The Arm

The Arm Author Jeff Passan
ISBN-10 9780062400383
Release 2016-04-05
Pages 376
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Yahoo’s lead baseball columnist offers an in-depth look at the most valuable commodity in sports—the pitching arm—and how its vulnerability to injury is hurting players and the game, from Little League to the majors. Every year, Major League Baseball spends more than $1.5 billion on pitchers—five times more than the salary of every NFL quarterback combined. Pitchers are the game’s lifeblood. Their import is exceeded only by their fragility. One tiny band of tissue in the elbow, the ulnar collateral ligament, is snapping at unprecedented rates, leaving current big league players vulnerable and the coming generation of baseball-playing children dreading the three scariest words in the sport: Tommy John surgery. Jeff Passan traveled the world for three years to explore in-depth the past, present, and future of the arm, and how its evolution left baseball struggling to wrangle its Tommy John surgery epidemic. He examined what compelled the Chicago Cubs to spend $155 million on one arm. He snagged a rare interview with Sandy Koufax, whose career was cut short by injury at thirty, and visited Japan to understand how another baseball-mad country treats its prized arms. And he followed two major league pitchers, Daniel Hudson and Todd Coffey, throughout their returns from Tommy John surgery. He exposes how the baseball establishment long ignored the rise in arm injuries and reveals how misplaced incentives across the sport stifle potential changes. Injuries to the UCL start as early as Little League. Without a drastic cultural shift, baseball will continue to lose hundreds of millions of dollars annually to damaged pitchers, and another generation of children will suffer the same problems that vex current players. Informative and hard-hitting, The Arm is essential reading for everyone who loves the game, wants to keep their children healthy, or relishes a look into how a large, complex institution can fail so spectacularly.



The Arm

The Arm Author Jeff Passan
ISBN-10 0062400363
Release 2016-04-05
Pages 368
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Yahoo’s lead baseball columnist offers an in-depth look at the most valuable commodity in sports—the pitching arm—and how its vulnerability to injury is hurting players and the game, from Little League to the majors. Every year, Major League Baseball spends more than $1.5 billion on pitchers—five times more than the salary of every NFL quarterback combined. Pitchers are the game’s lifeblood. Their import is exceeded only by their fragility. One tiny band of tissue in the elbow, the ulnar collateral ligament, is snapping at unprecedented rates, leaving current big league players vulnerable and the coming generation of baseball-playing children dreading the three scariest words in the sport: Tommy John surgery. Jeff Passan traveled the world for three years to explore in-depth the past, present, and future of the arm, and how its evolution left baseball struggling to wrangle its Tommy John surgery epidemic. He examined what compelled the Chicago Cubs to spend $155 million on one arm. He snagged a rare interview with Sandy Koufax, whose career was cut short by injury at thirty, and visited Japan to understand how another baseball-mad country treats its prized arms. And he followed two major league pitchers, Daniel Hudson and Todd Coffey, throughout their returns from Tommy John surgery. He exposes how the baseball establishment long ignored the rise in arm injuries and reveals how misplaced incentives across the sport stifle potential changes. Injuries to the UCL start as early as Little League. Without a drastic cultural shift, baseball will continue to lose hundreds of millions of dollars annually to damaged pitchers, and another generation of children will suffer the same problems that vex current players. Informative and hard-hitting, The Arm is essential reading for everyone who loves the game, wants to keep their children healthy, or relishes a look into how a large, complex institution can fail so spectacularly.



Ahead of the Curve

Ahead of the Curve Author Brian Kenny
ISBN-10 9781501106354
Release 2017-07-04
Pages 368
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MLB Network host and commentator Brian Kenny uses stories from baseball's present and past to examine why we sometimes choose ignorance over information, and how tradition can trump logic, even when directly contradicted by evidence.



The Only Rule Is It Has to Work

The Only Rule Is It Has to Work Author Ben Lindbergh
ISBN-10 9781627795654
Release 2016-05-03
Pages 304
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What would happen if two statistics-minded outsiders were allowed to run a professional baseball team? It’s the ultimate in fantasy baseball: You get to pick the roster, set the lineup, and decide on strategies -- with real players, in a real ballpark, in a real playoff race. That’s what baseball analysts Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller got to do when an independent minor-league team in California, the Sonoma Stompers, offered them the chance to run its baseball operations according to the most advanced statistics. Their story in The Only Rule is it Has to Work is unlike any other baseball tale you've ever read. We tag along as Lindbergh and Miller apply their number-crunching insights to all aspects of assembling and running a team, following one cardinal rule for judging each innovation they try: it has to work. We meet colorful figures like general manager Theo Fightmaster and boundary-breakers like the first openly gay player in professional baseball. Even José Canseco makes a cameo appearance. Will their knowledge of numbers help Lindbergh and Miller bring the Stompers a championship, or will they fall on their faces? Will the team have a competitive advantage or is the sport’s folk wisdom true after all? Will the players attract the attention of big-league scouts, or are they on a fast track to oblivion? It’s a wild ride, by turns provocative and absurd, as Lindbergh and Miller tell a story that will speak to numbers geeks and traditionalists alike. And they prove that you don’t need a bat or a glove to make a genuine contribution to the game.



