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Baseball Prospectus 2015
Baseball Prospectus 2015
by Baseball Prospectus
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.66
45 used & new from $14.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars always a happy moment when it arrives, January 29, 2015
I have been getting the Prospectus since the early Aughts and it has always been a happy moment when it arrives. It has taken the place of the old Bill James Abstracts as the best combo of numbers and narrative out there for the serious baseball fan.

Organizations change with time and like all of our favorite teams, contributers graduate and move on from the Prospectus family. But over the years Prospectus has done an amazing job of recruiting and cultivating some of the best baseball minds out there (just look at the graduation rate of writers to ACTUAL MLB franchise jobs). They will be missed but baseball goes on.

To this years edition. Having only had about 24 hours with it so far, a few observations. The book feels slight (almost 100 pages shorter than last couple of years editions) and the paper quality seems to have taken a step down (thinner maybe?). It has at least 100 less write-ups according to the cover (last couple years it advertised over 2,100 player write-ups after years of being around 1,600... this years says over 2,000 - "2,095 player write-ups this year" according to Prospectus Editor Jason Wojciechowski). And the text font has been shrunk.

The numbers and projections are great as always. Comparables always make for fun reading and help bring excitement for certain players back down to earth.

As for the write-ups, to me it feels like they have a different tone this year. LOTS of pop culture references (and maybe a little more snark). The odd write-ups are part of what I LOVE about prospectus and that so many of the writers have interests and lives that extend beyond the diamond and contributes to their writing is what keeps me buying these every year (This year includes references to Alexandre Dumas, Waiting For Godot, the Kardashians, info regarding the Chase's of MLB baseball, etc...). Whenever I come across someone unfamilar with Prospectus and am asked about it I use the write-up for Ryan Langerhans from the 2007 edition as an example...

what does that write-up have to do with baseball? Nothing. And everything.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 30, 2015 4:44 PM PST


James Agee: Film Writing and Selected Journalism (Library of America)
James Agee: Film Writing and Selected Journalism (Library of America)
by James Agee
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $28.52
53 used & new from $12.99

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Film Writing and Selected Journalism, December 13, 2005
Includes the classic Agee on Film as well as the screenplay for the classic, chilling Night of the Hunter, this is a must read for film fans of the WWII era. Never shy to express an opinion, Agee wrote with great passion and intellegence about the films of the period. I was esp. impressed with the features he wrote for the fledgling perodical - The Nation. When he discovered a film he liked, he would delve into great detail on what interested him in the work (sometimes pieces would continue from one issue into the next). I also appreciated his willingness to say that a film touched a particular interest in him and might not be to the taste of all readers (can you imagine a critic doing that today - actually putting him or herself out there as just another spectator as opposed to a critical god....) As with the theatrical writings of Ken Tynan - a treasure.


The Odds: One Season, Three Gamblers, and the Death of Their Las Vegas
The Odds: One Season, Three Gamblers, and the Death of Their Las Vegas
by Chad Millman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.24
71 used & new from $2.85

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One Season, Three Gamblers, and the Death of Their Las Vegas, November 15, 2005
This quick read about what makes the world of sports betting tick from the perspective of the gambler and the casino reads like an extended magazine article (not surprising as the author is a former Sports Illustrated writer and now a contributor to ESPN The Magazine). What I found most enlightening was the world of the sports book managers of the casino's. The devotion to setting the proper line was facinating and speaks to the business of sports book - the odds are set by a person everyday and the books profits or losses are determined by how well the line is drawn. Also of real interest is how the on-line books have taken the major gambling action away from Vegas and is the death of old Vegas. Its not about action its about profits as Vegas has become a corporate entity. Interesting in the end but I would have enjoyed a little more analysis of the structure of what has brought about these shifts in the way money drives sports.


If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska
If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska
by Heather Lende
Edition: Hardcover
71 used & new from $0.01

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars News from Small-Town Alaska, November 14, 2005
Having visited Haines with a friend who is building a cabin, I was eager to have an "insiders" look at the people and the community I visited. The author seemed to focus a lot of attention on the quirks of the community and the issolation felt (and desired) by the members of this close knit (if politically divided) community. Like all small towns there is a division between those who have come from the outside and those who are native (those westerners raised in Haines as well as the Native population). One of the hottest topics in town when I visited this May was whether to embrace the tourist industry and the cruise ships, which is not touched on much in the book and would have been interesting. Probably my favorite part of the book is the access the author is given into many of the peoples lives as the town papers obit writer. She is inside these homes at a vunerable and fragile time and gets much insite into what the community held values are by what people share about their departed loved ones. The prose was not in a style I was able to get into, but it was an easy read. She was able to capture the beauty of the location - I have never been somewhere so vast and that exhisted on this scale. But for a small town, it does have some ammenities one would not expect - a health food/coffee shop, one of the most beautiful public libraries I have ever seen and a small bookstore. Going to Alaska was like opening a door to ones home that has always been there but never opened. Was happy to have found the key, if this book makes anyone else seek out Haines, then it is worth the cover price.


