Weekend Roundup: Hot off the Press and Griddle
Welcome to the first of what promises to be many Weekend Roundups. This format is designed to allow me the opportunity to present information in a less formal manner than my normal Baseball Beat column. It will be eclectic and run the gamut from news, notes, and short takes on happenings inside the world of baseball.
Is there a better bargain than Baseball Prospectus 2005? At $12.21 per copy, it costs 41 cents per team, 2 cents per page, and three-quarters of one cent per player! I don't know how they can do that. I mean, I dare anyone to find a store that sells photocopies for two cents per page.
Owners of Baseball Prospectus 2005 get a lot more than a bunch of photocopies. Flip the book open to page 397 and you get the minor and major league statistics plus proprietary BP metrics (MLVR, EQBA, EQOBP, EQSLG, EQMLVR, and VORP) since 2002, the PECOTA projection for 2005, and a full paragraph of commentary for Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Luis Maza, and Jose Morales. Call it one penny apiece for Mauer and Morneau with Maza and Morales thrown in for free.
I won't give all of the book's secrets away here but suffice it to say that BP is concerned about the health of one of the M & M boys and thinks the other may "soon become one of the 20 best hitters in the league." OK, I'll give you a hint as to which is which just this one time. The latter's initials are...wink, wink...J.M.
Buy three books like I did through Amazon and the shipping is free. Hurry up. What are you waiting for? For you fantasy leaguers, your draft is less than three weeks away! For everyone else, emulate Theo Epstein and make Baseball Prospectus "one of the first things (you) read every day." Hmmm. Now that I think about it, I wonder where he keeps his book?
Speaking of books, The Hardball Times has published The Bullpen Book of 2002-2004. It is available as an e-book in the form of an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. The cost of the book is an Abraham Lincoln five-dollar bill. That's less than a beer at your hometown ballpark! Besides, the proceeds from the book go to fund THT's cost of providing the multitude of stats found on its site.
The Bullpen Book has 20 pages of articles and 90 pages of statistical tables. Studes has created Win Probability Added for relief pitchers. I am a big fan of this stat as well as BP's Expected Wins Added and believe they may be the best measurement tools for evaluating the performance of relievers. The Bullpen Book is a must read for anyone who is serious about advanced sabermetric studies.
Several former All-Baseball colleagues have popped up at the Baseball Toaster. Alex Belth (Bronx Banter), Mike Carminati (Mike's Baseball Rants), and Jon Weisman (Dodger Thoughts) have moved their blogs over; Will Carroll and Scott Long have renamed theirs twice (from WCP to Tri-County Post-Messenger to Juice Blog); while Alex Ciepley and Derek Smart (Cub Town) and Ken Arneson (Catfish Stew) have established new sites. Ken is a software programmer/architect by trade, and he plans on adding new features to Baseball Toaster, which is now in beta, as the season progresses.
The multi-talented Belth has partnered up with Cliff Corcoran to form a powerhouse among Yankee blogs. Be sure to stop by and see what Alex, Cliff, and the rest of the Toastmasters are cooking up while the Hot Stove League is in full swing.
Baseball Prospectus, The Hardball Times, Baseball Toaster, and Baseball Analysts. That's not a bad foursome for your daily reading. Add in Baseball Think Factory/Baseball Primer along with the columnists in the sidebar and your personal favorite blogs -- many of which are also listed on this page -- and you have the makings of an All-Star lineup of baseball analysts and writers right here on the 'net.
Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to check back on Monday for the next edition of Baseball Beat.