hang Up and Listen Podcast
FanGraphs.com Field of Streams Podcast
Reddit AMA
Baseball Prospectus
KRCB
WTOP (Washington)
WGR 550, Buffalo
TSN 1290, Winnipeg
Édition Baseball
The Armchair Athlete
Products of the Mind
Up & In
Baseball By The Book
Perception & Action
Effectively Wild (Ben and Sam talk to Santos Saldivar)
Effectively Wild (Ben and Sam Talk to Theo Fightmaster)
Effectively Wild (Ben and Sam Talk to Santos Saldivar and Dylan Stoops)
Gelf Magazine
Reading the End
Crooked Scoreboard
Petaluma Book Event
Bergino Baseball Clubhouse
EEPHUS
Project FANchise
The NatsGM Show (Ben)
The NatsGM Show (Sam)
StompersBaseball.com
AthlonSports.com
Varsity Letters
Viva El Birdos
SonomaNews.com
Banished To The Pen (Tim Livingston)



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Buy The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller at Amazon  Buy The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller at Barnes & Noble  Buy The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller at Indiebound
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Buy the Kindle edition of The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller at Amazon  Buy the Nook Edition of The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller at Barnes & Noble  Buy the ebook edition of The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller at the Apple iBookstore  Buy the Kobo Reader edition of The Only Rule Is It Has to Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller