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Customer Review

on February 14, 2005
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" has this to say about the Earth: Harmless

But don't worry, the next edition will include much more information. Earth will be listed as "Mostly Harmless".

In "The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers", you will learn about Jack Morris that he threw a fastball and a slider, added a change in 1982 and dropped the change for a forkball "after 1982". And that in 1982 someone said his fastball was clocked at 94 mph. And that's it. The words "split-finger" don't appear, despite a reference on p.50 to Roger Craig teaching the pitch to "most everybody on the Tigers' staff." One guy he taught it to won 254 games and pitched until 1994, but you'd have to make the connection yourself. Mostly harmless, indeed.

A lot of the modern stuff is merely rehashes of information in annually produced "Scouting Notebooks", with idiosyncratic quotes like the only quote about Denny McLain, which comes from Ted Williams who never faced him and managed him when he was a wreck of his former self.

These guys are great writers. I've been reading James for 22 years and Neyer as long as he's been writing. Nearly every one of their other books lies dog-eared and broken-backed in my bathroom from countless re-readings. But the data in this book would have been better left to a website where it could be updated and corrected as time went by, and there could have been more articles on near-great pitchers and more description of how pitches were thrown and developed, as well as the authors' thoughts about the pitchers, rather than just "Fastball Slider Curve".

But really, if Neyer feels good about writing a book "describing" Kaz Sasaki's pitches without mentioning that he called his splitter "the fang", well, that's his choice.
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