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View Full Version : Lukewarm about the Baseball Prospectus 2007 annual



jmcclain19
03-14-2007, 02:44 AM
Anyone else pick up BP's 2007 Annual?

I'm usually excited about it - but this year not so much.

Along with being generally nonplussed so far about the content - I can't help but feel that in past years the book had an edgy feel about it that was totally void this year - My book which is exactly 8 days old split right down the binding today.

One of the editors made a point of bragging just how fat the book was in the BP Unfiltered blog last week, yet apparently no one thought to check to beef up the binding a tad to accommodate that. Not to mention that the paper grade feels like kids school construction paper, a noticeable downgrade from previous years. This all after BP made a big production showing the love fest for the new publishing house the company moved to for this year.

Not to mention I've read about 65-70 percent of it so far, and I think I've heard some variation of the cliche "Luck is the residue of design" comment at least a dozen times - on all kinds of different teams & players. Seems to me a good editor reading thru the entire book would have cleaned some of that up. Not to mention BP always seemed to have a chip, but you knew you were reading something different. Not so much this year. Just kind of bland and undistinguished.

Cheaper paper + Cheap binding + Blah content. Not exactly a winning combination.

I saw the Doc Scott reviewed it on his blog this morning and came to much of the same conclusions I did.
http://www.redsandblues.com/?p=241

IslandRed
03-14-2007, 10:22 AM
I have it. I kind of feel the same way, in that the writing seems a little more homogenized and not as edgy. Perhaps that's the price of being a more popular book that's more read within the game, they're more reluctant to perform surgery without anesthesia. Having said that, I thought the Reds summary was pretty on-target.

I'd also noticed the cheaper paper, but I guess if they're trying to put 600 pages into a paperback and hold the line on price, they had to cut some corners somewhere.

westofyou
03-14-2007, 10:29 AM
I have it. I kind of feel the same way, in that the writing seems a little more homogenized and not as edgy. Perhaps that's the price of being a more popular book that's more read within the game, they're more reluctant to perform surgery without anesthesia. Having said that, I thought the Reds summary was pretty on-target.

I'd also noticed the cheaper paper, but I guess if they're trying to put 600 pages into a paperback and hold the line on price, they had to cut some corners somewhere.

I think the 'snarkiness' of the earlier versions has mellowed, which I like... that style of writing does not age well and always amplifies the mistakes that sort of analysis totes along with it. The quality of the book has degraded from the last 5 years, currently I worry that it won't last like my Bill James books from 25 years ago.

Meanwhile Sports Weekly is selling a newspaper for Fantasy Players... $5 for an insert essentially.

Looking at that and the writers who contribute to this doorstop of a book makes BP look better.

But then again I remember when Street and Smith was the only thing we had as spring started... so I'll hold my nit picking to a minimum.

pedro
03-14-2007, 11:40 AM
I think the content is fine, although I agree it's not as "edgy".

The quality of the paper sucks though. I think they should raise the price of the book if they are going to increase the content so much that they can't afford to do a good print job.

dsmith421
03-14-2007, 12:47 PM
Apparently there were all kinds of problems with quality control--the blurbs for Adrian Beltre, Bob Wickman, and a few others, were completely omitted.

I've bought it the last 3 years but will probably not do so this season.

jojo
03-14-2007, 12:57 PM
I for one am really disappointed in the BP 2007....there was a time when you could learn alot from the annual....from the essays AND the team/player commentary.... Right now for me the only value is that I can look at the Pecota weighted means when i'm away from the computer...

The grammar/spelling errors are really annoying and of course, the player omissions are glaring mistakes. Really though, it's the fluff in the commentary that turns me off the most..... there are a lot of meaningless tables and numbers that serve only to give the appearance of insight...

I have to say that I like the Hardball Times 2007 preview much better...

Basically by getting away from their roots (catering to those looking for innovation/sabermetric approach) in favor of more mass appeal, they are becoming irrelevant.