Peter Schlemiel: The Man Who Sold His Shadow
Peter Schlemiel: The Man Who Sold His Shadow
by Peter Wortsman
Edition: Hardcover
40 used & new from $1.28

3.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Sold His Shadow, October 23, 2005
I picked this up when reading that Calvino was a fan of this work. Written in 1814, this slim novel packs a punch in much the same way as the tales of Hoffmann. As an author who never felt that he belonged (born in France, living in Prussia), this tale speaks to the period of the Franco-Priussian War. A good read for fans of the magical parable. Some nice illustrations from Harold Wortsman (I assume related to the transaltor Peter Wortsman).


Next Man Up: A Year Behind the Lines in Today's NFL
Next Man Up: A Year Behind the Lines in Today's NFL
by John Feinstein
Edition: Hardcover
270 used & new from $0.01

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Year Behind the Lines in Today's NFL, October 15, 2005
I picked this up for a train trip and once again John Feinstein proves himself one of the more entertaining and readable authors on sports today. One of Feinstein's gifts is the access he is granted. This book covers the 04 season of the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. From Draft, to training camp and through the disapointing 04 campaign, Feinstein is allowed access to all meetings, games and personel. Even though I only have a passing interest in the NFL, I found this book to be rich with stories that were quite entertaining. I found the focus of religion in the locker room facinating. It was something I had heard about but gained a greater understanding of through the book. And that most pro athletes are Rebublican's (taxes on huge salaries and playing to Christian morals are a powerful combination) A good read for fans of Football (with the expection of the Redskins fans down I95 from the Raven's who take many pot-shots - esp. owner Dan Snyder - along the way), people interested in personel descisions and how to keep a group focused and working together under extreme pressure.


The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time
The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time
by Michael Craig
Edition: Hardcover
126 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time, September 7, 2005
In the days before the poker boom - today poker players are star personalities and hours and hours of games are televised on cable, a super rich amateur decided to take on the best money poker players in the world. Andy Beal played head-up matches with these pros and the results were surprising. With the pro's essentially being the "house" (the player with the greater advantage - like the dealer in Blackjack) - Andy worked and studied on how to lessen these advantages that the pros brought in to each and every game. Also some great insight into the lives away from the poker rooms of Vegas for the folks who make a living on the fall of the cards. If you are the sort of person who who pick this book up, then you will probably enjoy this brisk and entertaining read.


The Book of Sudoku: The Hot New Puzzle Craze
The Book of Sudoku: The Hot New Puzzle Craze
by Michael Mepham
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.08
119 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars The Hot new Puzzle Craze, August 2, 2005
great introduction to this great logic game - although Sudoku is a number puzzle, it requires no math skills beyond counting. I have become addicted to these puzzles through the Washington Post (which has been running them for about a month now). A great way to get away for minutes or hours - these puzzles will envelop you.


How the Dead Live
How the Dead Live
by Will Self
Edition: Hardcover
75 used & new from $0.01

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story in need of some trimming, June 8, 2005
This review is from: How the Dead Live (Hardcover)
Having only read some of Self's short stories in the past, this novel weighing in at 400+ pages had the style, wit and great word play I expected from Self but was in need of an editor. The rambling narrative would crank up and then lose its focus, leaving us an an audience to flounder for 15/20 pages at a time. I appreciated the development given to our main character Lily as we go with her through her illness, ultimate death and boredom with death itself. Few authors can turn a phrase or link words together as interestingingly as Self and for that I am appreciative of the book. His stories are filled with such great ideas and settings but in the end a little less would have gone a long way in my enjoyment of this novel.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2014 11:32 AM PDT


Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore
Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore
by Ray Loriga
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.80
84 used & new from $0.01

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Style over substance, June 4, 2005
I picked this up based on the the quote by Almodovar (who the author cowrote the screenplay Live Flesh) " A facinating cross between Marguerite Duras and Jim Thompson". Intrigued I decided to read it. Maybe it was the translation (translated from Spanish) but I did not see much of Duras or Thompson in this work. Closer in style to W. Burroughs. Tale of a travelling salesman peddeling a mind erasing drug and as audience we are left to piece together the fragments of our narrators own story which he himself does not remember from repeated use of his own product. Fans of non-linear storytelling might be more tolerant of this novel but I got bored and ploughed my way through the last third of the book.

wish I had enjoyed this book more than I did.


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