The Game

The Game Author Jon Pessah
ISBN-10 9780316242219
Release 2015-05-05
Pages 656
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The incredible inside story of power, money, and baseball's last twenty years In the fall of 1992, America's National Pastime is in crisis and already on the path to the unthinkable: cancelling a World Series for the first time in history. The owners are at war with each other, their decades-long battle with the players has turned America against both sides, and the players' growing addiction to steroids will threaten the game's very foundation. It is a tipping point for baseball, a crucial moment in the game's history that catalyzes a struggle for power by three strong-willed men: Commissioner Bud Selig, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, and union leader Don Fehr. It's their uneasy alliance at the end of decades of struggle that pulls the game back from the brink and turns it into a money-making powerhouse that enriches them all. This is the real story of baseball, played out against a tableau of stunning athletic feats, high-stakes public battles, and backroom political deals--with a supporting cast that includes Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, Joe Torre and Derek Jeter, George Bush and George Mitchell, and many more. Drawing from hundreds of extensive, exclusive interviews throughout baseball, The Game is a stunning achievement: a rigorously reported book and the must-read, fly-on-the-wall, definitive account of how an enormous struggle for power turns disaster into baseball's Golden Age.



I m Fascinated by Sacrifice Flies

I m Fascinated by Sacrifice Flies Author Tim Kurkjian
ISBN-10 9781466890275
Release 2016-05-03
Pages 256
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The New York Times Bestseller! In the aftermath of the Steroid Era that stained the game of baseball, at a time when so many players are so rich and therefore have a sense of entitlement that they haven't earned, ESPN baseball commentator Tim Kurkjian shows readers how to love the game more than ever, with incredible insight and stories that are hilarious, heartbreaking, and revealing. From what Pete Rose was doing in the batting cage a few minutes after getting out of prison, to why everyone strikes out these days and why no one seems to care, I'm Fascinated By Sacrifice Flies will surprise even longtime baseball fans. Tim explains the fear factor in the game, and what it feels like to get hit by a pitch; Adam LaRoche wanted to throw up in the batter's box. He examines the game's superstitions: Eliot Johnson's choice of bubble gum, a poker chip in Sean Burnett's back pocket. He unearths the unwritten rules of the game, takes readers inside ESPN, and reveals how Tony Gwynn made baseball so much more fun to watch. And, of course, Tim will explain to readers why he is fascinated by sacrifice flies.



Any Given Monday

Any Given Monday Author James R. Andrews
ISBN-10 9781451667103
Release 2013-01-08
Pages 288
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From tennis elbow to severe trauma, Dr. James Andrews has treated countless sports injuries during his unparalleled medical career. An orthopedic surgeon, well known for performing Tommy John surgeries, and a consultant to some of the fiercest teams in college and professional sports, Dr. Andrews is the father of modern sports medicine and one of the most influential figures in the world of athletics. In Any Given Monday, he distills his practical wisdom and professional advice to combat a growing epidemic of injury among sports’ most vulnerable population: its young athletes. Every year more than 3.5 million children will require medical treatment for sports-related injuries, the majority of which are avoidable through proper training and awareness. Any Given Monday is Dr. Andrews’s sport-by-sport guide to injury prevention and treatment, written specifically for the parents, grandparents, and coaches of young athletes. From identifying eating disorders to preventing career-ending ACL tears and concussions, Any Given Monday is a compendium of practical advice for every major sport, including football, gymnastics, judo, basketball, tennis, baseball, cheerleading, wrestling, and more. This invaluable guide reveals how young athletes can maximize their talent and maintain a lifetime of health both on the field and off.



Smart Baseball

Smart Baseball Author Keith Law
ISBN-10 9780062490254
Release 2017-04-25
Pages 304
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Predictably Irrational meets Moneyball in ESPN veteran writer and statistical analyst Keith Law’s iconoclastic look at the numbers game of baseball, proving why some of the most trusted stats are surprisingly wrong, explaining what numbers actually work, and exploring what the rise of Big Data means for the future of the sport. For decades, statistics such as batting average, saves recorded, and pitching won-lost records have been used to measure individual players’ and teams’ potential and success. But in the past fifteen years, a revolutionary new standard of measurement—sabermetrics—has been embraced by front offices in Major League Baseball and among fantasy baseball enthusiasts. But while sabermetrics is recognized as being smarter and more accurate, traditionalists, including journalists, fans, and managers, stubbornly believe that the "old" way—a combination of outdated numbers and "gut" instinct—is still the best way. Baseball, they argue, should be run by people, not by numbers.? In this informative and provocative book, teh renowned ESPN analyst and senior baseball writer demolishes a century’s worth of accepted wisdom, making the definitive case against the long-established view. Armed with concrete examples from different eras of baseball history, logic, a little math, and lively commentary, he shows how the allegiance to these numbers—dating back to the beginning of the professional game—is firmly rooted not in accuracy or success, but in baseball’s irrational adherence to tradition. While Law gores sacred cows, from clutch performers to RBIs to the infamous save rule, he also demystifies sabermetrics, explaining what these "new" numbers really are and why they’re vital. He also considers the game’s future, examining how teams are using Data—from PhDs to sophisticated statistical databases—to build future rosters; changes that will transform baseball and all of professional sports.



The Grind

The Grind Author Barry Svrluga
ISBN-10 9780698408036
Release 2015-07-07
Pages 192
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Shortlisted for the 2016 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing AT 162 GAMES, it is the sports world’s longest season. Grueling. Thrilling. Routine. Lonely. Exhilarating. Major league ballplayers even have a name for this relentless, unmatchable rhythm: The Grind. In The Grind, Barry Svrluga, The Washington Post’s national baseball correspondent, zooms in on the 2014 Washington Nationals, reporting not just on the roster’s star players, but also on the typically invisible supporting cast who each have their own sacrifices to make and schedules to keep. There’s The Wife, who acts as a full-time mom, part-time real estate agent, occasional father, and all-hours dog walker; The 26th Man, a minor leaguer on the cusp of job security who gets called up to the majors only to be sent back down the very next week; The Reliever, one of the most mentally taxing, precarious, and terribly exposed positions on any pro squad. These and many more players, scouts, equipment managers, and even travel schedulers create the fabric of Svrluga’s intimate and unusual book; they could be from any team or any big-league city. As he writes: “There is no other sport with an everydayness, a drum-drum-drum beat like baseball.” Built on material that appeared in The Washington Post, Svrluga’s book is a raw, inside look at the wear and tear, the glory and impermanence, of America’s pastime. From the Hardcover edition.



The Best Team Money Can Buy

The Best Team Money Can Buy Author Molly Knight
ISBN-10 9781476776316
Release 2015-07-14
Pages 336
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With a new Afterword covering the 2015 season. The bestselling, inside-the-clubhouse story of two tumultuous years when the Los Angeles Dodgers were re-made from top to bottom, becoming the most talked-about and most colorful team in baseball. “It’s as if Molly Knight ushers you behind the closed clubhouse doors.” (Buster Olney, ESPN) In 2012 the Los Angeles Dodgers were bought out of bankruptcy in the most expensive sale in sports history. Los Angeles icon Magic Johnson and his partners hoped to put together a team worthy of Hollywood: consistently entertaining. By most accounts they have succeeded, if not always in the way they might have imagined. In The Best Team Money Can Buy, Molly Knight tells the story of the Dodgers’ 2013 and 2014 seasons with detailed, previously unreported revelations. She shares a behind-the-scenes account of the astonishing sale of the Dodgers, as well as what the Dodgers actually knew in advance about rookie phenom and Cuban defector Yasiel Puig. We learn how close manager Don Mattingly was to losing his job during the 2013 season—and how the team turned around the season in the most remarkable fifty-game stretch of any team since World War II. Knight also provides a rare glimpse into the in-fighting and mistrust that derailed the team in 2014 and paints an intimate portrait of star pitcher Clayton Kershaw, including details about the record contract offer he turned down before accepting the richest contract any pitcher ever signed. Exciting, surprising, and filled with juicy details, “a must-read for fans of the Dodgers and all Los Angeles sports teams….Knight’s undercover work is like none other” (Library Journal). The Best Team Money Can Buy is filled with “fascinating perspectives” (Los Angeles Times) and “interesting anecdotes about some of baseball’s most compelling figures” (The Sacramento Bee).



