• The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2009

    Posted by on December 9th, 2008 · Comments (5)

    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.

    Comments on The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2009

    1. studes
      December 10th, 2008 | 4:49 pm

      Hey Steve,

      Thanks for the review. I’d point out a few things:

      1. There were eight more articles this year, 25% more than in the past. This was a big increase, but we decided it was worth it to make the book better. So, even though there were some articles you didn’t like as much, there were more articles in total. I’m pretty confident that there were just as many articles that you liked compared to previous years. Maybe even more!

      2. As a result of the expanded content, we decided to bring more voices into THT. Roel’s voice is different, and some people really like it–Others don’t. Understood. But we think the diversity of voices makes the Annual stronger overall.

      3. There were no in-depth numbers in Sean’s fielding article, because he’s covered them before on the THT site. There are references to those articles at the end of Sean’s article in the Annual.

      Thanks again.

    2. December 10th, 2008 | 9:57 pm

      My pleasure to review the book, as always studes.

      Thanks for this additional information.

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