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Baseball Book Recommendations

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The Baseball Prospectus guide to the 2007 season is out.  While I use Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster, I understand BP's offering is very similar.  One thing I can say is it is less expensive. offers the BP guide for $11.97.  Shandler's guide is priced at $16.47.  Assuming I have heard correctly, the BP guide would be a decent investment for your fantasy drafts.

With Amazon, there is free shipping for orders of $25 or more.  If you've already purchased Shandler's guide but want to get to the free shipping threshold, then I whole-heartedly recommend two baseball books - Joel Sherman's Birth of a Dynasty: Behind the Pinstripes with the 1996 Yankees and Jerry Crasnick's License to Deal: A Season on the Run with a Maverick Baseball Agent.  I have read both and can honestly say (ed:  When someone says they are "honest", doesn't that usually mean they are not?) each is a cut or three above the typical sportswriter foray into publishing.

Both books offer something your typical post-season rehash does not.  Each offers some historical perspective.  Mr. Sherman's book examines the 1996 season and cleverly examines various what-if scenarios. What if Yankees manager Buck Showalter had trusted his set-up man, Mariano Rivera, late in the Seattle series instead of letting David Cone pitch too long?  What if the Cincinnati Reds had taken Derek Jeter instead of Chad Mottola?  The book is filled with this type of examination and provides perspective - something a rehash of the 2006 season cannot.

Mr. Crasnick's book takes place during the 2004 season and follows Matt Sosnick and Paul Cobbe's life as baseball agents.  This gives an excellent inside view of the agent industry while providing loads of prospect names that can be followed-up on by the reader. The book has me opening my Baseball America Prospect Handbook 2007 to check on Dodger's prospect Cory Dunlap.  Very interestingly, Dunlap has continued to control the strike zone to the tune of a .435 OBP in High A Vero beach with 88 BB and 69 Ks with 284 ABs.  It is also sad to see he has not been able to control his weight.

If you are interested in ordering the BP guide, here is a link to Amazon -  Baseball Prospectus 2007: The Essential Guide to the 2007 Baseball Season.

For Joel Sherman's book, this is the link - Birth of a Dynasty: Behind the Pinstripes with the 1996 Yankees.  It is $16.47

For Jerry Crasnick's book, it is $17.22.  Here is the link - License to Deal: A Season on the Run with a Maverick Baseball Agent.

The links for Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster and BA Prospect Handbook are in the Menu section in the upper right.

Update [2007-3-2 22:47:47 by Eric Hz]: From NBC/Rotoworld:

MRIs showed no damage to Josh Johnson's rotator cuff or labrum and a bone scan also came back norman, agent Matt Sosnick said Friday.

The Marlins are trying to rule out everything besides a nerve problem. An earlier MRI showed no structural damage within his elbow. "They think it's probably a nerve thing," Sosnick said. "The worst-case scenario is probably that he would be out eight to 12 weeks, but they have to figure out what this thing is."