5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Second-Place Finish,
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This review is from: It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over: The Baseball Prospectus Pennant Race Book (Hardcover)
As the other reviewers have indicated, this book is full of choice details and interesting analysis about some of baseball's great pennant races and memorable teams, players, coaches, and managers. However, the book is badly edited and poorly written at times -- the price paid for trying to quickly slap together contributions from numerous contributors.
I think the book also suffers from confusion about whether it is aimed at the serious baseball fan or the casual fan. There's a lot of advanced baseball analysis terminology and numerology in the book that is familiar to the perhaps 200,000 people who are fascinated by sabermetrics. But the authors want to cast a wider net, so they spend a fair amount of time explaining these concepts to the newcomers in the audience. Trying to serve two audiences weakens the flow for those of us who already are on the bandwagon.
Yet, the book has significant strengths. The stories of how certain teams were built and reached their pinnacle during a particular pennant race (or staved off collapse for one more year) are frequently compelling. In fact, they're stronger than the data and statistics, which is usually BP's strength. I'm not a softie for the stories about a particular player's "manhood" or "ability to play in pain" or whatever, but this book highlights those achievements without being hyperbolic about it.
In conclusion, it's a decent addition to my baseball library, but far from a grand slam.