Customer Reviews: The Bill James Handbook 2014
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I look forward to each year's new edition of The Bill James Handbook. This one is no exception.

One, there is accountability. The Handbook predicts performance of individual players in the coming year. And, afterwards, one can see how well the projections performed.

Two, record and Hall of Fame projections. Odds of pitchers getting to 300 wins? Justin Verlander ranks # 1, with a 30% chance (not very encouraging). 3,000 hits? Alex Rodriguez is listed at 98% likely (but if a suspension?). Then, Adrian Beltre at 81%. 762 home runs? Miguel Cabrera at a measly 13%. Etc.

Then, projections for pitchers. I am a White Sox fan and am curious about Chris Sale. He is predicted to have a 3.08 ERA and a 15-10 record. Hitting? Adam Dunn is projected to hit 32 home runs and 86 RBIs, with another underwhelming batting average--.211.

Leading candidates for the Hall of Fame? A score of 100 indicates a near sure thing to get into the Hall. Among those with this score: Mariano Rivera (no brainer), Manny Ramirez, Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez (we shall see, given the allegations), Derek Jeter, Vlad Guerrero, Ichiro Suzuki, Albert Pujols, and Miguel Cabrera.

Then the individual player statistics for 2013. And so on and so on. A myriad intriguing statistics.

Are you a figure filbert? Then this is for you.
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on December 21, 2013
For us baseball fans/fanatics, it's always been an invaluable reference and tool. Career stats, lefty/righty splits, career leaders, etc, etc, etc. Been happy ever since Amazon started selling it at a lower price:)
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on November 19, 2013
In the oft-aired TV ads, couples extol the virtues of cars with AND rather than the unsatisfying OR. Yet again this year, The Bill James Handbook delivers the AND to baseball fans. Before the Handbook, we had to choose -- reliable season-end stats OR prompt delivery. Traditional stats OR modern advanced metrics. Flat, but comprehensive statistical reporting OR insightful, analytical stats on key players. The Bill James Handbook gives us AND in all these ways, and countless others. In effect, we get Cy Young winner Max Scherzer's fastball (56% of his pitchers at an average velocity of 93.3 mph), his change-up (21%), his slider (15%) AND his curve (8%). That's in the Handbook showing every 2013 pitcher's repertoire. AND Scherzer's repertoire is most similar to teammate Justin Verlander. That's in the preceding insightful text, which also tells us that 72% of Major League pitchers have an average velocity north of 90 mph.

The Handbook gives us all kinds of fun stuff like this, AND it's the best single reference for fundamental data -- team stats, a complete player register, completing fielding records for every player, registers showing the tactics of every manager AND the performance of every ballpark. In the same book, we've got lefty-righty performance for every batter AND pitcher, Win Shares for every player (for 2013 AND each of his seasons the past decade), AND 2014 statistical projections. We now know which teams created the most runs with small-ball tactics, which teams used infield shifts most often and most effectively, which outfielder's robbed the most home runs AND how often replays changed umpire calls.

There's way more in this book than anyone with a life has time to list. I love baseball AND I have a life. The Bill James Handbook makes me happier with both.
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on December 13, 2013
I have collected every issue of this book since it was first published in the late 80s. It is 90% statistics and gives you every number you could possibly need, especially if you are preparing for t?he next season and your league's draft. Best of all, it's always out in Time to give for Christmas gifts. You might want to keep it out of the hands of other managers in your league! This is the kind of book that I would rate six stars out of five!!!
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on December 1, 2013
This is something I look forward to every November 1, complete stats for every major league player about a month after the regular season ends. While all of these numbers are available online, it still feels good to have this hard copy record in my hands. I keep the current edition of the Handbook beside my chair and refer to it often while watching games or reading about baseball.
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on June 9, 2014
I have heard about new metrics for years, but never researched them much until after "Moneyball." Now I have purchased and read many books on the subject (Baseball Prospectus, Baseball Forecaster, and now the Bill James Handbook.) Each has similarities, but there are also several differences. I spent many hours last off season digging deeper and learning more about the game I have enjoyed so much. If you love baseball and have the time during the winter months, I highly recommend these books.
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on September 2, 2014
It's okay. It really bugs me that no sabermetric stats are included in the player's main listing. It also bothers me that Win Shares, of all things, is in a separate section. Otherwise, it's fine, it just doesn't go beyond the kind of stuff they used to publish before sabermetrics, except in the sections after the actual main listing of the players.
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on January 8, 2014
I am from Canada. I bought this book from rather than because this book is only available in Kindle format here in Canada. Plus, most 2014 baseball books would not be out until the new year.

It is meant as a Christmas gift for a 7 years old baseball fanatic. The kid absolutely loves it. The parents appreciate it too because it take him away from his TV and iPad.

The only downside is that Amazon shipped it via DHL Global Mail, which is slow and has horrendous tracking capability. I emailed DHL twice and never got a response. Anyhow, the book arrived on Dec 23, just in the nick of time to make it for Christmas.
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on February 19, 2014
This is my fourth year reading the Bill James Handbook. I don't commit to any other service, and I have won more than 50% of the ESPN and Yahoo Leagues I participate in. That includes Championship and PRO Leagues. It's well worth the twenty-two dollars.
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on January 27, 2014
If you're looking at this, you probably know what this successor to the STATS Handbook series includes. It still does.

As James points out in a short introduction, all the information that can be found online (and no later than the Handbook's November 1) has eliminated essentially all of the other stat reference books on the market, and inevitably will take its toll on this one too at some point. I'd suggest you enjoy it while it's still here. (And buying it is likely to help keep it around for another year,)
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