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The Hardball Times Season Preview 2009 Paperback – February 25, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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 Season Preview
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: ACTA Publications (February 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879463708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879463700
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,838,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stephen Lombardi on February 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've been thumbing through "The Hardball Times Season Preview 2009." Good stuff.

For each big league team, the book covers what happened last year, players lost from last year's team, players acquired, the team's management, minor league system, what's due to change for the team, reasons to be optimistic and pessimistic about the team, what's left for the team to do, as well offering a most likely outcome for the team in 2009. In addition, "The Hardball Times Season Preview 2009" provides commentary and statistical projections for the batters and pitchers on each major league team.

Also, this book includes a projected standings for 2009 - based on 100 computer simulations of the 2009 season. (Good news for Yankees fans: "The Hardball Times Season Preview 2009" standings projection says that the Yanks will be the only team in baseball to win 100 games this season - just edging the Red Sox by 2 games to win the A.L. East.)

This book is billed as being "a sneak peek at every major league player and team for the upcoming season" and it clearly meets that goal.

Along with what I've mentioned here so far, "The Hardball Times Season Preview 2009" also contains projected fantasy (baseball) dollar values for players, an essay targeting which players are injury risks for 2009, and rookies to watch this season.

When you look at this total package, "The Hardball Times Season Preview 2009" serves as an excellent one-book-meets-all-needs source for fantasy baseball owners. However, it's appeal is not limited to just the fantasy baseball crowd. Analytical baseballs fans, whether they play fantasy baseball or not, will enjoy reading "The Hardball Times Season Preview 2009" due to the nature of the projections that it provides on players and teams.
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Format: Paperback
The negative (3-star) review admittedly judges the book for what it isn't rather than what it is. The book is expressly advertised as a tool for fantasy baseball. As a fantasy guide, it is essential reading -- maybe not the only book to read this winter, and not as comprehensive as Baseball Prospectus, but at 1/3 the thickness of Baseball Prospectus and only twice the cost of a fantasy baseball magazine, the Preview combines portability with affordability in a combination no other resource can match.

The Preview does assume that its readers will be comfortable with current trends in sabermetrics. It uses cutting-edge analytical tools that are designed to help fantasy GMs get an edge over their friends who are using outdated, simplistic approaches. The Preview's tools are cutting-edge but widely known among THT readers and well within the grasp of anyone with a passing familiarity with modern sabermetrics. Simply put, the book gives its target audience exactly what it's asking for.

As a bonus, some of baseball's most observant and witty bloggers provide succinct but smart team summaries, along with additional blog resources. The Preview is written for fantasy players but the team summaries are the real treasure of the book. Some of the best team-level analysis is happening in the blogosphere and THT has tapped into it, team by team. Anyone who finds the Baseball Prospectus team essays to be a bit unwieldy may end up preferring the THT team essays, and the Preview to BPro, even though they bought the book for their fantasy draft.

Expert editing, clean layout, easy on the eyes, and smart analysis that gets to the point quickly -- at about 47 cents per team essay, or just over a penny per player comment, the book is a must.
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Format: Paperback
The Hardball Times Season Preview is the forward-looking companion to their Baseball Annual, a retrospective of the prior season. After a brief intro and projected standings for 2009 (Mets in first -- Yay!) the book rolls right into the thick: a chapter apiece on each big league team, penned by a prominent internet writer covering that team. The chapters follow a common format:

* 2009 team-specific projection (record, runs scored, etc.)
* What happened last year?
* Players lost from last year's team
* Players acquired
* Management is...
* The minor league system is...
* Due for a change
* Reasons to be optimistic
* Reasons to be pessimistic
* Still left to do
* Most likely team outcome
* Individual player projections w/comments

Here's a blurb from the Mets chapter:

"On the field, manager Jerry Manual is fairly run-of-the-mill and unimaginative by most standards. He manages by the book almost exclusively and is an entertaining post-game interview, the latter of which is a welcome departure from the incessant "battling" of Art Howe and the unapologetic sugar-coating by Willie Randolph. Given a set lineup and well-defined bullpen, Manual will put the pieces where they belong and generally keep from embarrassing himself. Given some question marks, a possible platoon situation or a patchwork bullpen, Manuel can manage his team right out of ballgames. He doesn't seem especially statistically-inclined, and often ignores his relievers' glaring platoon splits. He's not afraid to give young guys a shot (Daniel Murphy, Nick Evans) or demote a struggling veteran (Luis Castillo), but he also has a tendency to stick with things far beyond the point of rationality (Marlon Anderson).
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