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Another home run for Hardball Times
on December 7, 2012
This year's is another must-have for the more-than-casual baseball fan.
All of the articles are well written and informative, and run the gamut from math-oriented to history. There is the usual smart-aleck year-in-review, a great look at the 2012 A's which highlights the touch of Billy Beane, a (necessarily) sad article about the collapse of the Red Sox and a GM in-a-box of the White Sox' Kenny Williams, the same style as Bill James used in his book on managers.
You will also find an assessment of Satchel Paige's career, including MLE's for his last years in pro ball when he was (unfairly as the numbers indicate) stuck in the minors. Talk about a man poorly served by MLB . . . There's an interesting article on the effects of "Tommy John" surgery (I think Tommy should be in the Hall for this alone - the long career is a bonus!) on pitchers, and a lengthy one on Horace Stoneman's (when was the last time his name came up?)contribution to the game. How about an analysis of umpire's strike zones? Great!
There are so many articles, all of which I found interesting and having merit, that I must stress this is the tip of the iceberg.
The plethora of authors keeps things moving, and leads to at least one interesting difference of opinion: in the Tommy John surgery article the author concludes the Nationals were right in the Strasburg decision, while in the ethics article the author is highly critical of it. This gives you something to think about, and isn't that what we want from a baseball book?
Really, the complaint that I have is that I could easily justify paying more for an even longer book (maybe I am in a minority as things do need to be consumable to the masses); for example articles on every team like the ones on the A's and Red Sox.
That's the problem: no matter how much is here, I want more. Hey, if that's the complaint, they are doing great. I love it and I believe you will too. If you don't, it will give you something to think and argue about, and that works too! Great job, Hardball Times!