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Who was better, Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays? Who was the best right-hander of the '60s, Bob Gibson or Juan Marichal? Who is the greatest starting pitcher of all time? At his peak, who was more valuable, Joe DiMaggio or Ted Williams? If Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, and Roger Clemens had pitched at the same time against the same hitters, who would have won the most games? If Jackie Robinson had been white, would he be deserving of the Hall of Fame? Is Pete Rose overrated? Has Tim Raines been underrated? Who is the ...
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Who was better, Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays? Who was the best right-hander of the '60s, Bob Gibson or Juan Marichal? Who is the greatest starting pitcher of all time? At his peak, who was more valuable, Joe DiMaggio or Ted Williams? If Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, and Roger Clemens had pitched at the same time against the same hitters, who would have won the most games? If Jackie Robinson had been white, would he be deserving of the Hall of Fame? Is Pete Rose overrated? Has Tim Raines been underrated? Who is the best hitter of the game today-- Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey, Jr.? Is today's pitching really that bad? Why can't modern pitchers go nine innings? Which are more valuable-- good starters or good relievers? How important is the stolen base? What are the myths that still surround Babe Ruth? What was the most talented baseball team of the twentieth century? Which twentieth-century championship team has been most slighted by baseball historians? What has been the real impact of black and Latin talent on Major League Baseball? Is baseball more competitive now than it was one hundred years ago? Or fifty? Or twenty-five? Who was the greatest all-around player of the last century? Find the answers here.
Clearing the Bases is the first book to tackle these and many other of baseball's most intriguing questions, plus it offers hard, sensible answers-- answers based on exhaustive research and analysis. Sports journalist Allen Barra, whose weekly sports column, "By the Numbers," has earned him millions of readers in The Wall Street Journal and whose outspoken opinions on Salon.com are discussed regularly on National Public Radio, takes on baseball's toughest arguments. Using stats and methods he developed during his ongoing tenure at The Wall Street Journal, Barra takes you to the heart of baseball's ultimate question, Who's the Best?, in this, the ultimate baseball debate book. It is guaranteed to spark thousands of heated debates and to supply the fuel for thousands more. While including bits on Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Roger Clemens, Lefty Grove, Willie Mays, and Ted Williams, among others, Barra even finds time to argue the case for great players from other sports such as Bart Starr in football and Wilt Chamberlain in basketball.
Regardless of what stand you take in these debates, you'll never think about baseball's greatest stars in the same way again.
"Using hard evidence as a snowplow and logic as a compass, Barra pushes aside the accumulated debris of a century's assumptions to see things as they were. Bill Russell did not beat Wilt Chamberlain; stop saying that. It is easy for living sportswriters to be bullied by dead ones; they were so large when we were small. Barra calls on us to stand on our own two feet and wrestle with the hard questions left over from the generations of sports history. A wonderful collection of thoughts and essays."--Bill James, author of The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract
"If my sins at last caught up with me and I were confined to the smallest room in my house, I can think of no finer companion there than Allen Barra's engagingly contentious Clearing the Bases."--Roger Kahn, author of The Head Game and The Boys of Summer
Posted December 27, 2002
This book would be good for a novice to sports, someone seeking an introduction to the big issues. If you are a learned fan, however, most of this book will not interest you. Barra does state some interesting facts and statistics, but they remain just that. I was not compelled to read another two pages elaborating on each one. Many of the selected topics will forever be opinionated, such as the Mays/Mantle debate, which today is not really a debate as those residing in both camps have solid backing. Most people do not believe Roger Maris should be in the Hall of Fame, and yet Berra attacks this like it is a hot topic. The most confusing chapter was the Tim Raines is superior to Pete Rose one, which provides a plethora of statistical analysis to back up his opinon, but was rather questionable at times. Barra praises Tim Raines for making the All-Star team eight times for the Expos, something he likens to winning the Pulitzer Prize writing for a paper in North Dakota. An eloquent phrase, but it overlooks the fact that each team is garaunteed one All-Star each season, not to mention the fact that Raines would be the likely selection for all Canadian fans, as the Expos are the only Canadian National League team. He also punishes Rose for playing on good teams and compensates for Raines playing on basement dwellers. This can be looked at two ways, however, as maybe it was partly due to Pete's presence that the teams were indeed good. A very small book for the money and without much content. For a young kid wanting to learn about some of baseball's issues, or for a longtime fan who likes to read anything and everything about the sport, this is a good book. For someone looking for a good read, it is useless. It does not capture your attention, and is such a quick read, you feel as though you have wasted your money.
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Posted November 27, 2013
Hello traniees! These are your quarters! You are all to wait here until being called upon by a commander. When a commander calls your name with a group of others to terminate a Nook hostile, you are to go to the result they told you immidietly after you see the message in this result. The group called will pester the hostile and tell all who are violated and in that result to ignore the threat. Wait until all have followed instuctions and then check back to see if the Nook threat has left. Good luck!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 3, 2003
Posted October 22, 2003
While sports purists worship stats, they overlook the glaring fact that baseball stats mean nothing, because they are compiled in baseball parks with oddly different dimensions. For example, if Ted Williams had played in New York, he might have hit 200 more homeruns, even in a career cut short by five years of military service. And Joe Dimaggio might have hit 200 more home runs if he had played in Boston. Purism of stats, though, can be discerned in Basketball and Football whose games are played on courts and fields of the same dimension, Boston excepted. As to the legendary Sandy Koufax. That's a myth. Koufax was brilliant for just a few seasons. The best lefthander of all time was legendary Steve Carlton (4100 career strikeouts; 27 wins with a team that won 59, etc.) but his knees were broken by AllMedia that didn't like his political views. Objective analysis is not possible for wordsmiths who worship political correctness.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 13, 2002
This book is a good start for baseball fans looking for answers to some of the game's greatest debates. Certainly, this material has been done before, but this version is easy to read for fans not versed in the sport's complex manipulated statistics. There are some small points that are debatable, but that is what makes baseball great.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.