For the past week, I’ve been thumbing through “The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2009.”
In the past, actually, for the last three years (prior to this one), I’ve shared how I’m a raving fan of this annual. So, naturally, I was looking forward to checking out “The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2009.”
On a scale of one to ten, with one being the low grade and ten being the top one, I would give “The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2009” a solid eight. To be candid, I did not find this year’s edition to be at the level of the preceding three editions. But, that’s no slap at “The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2009.” More so, it speaks to how great the other verison were…at least to me.
In this edition, I very much enjoyed Craig Wright’s “The Aging of Honus Wagner,” Craig Brown’s “Have Bat, Will Travel: The Free Agency of Pete Rose,” Greg Rybarczyk’s “Hit Tracker 2008,” Phil Birnbaum’s “How Do Players Age,” Craig Calcaterra’s “There’s No Success Like Failure: The Mitchell Report,” Joe Posnanski’s “The Greatest Class of All?,” and Rob Neyer’s “Trades of the Midseason” (even if the latter did not include the Yankees picking up David Justice in 2000).
However, on the flip-side, I thought that Roel Torres’ “Making a Baseball Fan” was self-indulgent and common, Colin Wyer’s “The Best Run Estimators” was too heavy on the math, and Sean Smith’s “History’s Greatest Fielders” too light on the math (since I would have liked have seen more on how the results were derived).
Nonetheless, the good features in “The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2009” make-up for those that may be somewhat lacking. And, of course, there’s tons (and tons!) of great numbers in the “Statistics” section of the annual (as always).
And, this all said, I recommend checking out “The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2009.” If you’re the type of person who collects baseball annuals, you’ll want this one on your bookshelves. Or, if you’re just someone who enjoys reading about baseball, especially in the off-season, then you’ll want to pick up “The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2009” – as it will keep you busy for a good while.