Fans of the game are always in a perpetual state of learning. Whether you have been a fan for seven days or seven decades, you can always learn something new. In that learning process, sometimes things fall through the cracks, other times no matter how many times you hear something you just don’t get it. Finally there is a book to help with the basics.
By:Phillip Mahony – 2014 McFarland Publishing
Many times when fans miss a piece of the who, what, when, where and why of baseball we are either to embarrassed to ask for help, or don’t know where to find the information. Phillip Mahony has undertaken the task of writing Baseball Explained. It breaks down all the nuts and bolts of the game and explains it in a format that is easy to understand for even the casual fan.
The Preliminary section of this book addresses the basics of the game. The playing field, the fielders, the line-ups and the basic format of the game itself. It presents the basics in a way that even people who have never experienced the game before can get the general idea of why things are what they are on the field. The next section covers objectives of the game and why things are done at certain times. It gives a basic strategy for the field and what needs to be done when and where. This gives some new insight to the basic principles of the game to the reader. We are accustomed to todays strategies which don’t always coincide with the games basic principles. In that respect it almost becomes a refresher course on the basic in-game strategies.
The third section of the book covers statistics, and this to me is very important section. It teaches why stats are so important in the game and the place they have in its make-up. Both sides of the ball are covered in the book as well as teaching how to read a box score. The part in this section that I found most important was how to fill out a score card correctly. That is something that was lacking in my fan arsenal and now I am better off for reading this book.
Finally the author takes a look at today’s game of baseball, at both the major and minor league levels. It ties in everything the reader has learned up to this point and you see some real-world applications to your readings.
This book belongs in every baseball fans library. No matter what level you think you are at as a fan, you will find something that gets clarified or explained in a way that gives the game a new meaning for you. I learned how to do a score card correctly, and finally someone explained to me the damn infield-fly rule in a way I understand. It only took 35 years for someone to explain it so I could understand it! So to Phillip Mahony, I say thank you for that one.
No single fan knows everything, and this book proves it. Everyone should check this book out.
You can check the authors web site for more information about the book
Or you can order direct from the nice folks at McFarland Publishing