Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Valuable resource, and a fun read
on March 9, 2006
As in past years, the group at BP have created a work that should prove valuable both to fantasy baseball players, as well as anyone interested in reading about how their team and others should fare this season. And while I found it lacking in a couple of areas, I would still consider it an essential purchase for the 2006 season.
As usual, the most enjoyable part of the book is the player comments. It's always surprising how much information the BP gang can cram into a few sentences, and they manage to do so without making the comments dry and boring. While they may sometimes seem more than a little smug, they also exhibit some pretty great humor, and I've found myself laughing at these comments on many occasions. The team pages are also excellent, providing a great synopsis of the 2005 season and a preview of '06, with little in the way of wasted words or filler. It's nice to read a publication that credits its audience with having at least some sense of baseball knowledge, which I can't say is the case in many mainstream publications.
Since this is a BP publication, the stats are obviously critical, and they've again done an excellent job of presenting their usuals (VORP, etc.) while also trying to investigate better ways to measure traditionally difficult areas like the value of speed. And while I know that the SABR crowd might not be happy about it, I think it's important that they've finally decided to include RBI for each player. I know that it's not the most meaningful stat, given that so much of it depends on other factors. However, it's criticalfor most fantasy leaguers, which is a demographic towards which this publication is aimed. I admit that RBIs aren't my favorite, either, but I think their inclusion is justifiable.
Another new item that I find fun are the player comps. For each player, the writers give 3 "comparable" players based on their analysis. You may not necessarily agree with their comps, but they're definitely enjoyable, and they give you the chance to think things like, "Come on, Halladay is better than Gubicza ever was!"
As for the faults, they're pretty minor. The first is one that seems to be a problem with every edition of this book - the poor editing, which includes both spelling and grammatical errors. A few mistakes are to be expected, but there are many throughout the book. There are no horrible, book-long errors like putting stats on the wrong line, but these little typos and poor grammar are quite noticable. The second complaint I have - and I might be in the minority here - is that I believe there should be more essays. I know that it's tough to work on the book, their web site, and essays for this book at the same time, but I would have appreciated some more 5-7 page contributions from these excellent writers.
I'd recommend this to any fan, regardless of whether or not they're heavily into stats. The player comments alone are worth the price of this book, which is incredibly low for the information contained within. If you're looking for a combination of good writing and an excellent stats-based approach, it's difficult to beat this effort from the gang at BP.