It was a wild offseason for the National League, one highlighted by Trea Turner’s lucrative ($300 million) transition from the Dodgers to Phillies, along with fellow shortstop Xander Bogaerts’ introduction to the NL, via the San Diego Padres and $280 mil of his own. Two of the absolute best shortstops in the game are anchored […]Please, blog, may I have some more?
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It had been a couple years since I bought Ron Shandler’s Baseball Forecaster as my preseasons have been preoccupied with building our tools, running analyses, and optimizing our Steamer-based projections. But after enjoying Larry Schechter’s Winning Fantasy Baseball last January, it felt like a good time to solicit second opinions.
Baseball Forecaster has been a yearly production by BaseballHQ since 1986. While Ron Shandler is still involved, the book is produced by a team that is now led by Co-Editors Ray Murphy and Brent Hershey. I have played in a couple of expert leagues with BaseballHQ contributors and – to date – it has not gone so well for ol’ Rudy (if they played RCL, I’d like my chances).
So after last year’s frustrating expert league performance, I decided to leverage Baseball Forecaster as a sanity check against players that my system loved more/less than consensus…Please, blog, may I have some more?
I remember the first book I ever bought on fantasy baseball. It was titled ‘Rotisserie League Baseball’ by Glen Waggoner and Robert Sklar. I purchased it at one of those bookstores that only appeared in malls (B. Dalton? Walden Books?). It must have been around the 1988 or 1989 season as I can recall that Gerald Young had a high $ because of his SB prowess (one that peaked with 65 SBs in 1988 and cratered in 1989 with a preposterous 34 SB / 25 CS.).
Somewhere within the pages of this paperback gem was the origin story of fantasy baseball. As origin stories go, it was remarkably believable (versus, say, Abner Doubleday inventing baseball). Daniel Okrent came up with the idea and pitched it to a number of writer/editor friends in 1979 at a New York restaurant called La Rôtisserie Française. To think, if he brought it up one week earlier, we might all be playing Beefsteak Charlie Baseball instead of Rotisserie Baseball. I recall the authors of this book – who were part of this group – teasing Okrent because his team (the Okrent Fenokees) had yet to win a season (he never did win one).
This is all a preface as to why when asked if we would help promote the e-book release of one of Daniel Okrent’s books, I signed us up. This is the man that invented WHIP! Without him, how else would have I occupied all those thousands of hours? Spend time with friends and family? Contribute to society? Invest myself in an actual MLB team?Please, blog, may I have some more?
I do not review baseball books very often. I have managed more ‘fake’ book reviews on this site than real ones (see here). Even books that have been in print for years that I meant to belatedly review end up unreviewed – like The Book or Ball Four – because I’m usually in one of three states (pre-season stat-crunching/writing, in-season management/writing or off-season/vegging).
But I made an exception with Winning Fantasy Baseball (officially out Jan 7 – click preceding link to buy it on Amazon) since the author (Larry Schechter) is far and away the best performing ‘expert’ in Tout Wars so I could definitely learn a couple things from him. (It didn’t hurt that his PR person sent me a free copy as professional courtesy – if only I had such sway with European car companies or bacon of the month clubs).
I polished this nearly 350 page book in 2 days. Kudos to the author for his eminently readable prose.Please, blog, may I have some more?
In 2000, a gritty bunch of veterans, role players, and youngsters almost did the impossible – beat the New York Yankees in a World Series. Led by the mad genius of Bobby Valentine, the silver foxiness of Steve Phillips, and the support of a well-capitalized owner who gladly stayed out of the public eye (Fred […]Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sports play a sizable role in my life – in some ways healthy (excuse to talk and hang out with friends and family) and unhealthy (excuse to pore over stats and pundit POVs at the expense of talking and hanging out with friends and family). Perhaps that’s why the sports books and documentaries that resonate […]Please, blog, may I have some more?
The worlds of baseball and business have many similarities – money, dealing with the press, pleasing customers, etc. – but few jobs translate as well between both as the role of Manager. Bruce Bochy, one of the longest tenured baseball managers (entering his 16th year in 2010) and the career leader in home runs by […]Please, blog, may I have some more?
Fantasy baseball fans and bloggers (ourselves included) sometimes fail to appreciate the human toll that baseball takes on its participants. They are not just statistics, commodities, and tabloid stories. They are flesh and blood. Joe Torre and SI’s Tom Verducci recently penned ‘The Yankee Years’, a book that provided a glimpse into the challenges that […]Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s been 5 years since Michael Lewis’s “Moneyball” hit the shelves – making Billy Beane, OBP, and Chad Bradford household names and challenging many of the long-held assumptions about baseball. But the real game is played on the field and managed by those who wear the uniform. And no one has had an impact on […]Please, blog, may I have some more?