Off Speed

Off Speed Author Terry McDermott
ISBN-10 9780307908896
Release 2017-05-16
Pages 224
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The lively and fascinating story of baseball’s 150-year hunt for the perfect pitch In August 2012, Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in what Terry McDermott calls “one of the greatest exhibitions of off-speed pitches ever put on.” For McDermott, a lifelong fan and student of baseball, the extraordinary events of that afternoon inspired this incisive meditation on the art of pitching. Within the framework of Hernandez’s historic achievement, Off Speed provides a vibrant narrative of the history and evolution of pitching, combining baseball's rich tradition of folklore with the wealth of new metrics from a growing legion of statisticians who are transforming the way we think about the game. Off Speed is also the personal story of a fan’s steadfast devotion, first kindled in McDermott by his father at the local diamond in small-town Iowa and now carried forward with the same passion by his own daughters. Approaching his subject with the love every fan brings to the park and the expertise of a probing journalist, McDermott explores with irrepressible curiosity the science and the romance of baseball.



Death to the BCS

Death to the BCS Author Dan Wetzel
ISBN-10 9781101465974
Release 2010-10-14
Pages 208
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A team of award-winning sports reporters takes down the Great Satan of college sports: the Bowl Championship Series. Every college sport picks its champion by a postseason tournament, except for one: Division I-A football. Instead of a tournament, fans are subjected to the Bowl Championship Series, an arcane mix of polling and mathematical rankings that results in just two teams playing for the championship. It is, without a doubt, the most hated institution in all of sports. A recent Sports Illustrated poll found that more than 90 percent of sports fans oppose the BCS, yet this system has remained in place for more than a decade. Built upon top-notch investigative reporting, Death to the BCS at last reveals the truth about this monstrous entity and offers a simple solution for fixing it. Death to the BCS includes findings from interviews with power players, as well as research into federal tax records, Congressional testimony, and private contracts, revealing: ?The truth behind the "Cartel"-the anonymous suits who run the BCS and who profit handsomely by protecting it ?The flawed math and corruption that determine which teams participate in the national championship ?How the system hurts competition by perpetuating "cupcake" schedules ?How "mid-major" teams are systematically denied a chance to play for the championship ?How a comprehensive sixteen-team playoff plan can solve the problem while enhancing profitability The first book to lay out the unseemly inner workings of the BCS in full detail, Death to the BCS is a rousing manifesto for bringing fairness back to one of our most beloved sports.



Big Data Baseball

Big Data Baseball Author Travis Sawchik
ISBN-10 9781250063519
Release 2015-05-19
Pages 256
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New York Times Bestseller After twenty consecutive losing seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, team morale was low, the club's payroll ranked near the bottom of the sport, game attendance was down, and the city was becoming increasingly disenchanted with its team. Pittsburghers joked their town was the city of champions...and the Pirates. Big Data Baseball is the story of how the 2013 Pirates, mired in the longest losing streak in North American pro sports history, adopted drastic big-data strategies to end the drought, make the playoffs, and turn around the franchise's fortunes. Award-winning journalist Travis Sawchik takes you behind the scenes to expertly weave together the stories of the key figures who changed the way the small-market Pirates played the game. For manager Clint Hurdle and the front office staff to save their jobs, they could not rely on a free agent spending spree, instead they had to improve the sum of their parts and find hidden value. They had to change. From Hurdle shedding his old-school ways to work closely with Neal Huntington, the forward-thinking data-driven GM and his team of talented analysts; to pitchers like A. J. Burnett and Gerrit Cole changing what and where they threw; to Russell Martin, the undervalued catcher whose expert use of the nearly-invisible skill of pitch framing helped the team's pitchers turn more balls into strikes; to Clint Barmes, a solid shortstop and one of the early adopters of the unconventional on-field shift which forced the entire infield to realign into positions they never stood in before. Under Hurdle's leadership, a culture of collaboration and creativity flourished as he successfully blended whiz kid analysts with graybeard coaches—a kind of symbiotic teamwork which was unique to the sport. Big Data Baseball is Moneyball on steroids. It is an entertaining and enlightening underdog story that uses the 2013 Pirates season as the perfect lens to examine the sport's burgeoning big-data movement. With the help of data-tracking systems like PitchF/X and TrackMan, the Pirates collected millions of data points on every pitch and ball in play to create a tome of color-coded reports that revealed groundbreaking insights for how to win more games without spending a dime. In the process, they discovered that most batters struggled to hit two-seam fastballs, that an aggressive defensive shift on the field could turn more batted balls into outs, and that a catcher's most valuable skill was hidden. All these data points which aren't immediately visible to players and spectators, are the bit of magic that led the Pirates to spin straw in to gold, finish the 2013 season in second place, end a twenty-year losing streak.



