From Publishers Weekly
The title says it all: by compiling lists of players in a baseball "lineup" format, the author, an ESPN.com columnist, manages to catalogue the game's all-time greats-and all-time bums. In the process, he also creates a kind of capsule history of every major league team. The secret is in the categories: along with the "All-Time" bests of each club, the book also includes such lineups as All-Rookie, All-Defensive, All-Traded Away (players who became great after their original team got rid of them), and All-Bust (players who never came close to living up to the hype). And because not even diehard fans can live on lineups alone, Neyer has also packed his pages with little sidebar essays, ranging from analytical (in which he explains how he chose Mickey Mantle over Joe DiMaggio as All-Time Yankees center fielder) to eye-opening (in which Reggie Jackson tells how his ASU coach warned him that the New York Mets would shy away from drafting him because he had a white girlfriend) to puzzling (Neyer suggests that the Chicago Cubs should have kept Rafael Palmeiro instead of Mark Grace to play first base-on the same page that he lists Grace as the Cubs' All-Time first baseman). It may be a book of lineups, but these colorful sidebars supply most of the real conversation pieces. This volume wouldn't be nearly as hard to put down without them.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Rob Neyer is the best of the new generation of sportswriters. He knows baseball history like a child knows his piggy bank. He knows how to pick it up and shake it and make what he needs fall out." - Bill James
"You will argue with some of Rob's picks, and you will provoke many an argument with your baseball friends, but you will not be able to put this thought-provoking book down." - Jon Miller, ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball
"Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Lineups is about baseball history, but Neyer's brand of cutting-edge analysis and objective evaluation is influencing baseball today." - Billy Beane
"Rob Neyer is one of those writers who can make his subject more interesting than anyone ever imagined it could be. He has written a delightful book for ardent baseball fans, but even people with a casual interest in baseball will find something to think about here." - Michael Lewis, author of Liar's Poker and Moneyball
"Mantle or DiMaggio? Spahn or Maddux? Terry or McCovey? Don't guess -- read Neyer's book and learn the answers. In these pages, it's production (not nostalgia) that matters, and the result is a cogent parsing of baseball's all-time greats (and worsts)." - Joshua Prager, The Wall Street Journal