It’s World Series time. What better time then now for the people who have no idea about balls and strikes to become die-hard baseball fans. If you didn’t notice the sarcasm in that last sentence, let me point it out to you. Visit any local watering hole and you will find lots of eyes fixated on the TV screens plastered on the walls. Now don’t get me wrong there are true fans out there watching for the great love of the game. Then there are those other people who have no idea what is going on, and only care because it’s the World Series and think they probably should have an interest. Today’s book gives those later folks a chance to actually learn about what they are hearing on the TV.
The New Ballgame-Understanding Baseball Statistics for the Casual Fan
By:Glenn Guzzo-2007 Acta Sports
As long time baseball fans, we sometimes take things for granted. We forget that at one time in our lives we were rookies in our knowledge base. We did not have the knowledge of the history of the game, the intricacies of certain plays or even the general knowledge of how to read a box score. We all have to start somewhere and this book does that for those fans that need help.
The author starts out simple and reviews basic everyday stats that give the uninformed fan a starting point to build their knowledge. Then you get a historical breakdown of how the stats have been used in baseball and how they play into the overall business of baseball. Moving on you learn how to score a game and read a box score. Throughout the game’s history reading a box score has been paramount in bringing the final result of the game to the masses.
The next few chapters show how the game is moving into the future. Guzzo discusses the real life application of the stats as they are discussed on television. Also talked about is how fantasy baseball has become a success in our world, and how it plays a part of being a good fan. Finally the book finishes up with the future of statistics in baseball.
For the casual fan who needs some background and knowledge this is a good, informative and quick read. It will give them the basic platform on to which they can build a better understanding of the game and possibly the desire to learn even more. Hardcore fans with a strong knowledge base may find some of the information repetitive.
While reading this, I used my own Wife as the basis of application of this book. Her knowledge base is higher than that of a novice fan, but still not at the level of a baseball lifer. I find that when she asks a question about a statistic, I sometimes have trouble explaining thoroughly and clearly what the situation is. I feel the reason is that I have known about the subject for so long, it is now something I just…..understand. I can’t necessarily explain it, but I know how it works. This book would do a great job of filling in the pieces I have trouble explaining to her, in a way she would easily understand.
You can get this book from the friendly folks at Acta Sports