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Posted April 17, 2010
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Hardball Times just keeps getting better!
I have purchased this annual every year for the past 3. It is by far the best, most informative baseball preview. It is chock full of important info for the stat geeks. Anyone who is addicted to the numerical value of baseball MUST own this.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The Discovery of Handball Times and Sean Smith
This season for the first time I discovered The Hardball Times and I'm glad I did. Let's face it, there are only so many baseball book dollars to go around, so they have to be spent wisely. However, the 2010 Hardball Times should be near the top of your book list.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The Hardball Times provides us with entertaining, cutting edge innovative articles which will increase the level of baseball knowledge for any reader.
For me five articles just stand out as gems:
As we have learned to expect: (1) The guru of baseball statistics, Bill James, once again provides us with a great article with his insightful look into the baseball future with the introduction of his Strong Seasons Leading Index; and (2) Veteran Defensive Wizard, John Dewan, gives us an "errorless" article on what else, defense.
However, what I discovered next simply jumped up and slapped me in the face. For those who are like me and wonder, why is it that no one other than Bill James seems to understand that innovative baseball knowledge must be in a simple to understand and usable form? And consequently, we find ourselves lying awake at night worrying what will happen to us if Bill James goes off his diet and his cholesterol count rises? Who will be there to keep us out of the dark of ignorance? Well, we don't have to worry anymore. Baseball Hardball Times give us Sean Smith. So go ahead Bill, you can eat those double cheeseburgers with bacon if you must, because we finally have ourselves a safety net in Smith.
In HB Times, Smith tackles and answers the question, whether the current use of major league closers is indeed the most efficient way? This is a question which was first presented by Bill James ten years ago. No one, not even James, has attempted to answer it, until now when Smith casually stepped to the plate and hit one into the upper deck. But, that's not all we get from Smith. The other two great articles written in the book, by Steve Treder and John Walsh both cite Smith in their research credits. Walsh provides us with insight on why some players, such as Mark Belanger, who based on the surface numbers, appears to very poor players, are actually valuable. And, Treder provides us with insight into the disparity of talent between the two leagues over the years. Note: last season one question I discussed with Bruce Manno, AGM of the Atlanta Braves, was exactly how much of an adjustment is needed to be made when an American League player is acquired by the Braves for the differences between the two leagues. Well, Treder's research article provides us with that answer.
The wake of these three articles left me wandering, who the heck is Sean Smith and where has this great baseball mind been hiding? I checked the Who's Who page in the HB Times, and the write up on Smith was one of the shortest. In fact, all I really learned about him is that he owns a couple of cats. Heck, the names for the cats weren't even listed. (I'm going to guess Tiger and Fluffy) However, I know enough from reading the 2010 Handball Times, Sean Smith is our next great baseball mind.
Posted July 27, 2010
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