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YankeePride1967
01-02-06, 01:14 PM
I buy the annual Baseball Prospectis each year and last week saw the Hardball Times at the store. Can anyone recommend this?

Wang's Groundballs
01-02-06, 01:25 PM
I haven't gotten the 2006 edition yet, but the 2005 one was a very good buy and this one sounds even better. I'd definitely recommend it.

Soriambi
01-02-06, 02:18 PM
I'd recommend it, as well. I have the 2006 version, and while I haven't read the whole thing yet, it's been very interesting so far.

YankeePride1967
01-02-06, 07:15 PM
Thanks, I went out and got it and also the 2006 Bill James Handbook. I had to drive a bit as the store in town (Barnes and Noble) ran out so I had to drive 30 minutes to Fairfield, but I'm glad I did.

Soriambi
01-02-06, 07:29 PM
Thanks, I went out and got it and also the 2006 Bill James Handbook. I had to drive a bit as the store in town (Barnes and Noble) ran out so I had to drive 30 minutes to Fairfield, but I'm glad I did.

I have the James guide, too. The one thing that they didn't put in that I would have loved to have seen was each pitcher's average velocity on their fastball for 2005. I would have also liked to have seen their pitch selection %s. I'm pretty sure that he had the data, as he lists the fastest and slowest average fastballs and the highest %s of certain pitches on the leader-boards.

JeffWeaverFan
01-02-06, 07:53 PM
Thanks, I went out and got it and also the 2006 Bill James Handbook. I had to drive a bit as the store in town (Barnes and Noble) ran out so I had to drive 30 minutes to Fairfield, but I'm glad I did.
I got both the Hardball Times and the James Handbook a week ago. This is the first time I've gotten The Hardball Times and the second year in a row I've gotten the Handbook. The Times was great. They have some really interesting statistics and I love that they broke down how each batter hits and what each pitcher gives up. Meaning, they give you the percentage of time the batter strikes out, walks, hits a groundball, hits a flyball, hits an infield fly, and hits a line drive. And they do the same thing for what the pitcher gave up. From this, I saw that, for example, Chacon had great success with the Yankees partly because 8% of the time he gave up an infield fly. (I wonder/doubt if he can continue to get that).

The Handbook is what it is. It has all the numbers for all the players, but no real interesting stats (except for Win Shares). I liked the team numbers though and the leaders in all sorts of categories. (For example, who was the best.worst at hitting pitches outside the strikezone). But, the pitcher projections, which were new this year, were just terrible. Al Leiter had an ERA projection under 4.00 IIRC. Some of them were so bad I felt dumber after reading them. So I wouldn't even look at those. But, that's why you get Baseball Prospectus anyways so no big deal.

YankeePride1967
01-02-06, 08:00 PM
I got both the Hardball Times and the James Handbook a week ago. This is the first time I've gotten The Hardball Times and the second year in a row I've gotten the Handbook. The Times was great. They have some really interesting statistics and I love that they broke down how each batter hits and what each pitcher gives up. Meaning, they give you the percentage of time the batter strikes out, walks, hits a groundball, hits a flyball, hits an infield fly, and hits a line drive. And they do the same thing for what the pitcher gave up. From this, I saw that, for example, Chacon had great success with the Yankees partly because 8% of the time he gave up an infield fly. (I wonder/doubt if he can continue to get that).

The Handbook is what it is. It has all the numbers for all the players, but no real interesting stats (except for Win Shares). I liked the team numbers though and the leaders in all sorts of categories. (For example, who was the best.worst at hitting pitches outside the strikezone). But, the pitcher projections, which were new this year, were just terrible. Al Leiter had an ERA projection under 4.00 IIRC. Some of them were so bad I felt dumber after reading them. So I wouldn't even look at those. But, that's why you get Baseball Prospectus anyways so no big deal.

Interesting. I was mainly interested in the Times, but what got me to grab the Handbook as well was I was interested in his career projections at the end. Baseball Prospectus is my main book anyway. BTW, it is being released on February 28.

ring403
01-02-06, 10:18 PM
Just a reminder: All of the excellent books mentioned here are available at amazon.com. If you're so inclined, please use the link at the bottom of the page, and help Jim pay the bills. :)

YankeePride1967
01-02-06, 10:47 PM
Just a reminder: All of the excellent books mentioned here are available at amazon.com. If you're so inclined, please use the link at the bottom of the page, and help Jim pay the bills. :)

Thanks, I forgot about that. I did that last year for BP, I'll do the same this year.

PaulieIsAwesome
01-03-06, 03:09 AM
I have the ability to get one of the following: Mind Game and Hardball Times 2006. Which is better?

YankeePride1967
01-03-06, 09:07 PM
I have the ability to get one of the following: Mind Game and Hardball Times 2006. Which is better?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't "Mind Game" the book BP did on the 2004 Red Sox? If so then they really are two different kinds of books.