GullyFoyle
03-14-2007, 01:01 PM
Put me down as disappointed too. I'm fine with the writing, but being someone who loves his books and likes to horde them, the quality is awful. I would rather pay more for a decent product (even if, in theory, it is only useful for a year) than save the money and have something that feels cheap.

GullyFoyle
03-14-2007, 01:04 PM
I have to say that I like the Hardball Times 2007 preview much better...

I'll have to check it out. The days of automatically picking up the BP are over I guess.

RedEye
03-14-2007, 06:19 PM
I have to say that I like the Hardball Times 2007 preview much better...


I've also heard from others that HARDBALL TIMES is the way to go this year. I bought BP for the first time this year, and I haven't been too impressed. What's the cheapest place to get HARDBALL TIMES? I may yet have time to get one before our draft next week...

chicoruiz
03-14-2007, 06:32 PM
What's the cheapest place to get HARDBALL TIMES?
Acccording to their website, you can download the whole thing as a PDF file for nine bucks. I'm thinking about it; has anyone tried this?

pedro
03-14-2007, 06:43 PM
I have the Hardball Times. It's good. But don't buy it expecting player or team projections b/c that's not what it's about. It's more an overview of what happened last year so while it would be a great thing to have for Strat, not so much for Fantasy.

westofyou
03-14-2007, 07:15 PM
I have the Hardball Times. It's good. But don't buy it expecting player or team projections b/c that's not what it's about. It's more an overview of what happened last year so while it would be a great thing to have for Strat, not so much for Fantasy.

No they have a "preview" this year too.

Jr's Boy
03-14-2007, 07:18 PM
I bought my first BP this year,it's good but not worth the price.

TOBTTReds
03-14-2007, 07:42 PM
I would go for the Bill James Handbook. Similar sense, with some great stats for baserunning, defense, projections, park index's and so on.

Sabo Fan
03-14-2007, 07:46 PM
I bought my first BP this year,it's good but not worth the price.

While I'm not terribly impressed with the quality of the book itself, the content is good as always. Even considering the shoddy paper and binding, I'd still say the annual is well worth the $11 I paid for it.

pedro
03-14-2007, 07:53 PM
No they have a "preview" this year too.

not as far as I can tell.

Rojo
03-14-2007, 08:39 PM
I think the 'snarkiness' of the earlier versions has mellowed, which I like... that style of writing does not age well and always amplifies the mistakes that sort of analysis totes along with it.


I haven't read the book but I agree with the above, the snarkiness was always annoying.

Jr's Boy
03-14-2007, 08:41 PM
While I'm not terribly impressed with the quality of the book itself, the content is good as always. Even considering the shoddy paper and binding, I'd still say the annual is well worth the $11 I paid for it.


Heck my Amazon price was 14.95.


I change that,15.95 with tax.After I had ''Pre Ordered''it off Amazon.

Cooper
03-15-2007, 01:19 AM
i paid 12 bucks and it's well worth it --it's not as good as other years but i'm guessing we all have become a little more sabermetrically inclined (sorry if sabermetrically is not a word --it should be), thus our expectations have changed. it's got 1600 players in it -and i'll get 5 hours of reading out it --that's a dang good deal.

i got the hardball times last year and thought it was good also.

maybe most of the folks on here have better things to read about baseball -but i don't. i thank god when that thing came in the mail. great beach reading.

dougdirt
03-15-2007, 03:10 AM
Maybe its just that a ton of breakthroughs have come in the recent years in the sabermetric community that there are just so many things you can do before you cant break through with something every year and blow the doors away?

jojo
03-15-2007, 06:30 AM
not as far as I can tell.

Here's a link..... The Hardball Times 2007 Season Preview (http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/its-the-hardball-times-2007-season-preview/)


You can download the pdf almost instantly after paying (the pdf version is $9).... it has team commentary, three year player projections, and a few essays (fantasy draft strategy-I don't play so I can't comment on how helpful; top rookies to watch in '07 etc; The Last Word etc).

Even if you prefer BP, I'd suggest that you plunk down the the junk because, a) THT 2007 preview is good stuff and it's a good value anyway, b) THT is doing ALOT of great work and supporting them will make sure they can keep doing it... c) it'll keep the pressure on BP...

