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The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2009 Paperback – November 30, 2008

3.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Nobody provides cutting-edge statistics with insightful, provocative and accessible writing like the folks at The Hardball Times. --Jacob Luft, Sports Illustrated

Some of the most informed baseball analysis can be found on renegade websites like The Hardball Times. --Alan Schwarz, New York Times

About the Author

The Hardball Times is a think tank of baseball writers who create provocative, insightful and entertaining baseball analyses, as well as produce their unique statistics, graphs and essays. Their website Hardballtimes.com, is updated daily throughout the year on all things baseball.

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Product Details

  • Series: Hardball Times Baseball Annual
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: ACTA Publications (November 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879463686
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879463687
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,492,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Many baseball books come out in December, Janaury and February to capture the attention of baseball fans during their 5 month drought. THT Baseball annual is a relatively new addition to the company of Ron Shandler and Bill James, who have been publishing such books for decades.

THT takes some time to read and get used to. Unlike the Shandler and James books, THT Baseball is mostly long articles on various subjects of the sport, such as Pete Rose's free agency drama in 1978 (which I rememebr well) and whether ballplayers hit more home runs after the guy in front is intentionally walked. Also, other articles measure the value of new prospects and mid season trades and the effect of player height (!)

THT does not lend itself to quick browsing as does the Shandler and James book. Most articles cover several large pages. This is not the book to consult when trying to figure out how many RBI's A-Rod will hit or how many innings CC will pitch. The articles have a lot of statistics in them and are intended for those those who enjoy tinkering with baseball stats. There are plenty of things for non stat heads to read as well. Some of the stats can be a bit confusing if you are new to them, but the book includes a nice glossary covering that.

The last part (about 40%) of the book is statistics on hitting and fielding for each team. This part is nice but I would like a link to these online; most of this can be gotten from several baseball websites as well.

In the glossary of statistics, you can find many of the underlying formulas, which you can use to create your own projections.

I suggest reading this, along with "Baseball by the Numbers" by Baseball Prospectus, early in the pre-season and then moving on to one of the forecasting books such as that published by Bill James or Ron Shandler.
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Format: Paperback
I got the THT Annual for Christmas this year and I really enjoyed it. Definitely a worthy successor to the work of Bill James. The coverage is definitely focused on the just-ended 2008 season, and there is tons of stats and analysis there. Though I will say, it would have been better for them to wait a bit longer to publish, so they could have known things like who would win the MVP Award. But I can understand the need to get the book out long before the Baseball Prospectus comes out.

There is enough stuff in here that ISN'T focused just on 2008 to make the book worth buying even if you don't need the 2008 stuff (the Pete Rose class of Free Agents article was very good, and there were others as well) but it's definitely a compilation of the 2008 season more than anything else.

I still like the Prospectus better but this is a good book to keep the hot stove fires burning until it comes out.
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Format: Paperback
When the baseball season ends, the baseball annual season begins. From October through February we are showered with post- and pre-mortum coverage of the season that was and the season that's to be, respectively. Most of the annuals are crammed full of numbers, which we love, but what always amazes me is that each one manages to stand on its own as a brilliant success in its respective niche. It'd be easy for there to be extensive overlap in content considering everyone is essentially drawing from the same well, but in practice, whether by design or not, it simply doesn't work out that way.

Case in point is the Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2009. While the THT annual has its share of stats, what sets it apart from other annuals (and what sets their website apart from the pack) is the writing. In each successive year since the first Hardball Times annual (that was published as an e-book) we have seen more and more of the best baseball writing on the planet. Many of the articles are from from THT's inimitable team of journalists, with the rest filled in by some of the most well-regarded baseball writers of our generation.

There's a lot in here, so rather than point out a few favorites I'm going to quick-hit most of them to give you an idea of what everyone has covered. Then you can go buy it.


* Ten Things I Learned This Year (Dave Studenmund): The Chicago White Sox had the fattest offense -- 220 pounds per player -- in baseball.
* The Annotated Year in Baseball (Richard Barbieri): Nice headline-form recap of the year that was.
* The Year in Pointlessness (Will Leitch): The Perez Hilton of 2008 retrospectives.
* The 2008 Pujols Awards (John Brattain): The Mets take home a "Luis" Pujols award.
Read more ›
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