In nearly 1,000 separate articles, James ranks--and writes about--the top 100 players by position in baseball history . . . and, more than that, introduces a remarkable new statistic called "Win Shares, " a way of quantifying individual performance that equalizes the offensive and defensive contributions of catchers, pitchers, infielders, and ...Read MoreIn nearly 1,000 separate articles, James ranks--and writes about--the top 100 players by position in baseball history . . . and, more than that, introduces a remarkable new statistic called "Win Shares, " a way of quantifying individual performance that equalizes the offensive and defensive contributions of catchers, pitchers, infielders, and outfielders. 50 photos throughout.Read Less
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The most fun you can have without getting arrested
Well....let?s be fair here. I am not really much of a baseball guy but I am certainly a history guy. I respect the game...."The Great American Pastime", but as a rule I do not play nor do I watch the game. I am not much of a stat guy and everything I know about baseball I learned from the movie "The Natural"....So what the hell am I doing reviewing this book? Well, I am reviewing it because I absolutely LOVE IT! Bill James makes Baseball fun and fascinating! If he can do that for a casually interested, history buff, novice... I would imagine that this book must be absolutely amazing for those who actually know what he is talking about! I have heard that James and his methods are sometimes a bit controversial to certain baseball devotees but weather you love him or hate him....you cannot, nor should you, ignore him! A+
Publishers Weekly, 2001-11-12 A premier baseball analyst and brand name, James (The Bill James Player Ratings Book, The Bill James Guide to Baseball Managers) releases a revised edition of his 1985 classic, with expanded player and team histories and reconsidered commentary. Divided into two sections, "The Game" and "The Players," this comprehensive and opinionated tome describes the evolution of the sport over the decades (uniforms in the 1890s, best minor league teams of the 1930s, the Negro Leagues, etc.) and the characteristics of its players (stats, injuries, habits and proclivities). The thumbnail player sketches in the second section (the 100 greatest players at each position) vary widely in content and tone: the entry on Lefty Gomez includes a page on his public-speaking abilities, while of Kevin Brown, James merely writes, "I don't root for him, either, but he is a great pitcher." (James has assigned the rankings according to a statistical rating formula he calls Win Shares, which he explains conceptually and mathematically.) The game section, though, is the standout. It may not contain detailed statistical leaders or standings for each year, or even who won each World Series, but it does offer information on new stadiums, the competitiveness of different leagues and shifts in the way the game was played. At the end of each chapter, a "decade in a box" lists major statistics and Jamesian awards, varying from the quantitative (the team with the best record) and the qualitative (the best switch hitter) to the quirky (the decade's ugliest player). (Dec.) Forecast: There are enough baseball and Bill James fans to ensure steady sales, and the pub date near enough to the World Series might encourage a few extra readers. A uniquely personal, even iconoclastic guide, this belongs in baseball libraries to counterpoint The Baseball Encyclopedia and Total Baseball. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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