I like BP.... VORP, Pecota and some of their translated stats are very good IMHO.... I think their defensive stats (and thus their metrics that incorporate them) are clunkers and their writing/commentary is becoming less edifying... maybe BP is becoming more engrossed with branding and less innovative....

Anyway, here's (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55215) something noteworthy on the topic of THT 2007 preview....

IslandRed
03-15-2007, 04:45 PM
I like BP.... VORP, Pecota and some of their translated stats are very good IMHO.... I think their defensive stats (and thus their metrics that incorporate them) are clunkers and their writing/commentary is becoming less edifying... maybe BP is becoming more engrossed with branding and less innovative....

You're probably onto something. They're publishing a book other than their namesake about once a year now, and the website rocks these days in my opinion. The BP "brand" is still churning out good stuff but they're not necessarily saving the best of it for the BP annual anymore.

Based on the kudos in the thread, I'll probably pick up the Hardball Times book to go along with it.

pedro
03-15-2007, 04:59 PM
Here's a link..... The Hardball Times 2007 Season Preview (http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/its-the-hardball-times-2007-season-preview/)


You can download the pdf almost instantly after paying (the pdf version is $9).... it has team commentary, three year player projections, and a few essays (fantasy draft strategy-I don't play so I can't comment on how helpful; top rookies to watch in '07 etc; The Last Word etc).

Even if you prefer BP, I'd suggest that you plunk down the the junk because, a) THT 2007 preview is good stuff and it's a good value anyway, b) THT is doing ALOT of great work and supporting them will make sure they can keep doing it... c) it'll keep the pressure on BP...

I like BP.... VORP, Pecota and some of their translated stats are very good IMHO.... I think their defensive stats (and thus their metrics that incorporate them) are clunkers and their writing/commentary is becoming less edifying... maybe BP is becoming more engrossed with branding and less innovative....

Anyway, here's (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55215) something noteworthy on the topic of THT 2007 preview....

ahh I see. it's separate book. cool. I've got the 2007 Baseball Annual which is a review of 2006.

Ltlabner
03-15-2007, 05:09 PM
Just picked up the BP book today. I guess since I've never read it in the past it's hard to comment regarding whether they've back slid.

That said, the writing didn't strike me to be particularlly snarky or bland. Seemed like it was generally on par with the website.

The paper quality did seem a little low grade, however, since it's basically a reference book I'm not too concenered about that.

Overall an interesting read thus far (only read a few team reviews over lunch).

jojo
03-15-2007, 09:10 PM
Just picked up the BP book today. I guess since I've never read it in the past it's hard to comment regarding whether they've back slid.

That said, the writing didn't strike me to be particularlly snarky or bland. Seemed like it was generally on par with the website.

The paper quality did seem a little low grade, however, since it's basically a reference book I'm not too concerned about that.

Overall an interesting read thus far (only read a few team reviews over lunch).

I don't know.... I guess I cut my teeth reading things like the 2002 issue where Davenport translations are explained and the Fungoes were meaty like where Woolner lays out the the concept of replacement level, and other fungoes were in depth discussions about fairness in scheduling, the concept of peak, and the impact of repeating a developmental level on performance. In 2007 we're treated to one nugget by woolner in the fungoes, a will carroll-watered down poke at the impact of amphetamines and the very edifying everything you wanted to know about how bud selig is fighting global warming :rolleyes: .

Concerning player commentary, here's a random sample from 2002:
Carlos Beltran
With all due respect to Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran might have been the best player in the American League after the All-Star break. He hit .358 with an improved walk rate and an extra-base hit every seven at-bats, went 21-for-22 on the bases, played an awesome center field, and finally perfected his Irish soda bread recipe. Is this real? Probably. It's a natural progression from his 1999 season, with the across-the-board development you'd expect through aging. His injury- and controversy-riddled 2000 season is a distant memory. Beltran looks like Bernie Williams, v2.0, with more power, speed, and defense.


Thats pretty good stuff....

And ya know what....my 2002 copy actually feels like a book when I hold it... :cool: