Riding the Pine… Book review

The New Ballgame: Understanding Baseball for the Casual Fan by Glenn Guzzo.
SRP: $14.95
Publishier: Acta Sports

Acta Sports and Glenn Guzzo bring baseball to the casual or new baseball fans with this book. They go over every aspect of the game: terms, abbreviations, score keeping, etc. Guzzo does a great job to make sure the reader understands what he is saying. He uses examples that show what he’s talking about, like a score card from game 4 of the 2006 World Series. Even normally confusing topics, like VORP (Value over replacement player) and PECOTA, are explained so the novice baseball fan can understand them.

One added feature is the “Impress Your Friends” sections. Within each chapter, Guzzo adds some facts that people can drop into baseball conversations, like Bruce Sutter being the first true reliever elected into the Hall of Fame or the details of Roto-style fantasy baseball.

Press Release
On-base percentage. Earned run average. Fielding percentage. Runs Created. Win Shares. These are just some of the terms bandied around the water cooler nowadays when people discuss the great American pastime. Like it or not, statistics have become the coin of the realm in baseball, and The New Ballgame provides a user-friendly explanation of the increasing complex statistics used in the game.

Key features of The New Ballgame include:

  • Definitions for many of the stats used in baseball.
  • A historical breakdown of the use of statistics.
  • Keeping score during a game.
  • Reading a box score.
  • Real-life applications of stats on television.
  • Fantasy/simulation baseball games.
  • The future of statistics in baseball.
  • There are no numbers on earth more historic, more poetic, or more vibrant than baseball’s numbers. Glenn Guzzo has done a tremendous job of explaining how one man’s gobbledegook is another man’s poetry. He connects all the dots and decimal points so everyone can understand where these numbers came from and how they can help you love baseball more than you ever did before.
    –Jayson Stark, ESPN baseball analyst and columnist.

    Glenn Guzzo, formerly the editor of The Denver Post and executive sports editor of The Philadelphia Enquirer, is the author of the award-winning book Strat-O-Matic Fanatics and lives in Florida with his wife and daughter.