The Hardball Times Baseball Annual for 2013 is now yours for the purchasing. This is something we do every year, just for the heck of it. In fact, this is our ninth THT Annual, and we’re trying a few new things this year.
First of all, we went the self-publishing route. We always had a great relationship with our previous publisher, ACTA Sports, but it’s so easy to self-publish, and the economics are better (we think). So you’ll notice that our cover art has changed, and we won’t be available in bookstores. The price is lower, and the dimensions are a bit smaller, too. We’ll let you know how it goes.
The Annual is now 6″x9″—easy to carry and read. We dropped the stats altogether after significantly cutting them back last year. As time went on, the stats became a less important feature of the Annual, because it’s so easy to pick up your stats online at any time. Other than that, the format is exactly the same.
You’re left with 300 pages of baseball eloquence, primarily contributed by THT and Fangraphs writers, as well as a few special guest writers. Here is the specific table of contents:
Recapping the 2012 Season
Reviews of each division, plus Jeff Moore’s prospect capsules and Brad Johnson’s coverage of the postseason.
The Year in Frivolity by Craig Calcaterra
What happened in Oakland by Dan Lependorf
And what happened in Boston by Evan Brunell
Some perspective on Bryce and Mike by Jeff Moore
Dave Studenmund’s WPA take on the Orioles’ bullpen
An ethical perspective on 2012 events, by Jack Marshall
A series of interviews about lineup order by David Laurila
Does the “Stanford Swing” exist? Eno Sarris investigates
GM in a box: Kenny Williams, by Chris Cwik
Horace Stoneham’s Legacy by Steve Treder
Deep analysis of Satchel Paige’s career by Sean Smith
The most- and least-pitcher-friendly umps of all time by Chris Jaffe
Looking back at recent expansion drafts by Marc Hulet
Brandon Isleib categorizes the most surprising seasons
Economics & Analysis
Dave Cameron examines the impact of the new CBA
The pitfalls of a salary cap in baseball by Adam Dorhauer
Vince Gennaro’s case study of the Washington Nationals
Bargain hunting in the free agent market by Matt Swartz
How does having a runner on first change the game? by Dave Allen
The impact of Tommy John Surgery, by Jeff Zimmerman and Brian Cartwright
Plus, we’ve sprinkled special leaderboards and specific player “case studies” throughout the book, courtesy of Carson Cistulli and other Fangraphs writers.
As usual, we’ve tried to include something that will appeal to all people, and lots of things that will appeal to most people. Hard-core sabermetricians will be happy with the articles by Sean, Matt, Dave, Chris, Jeff/Brian and maybe even myself. Historians will find plenty of new perspectives. If you’re interested in the business of baseball, we’ve put a lot of good content in there for you. And if you’re just a fan of baseball in general, I think you’ll find plenty to make the Annual worth your time and money.
Right now, the Annual is available for $15.99 on our special sales site, hosted by CreateSpace (our self-publisher). By Monday, Nov. 26, we’re told that it will be available on Amazon.com. Soon after, if not sooner, it will be available for less than ten dollars as an e-book on Kindle, Nook and iBooks. At least, that’s the plan.
As these developments unfold, I’ll announce them here and on twitter (@dastudes).
I have to admit that I had actually given up on the idea of creating another Annual because typesetting is so much work, but Paul Swydan took over the typesetting chores this year, and he’s done a superb job. I think this Annual stands up well against our previous efforts—as well as any other baseball annual—and I hope you agree.