The Cardinals Way

The Cardinals Way Author Howard Megdal
ISBN-10 9781466862395
Release 2016-02-23
Pages 304
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The St. Louis Cardinals have experienced the kind of success that is rare in baseball. Regarded by many as the premier organization in Major League Baseball, they not only win, but do so with an apparently bottomless pool of talent, one that is mostly homegrown. Despite years of phenomenal achievements, including going to the World Series in 2004 and again in 2006, the Cardinals reinvented themselves using the "Cardinal Way," a term that has come to represent many things to fans, media, and other organizations, from an ironclad code of conduct to the team's cutting-edge use of statistic and analytics, and a farm system that has transformed baseball. Baseball journalist Howard Megdal takes fans behind the scenes and off the field, interviewing dozens of key players within the Cardinals organization, including owner Bill DeWitt and the general manager John Mozeliak. Megdal reveals how the players are assessed and groomed using an unrivaled player development system that has created a franchise that is the envy of the baseball world. In the spirit of Moneyball, The Cardinals Way tells an in-depth, fascinating story about a consistently good franchise, the business of sports in the twenty-first century and a team that has learned how to level the playing field, turning in season after successful season.



Up Up and Away

Up  Up  and Away Author Jonah Keri
ISBN-10 9780307361370
Release 2014-03-25
Pages 336
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The definitive history of the Montreal Expos by the definitive Expos fan, the New York Times bestselling sportswriter and Grantland columnist Jonah Keri. 2014 is the 20th anniversary of the strike that killed baseball in Montreal, and the 10th anniversary of the team's move to Washington, DC. But the memories aren't dead--not by a long shot. The Expos pinwheel cap is still sported by Montrealers, former fans, and by many more in the US and Canada as a fashion item. Expos loyalists are still spotted at Blue Jays games and wherever the Washington Nationals play (often cheering against them). Every year there are rumours that Montreal--as North America's largest market without a baseball team--could host Major League Baseball again. There has never been a major English-language book on the entire franchise history. There also hasn't been a sportswriter as uniquely qualified to tell the whole story, and to make it appeal to baseball fans across Canada AND south of the border. Jonah Keri writes the chief baseball column for Grantland, and routinely makes appearances in Canadian media such as The Jeff Blair Show, Prime Time Sports and Off the Record. The author of the New York Times baseball bestseller The Extra 2% (Ballantine/ESPN Books), Keri is one of the new generation of high-profile sports writers equally facile with sabermetrics and traditional baseball reporting. He has interviewed everyone for this book (EVERYONE: including the ownership that allowed the team to be moved), and fans can expect to hear from just about every player and personality from the Expos' unforgettable 35 years in baseball. Up, Up, and Away is already one of the most anticipated sports books of next year.



Baseball s No Hit Wonders

Baseball s No Hit Wonders Author Dirk Lammers
ISBN-10 9781609531263
Release 2016-03-15
Pages 496
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Baseball’s No-Hit Wonders honors such legendary pitchers as Cy Young, Bob Feller, Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax, while introducing readers to other eccentrics and one-shot wonders who have thrown no-hitters. The book, the first of its kind in more than fifteen years, fleshes out the colorful characters, compelling narratives and statistical oddities from baseball’s 289 no-hit efforts—as well as the many near misses that are also part of the national pastime’s storied history. Painstaking research and personal interviews have allowed the author to pack great detail into a fun, fast-paced take on the game, revealing the stories of the no-hitter thrown by a pitcher on acid, the hitters most adept at breaking up no-hitters and other gems thrown by guys with nicknames of Bumpus, Bobo, Cannonball and Nixey. Even the game’s greatest slugger is credited with a partial no-hitter, and all he did was throw a punch.?? Chapters detailing the best no-hitters of all time are interspersed with "Did You Know?" lists that include no-hitters by team, city and day of the week, no-hitters of the Negro Leagues, catchers who caught the most no-nos and the best pitchers NOT to throw a no-hitter. Updated continuously at: NoNoHitters.com



The Complete Guide to Pitching

The Complete Guide to Pitching Author Derek Johnson
ISBN-10 9780736079013
Release 2013
Pages 262
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A progressive instruction manual, written by one of America's top pitching coaches, includes high-quality photo sequences and a 75-minute DVD that features topics ranging from techniques to conditioning to the psychological aspects of pitching, drills, exercises and personal insights from Johnson. Original.