YankeePride1967
01-03-06, 09:08 PM
One thing about the Bill James Handbook. They project the final stats of every active player. They project A-Rod to finish with 3,500 hits and 816 HR. They predict Bonds to finish with 900 HR.

Soriambi
01-03-06, 09:29 PM
One thing about the Bill James Handbook. They project the final stats of every active player. They project A-Rod to finish with 3,500 hits and 816 HR. They predict Bonds to finish with 900 HR.

Andruw Jones is projected to have something like 686, if I remember correctly, and Sheffield was projected to have in the high 500s. They all seemed a bit high to me.

PaulieIsAwesome
01-03-06, 10:27 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't "Mind Game" the book BP did on the 2004 Red Sox? If so then they really are two different kinds of books.

Yes. Which would be more enjoyable/interesting? I don't really care about the Red Sox angle, which gives better insight.

Wang's Groundballs
01-04-06, 11:18 AM
I haven't read Mind Game, but people on BTF have been very harsh on it. From what they've said it kind of sounds like BP was just waiting for a sabr team to win it all so they could write a book about how smart they are.

JeffWeaverFan
01-04-06, 01:43 PM
Andruw Jones is projected to have something like 686, if I remember correctly, and Sheffield was projected to have in the high 500s. They all seemed a bit high to me.
I believe they don't take into account injuries.

YankeePride1967
01-04-06, 05:03 PM
Yes. Which would be more enjoyable/interesting? I don't really care about the Red Sox angle, which gives better insight.

For me, I really have no interest in how the 2004 Sox were put together. I'd rather have a book that will be a companion for the 2006 season so I got the Hardball Times.

homer2931
01-05-06, 10:02 PM
Yes. Which would be more enjoyable/interesting? I don't really care about the Red Sox angle, which gives better insight.

THT by far
Mind game offered little sabermetric insight and I actually didnt finsih it, it was evry boring and I didnt feel like reading it. Seemed liked they slapped it together to capitalize on the Red Sox 2004 WS.

Soriambi
01-05-06, 10:41 PM
I believe they don't take into account injuries.

They don't, but a guy like Jones would have to average 30 HR until he was 40 to reach his projection, which seems a bit generous. Sheffield would need four more years averaging 30 homers a year to reach his projection, which is possible, but again, assuming that a guy is still going to be hitting 30 HR when he's 40 seems generous to me. It's almost as if they assume that the player will continue hitting his career average of homers until he's X age, when age will most likely hamper most of them. I'll admit that I didn't look at the projections super closely yet, but those two really stood out to me as high-end estimates-"If everything goes right, and they keep playing at this level even past a normal player's peak" type projections. Even if Jones doubles his current HR total in the next nine years (he's played nine full seasons to date), putting him at 37 years old, he'd have 602 HR and would still be over 80 short of his projection.

PaulieIsAwesome
01-08-06, 04:13 PM
THT by far
Mind game offered little sabermetric insight and I actually didnt finsih it, it was evry boring and I didnt feel like reading it. Seemed liked they slapped it together to capitalize on the Red Sox 2004 WS.

Yeah, you're right. I got Mind Game cause my local bookstore only had it (though I wanted to get THT.) I blew through it. While I liked Steven Goldman's analysis of brawls, most of the rest of the book was written for a general audience, and even then I'm not sure it succeeded. It kept going back and forth, which was partially a function of having different writers.

For example, one writer would write "Walks, Ks and Home runs are most important for a pitcher." And then another writer would say "the only thing that matters is runs allowed." They can both be true in context, but they needed better explication.

homer2931
01-08-06, 04:18 PM
Yeah, you're right. I got Mind Game cause my local bookstore only had it (though I wanted to get THT.) I blew through it. While I liked Steven Goldman's analysis of brawls, most of the rest of the book was written for a general audience, and even then I'm not sure it succeeded. It kept going back and forth, which was partially a function of having different writers.

For example, one writer would write "Walks, Ks and Home runs are most important for a pitcher." And then another writer would say "the only thing that matters is runs allowed." They can both be true in context, but they needed better explication.
I read alot of good reviews, so I'm thinking that I probably would have enjoyed it more if I didnt read BBpro so often, b/c I had probably read it all before in the book or on the site

pedromartinezfan
01-08-06, 04:23 PM
Maybe I need to read Mind Game again, because I loved it. Of course. ;)

PaulieIsAwesome
01-08-06, 04:58 PM
Maybe I need to read Mind Game again, because I loved it. Of course. ;)

I agree with Homer. I think I just read BPro too often for the book to really change my thinking about anything.

pedromartinezfan
01-08-06, 05:19 PM
Oh, I read Baseball Prospectus all the time.

PaulieIsAwesome
01-08-06, 07:55 PM
Oh, I read Baseball Prospectus all the time.

Do you think it was the Red Sox-ness of it all? If not, what did you particularly like about it?