Official Rules of Baseball — the M’s actually did this as a give-away a few years back at the Kingdome, around 1996 or so (sponsored by Eagle, maybe?). I always thought it was a darned cool thing to give out, and still have my copy around somewhere. Yeah, it can be out of date in places, but for the most part things are the same.
Also, it is my belief that the knits and delicates setting on clothes dryers actually, using space technology, super-saturates clothing so that it becomes even wetter than it when taken out of the washer.
Many people write in and ask if we have books we recommend. I’m going to write this up as a nice side page at some point, but here’s the off-season reading list. I go through a lot of baseball books and here are the ones I think everyone (or almost everyone) should read. There will be, needless to say, no Bill James books on this list.
First on the list: Earl Weaver on Strategy, by Earl Weaver and Terry Pluto. One of my favorite books. Weaver was one of the smartest managers to sit on a bench, and despite his reputation, one of the most adaptable: he won with speed, without it, with power, with slap hitters, he won and won and kept winning. There are very few things in this book that have proven unsupported by evidence — people quote Weaver not because he’s Weaver, but because he’s Weaver and he’s right. Warning: may make watching games with some managers almost painful.
The Science of Hitting by Ted Williams, John Underwood. What a great book.
I wanted to offer one of Johnny Bench’s autobiographies, but they’re all out of print. He also wrote “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Baseball” with Larry Burke, and while that’s out of print too, it’s available. Note that Bench wrote the Idiot’s Guide and Joe Morgan wrote the Baseball for Dummies (okay, funny side-side note: the customer reviews, which generally like Morgan’s book, include “Joe Morgan is probably one of the more astute baseball minds there is today. For the true baseball fan, his analysis is usually right on the mark and insightful.” Umm… no.) which means that Reds alumni control the entry-level book market.
Gotta have it: Official Rules of Baseball. They’re out of date, but that’s really baseball’s problem (they’ve got references to the league presidents, for instance, and those are gone). This is invaluable stuff: I’m surprised how often I end up looking something up to answer reader mail (and now you can do your own homework! yay!). Since the rules really haven’t changed in the last decade, if you can find one of these used at your local second-hand bookstore that’s around or after, say, 1996, you’ll be fine.
And more to come. Maybe I’ll even write up Mike Port if I get motivated.
These are referal links to Amazon. No pressure, but I was thinking that it’d be cool if we made enough money to off-set some of what we shell out to keep this thing ad-free. Anyone who knows how the three of us can make actual cash money writing about the M’s should feel free to drop us a line (and before you ask, I’ve tried asking the local dailies if they were interested in content and didn’t get anywhere).
So far, ideas have included:
– newsletter/magazine for M’s fans (can’t do it, too much work, involves selling advertising or charging money and dealing with printing unless we go to Kinko’s or something, unsure market… but maybe….)
– Derek’s amazingly good baseball betting advice marketed as phone line
– ransom notes
That’s about it.