The 2004 Hardball Times Baseball Annual Sneak Preview

Yes, the 2004 Hardball Times Baseball Annual will be on sale early next week. Be sure to watch this space for the announcement and link. It’s going to be 300 pages of pure baseball — 130 pages of articles and the like, and 170 pages of stats and graphs. Just about the right mix, I think. Here’s a little more detail of what will be inside:

  • New articles reviewing the 2004 season:
    • A look back at the 2004 season from 50 years in the future, by Steve Treder
    • Full graphical and written reviews of each division, by various THT authors
    • Coverage of the playoffs and World Series, by Larry Mahnken
    • Minor League coverage, by Bryan Smith
    • A review of the best and worst fantasy players, by Ben Jacobs
    • Craig Burley reviews the college baseball season, and includes THT’s official college team, batter and pitcher rankings.
    • Craig also reviews the Japanese baseball season.
    • And Robert Dudek investigates how fly ball hang time impacts the evaluation of pitching and defense.

  • In addition, we will include a number of the best articles we published during the season, such as:
    • Alex Belth’s reminiscence of his trip to the Winter Meetings.
    • Aaron Gleeman’s coverage of some of the key stars of 2004, such as Carlos Beltran, Adam Dunn, Adrian Beltre and, of course, Johan Santana.
    • Larry Mahnken’s classic (can I say that?) “Fiction is Dead.”
    • Guest columns by Brian Gunn and Bill James.
    • Some of Steve Treder’s historical articles, including “A Tale of Two Leagues” and “A Virtual History of MLB Growth.”
    • Several other cutting-edge reviews and analyses, such as Vinay Kumar’s analysis of what actually works, or doesn’t work, in the playoffs.

  • And we’ll have lots of stats and graphs. Over forty graphs in all, plus stats for:
    • Each League and team in total
    • Lee Sinins’ League Leaderboards
    • Four pages of stats for each team, with detailed batting pitching and fielding stats that are not just recreations of the tables we have on our website.
    • Special stat tables, including:

      • Lee Sinins’ RCAA and RSAA by team
      • Fielding Win Shares per 1,000 innings played by position
      • Net Win Shares Value by player, assessing the value of his contract
      • Plate Appearance outcomes (strikeout, walk, groundball, flyball, line drive) for each batter and pitcher with at least 100 plate appearances

You will be able to order the book online. We will have both a printed book and e-book available for you to purchase. The printed book will cost around $16, plus shipping, and the e-book will cost around $6. Printing and shipping will take about a week, but the e-book will be immediately available for download.

It’s true that we’re not really publishing professionals, but we’re not really web designers, either. We’re just baseball nuts who have a passion for what we do. We think you’ll find plenty of that passion in the book, and we hope you’ll support our site by purchasing it. And, if all goes well, we’ve got some plans for next year’s publications too.

In the meantime, to paraphrase Aaron, Happy Hot Stove League!

Dave Studeman was called a "national treasure" by Rob Neyer. Seriously. Follow his sporadic tweets @dastudes.

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