THT Annual: What do you think?

The Hardball Times Annual 2012 started shipping from ACTA last week. If you ordered yours from ACTA, you should have it now. If you ordered it from Amazon, you’ll get it soon. If you don’t like to order stuff online, it will be in bookstores (at least, the ones still open) pretty soon. So, what do you think?

We’re looking for feedback … positive, negative, indifferent. The Annual has evolved over time based on feedback from you folks. So what do you think? Leave your comments below. And thanks for supporting the Hardball Times.

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  1. Lynda Freeland said...

    I look forward to the Annual every year. This one is a disappointment. I could not access the website with the additional available material despite numerous tries. Is the website in the book a misprint?
    I also do not like the silly sidebars.
    Also, the Cardinals won the World Series!!! I mention that because you would never know it by reading this book!
    I probably will not buy any more Annuals if you stick with this format. It’s a pity. Reading this book is my favorite Thanksgiving activity. Please revise next year and publish as an e-book.

  2. Brad Johnson said...

    Not that I’m a paying customer since I contributed to the Annual, but the sidebars are my favorite addition to the 2012 Annual. I think they add a lot of value, especially to the division reviews.

    Lynda, I’m sure Dave will figure out why the website isn’t working for you soon (I haven’t tried it yet).

    I can answer your comment about the Cardinals though. We actually sent the book off to the printer right after the WS so that it could be published in a timely manner. Since all the articles need to be edited and polished before being published, that doesn’t leave us any time to write about the postseason (I was able to slip in a reference to Howard’s ruptured Achilles, but everything after the DS is basically off the table). That is why we have the extra content link, information about the playoffs can be found there for free.

    As I said, I’m sure Dave will have it up and running for you very soon.

  3. Dave Studeman said...

    Lynda, the webpage is working—I just doublechecked it.  Make sure you enter the right URL, and don’t forget the caps.  If it still doesn’t work, please email me.

    Also, we have not covered the World Series for several years now, something you might not remember.  We do that in order to get the book to the printer more quickly. As in past years, we do have a specific article devoted to the postseason on the webpage.

    I’m sorry to hear you don’t like the new format.  I personally like it, but hey, I’m biased.

  4. Ed said...

    I bought the book (ordered it from ACTA), and I like the new format better.  I haven’t gone to the website yet for the stats, though I hope to soon, and I liked the increased mix of stories. 

    Yeah, I wish you had held back a few pages for the World Series.  I realize it hasn’t been included in the past few years.  This was a fascinating Fall Classic, though, and I wish you guys could have weighed in on it in the book.  Overall, I really like the format and prefer the new size, and I am glad I ordered it.  It’s something to savor for the next month instead of rushing to read it all now.  Congratulations.

  5. Ed said...

    And oh yeah, I liked the sidebars, too.  I actually think they could have been longer, especially in the divisional recaps.  It’s a fun read.

  6. Tim McCullough said...

    I like the new format – much easier to handle, transport and read. While I normally don’t like marginalia in books (that’s more of a magazine thing IMO), it adds in some very interesting tidbits and makes use of every inch of page space. I can’t find fault with that. While I applaud the exclusion of readily available stats in the book in favor of more articles, I really missed the “Stat Facts” that used to be part of each team’s stat page. For next year, I’d suggest that instead of “Quirky Stats”, you consider bringing back the Stat Facts.

  7. Darren said...

    Dave, I would have loved to see how Oliver faired with their projections of 2011, both at team and player level. Will this be part of a article at all?

  8. Dave Studeman said...

    Good thought about the stat facts, Tim.  Steve Treder has created those each year.  We didn’t consider them this year since we didn’t purchase the stats (which is what Steve used).  We should look at alternatives for him.

    Darren, good idea about looking back at Oliver.  We’re very focused on getting the 2012 version rolled out (hopefully in the next day or two), but perhaps we can get something up on the website later.

  9. Mike Fast said...

    I’m working my way through the book slowly.  I really enjoyed David Wade’s article on the DH and Chris Jaffe’s article on Quick Hooks.  I’ve made it part way through Frank Jackson’s article on Hank Thompson, which is also interesting.  The history section this year is really top notch.

    I thought the Rob Neyer’s take on Theo Epstein was okay, but am I correct in assuming that the questions he was answering are scripted?  They seem a little bit out of date, more appropriate for how the game was run a decade or two ago.

    I like the sidebars; it seems like a lot of effort was put into their quality.  I’m curious, though, did the authors of each article write their own sidebars, or where they written by someone else?

    I’m ambivalent about the dimensions of the book.  If it stays this size, I will be fine with that, but I had nothing against the previous dimensions.

    I also liked Michael Humphreys explanation of DRA, though I haven’t finished reading it.  It’s clearly and logically explained. It will be a good reference for anyone undertaking a fielding system.

  10. Dave Studeman said...

    Mike, thanks for the feedback.  We’ve had the GM in a Box format for most of our books, and the questions are always the same.  Brian Gunn created it for the first Annual.  I’d be interested in more specifics of how you think it can be improved.

    In all sidebars, the authors wrote their own unless otherwise indicated.  The only article that may be unclear is the DH one.  Those were taken from various sources.

  11. Brian Oakchunas said...

    I am enjoying the book so far just as I do every year. I don’t think the size issue is a big deal one way or the other, but I am very much in favor of moving stats for more writing.

    My one big disappointment is that Greg Rybarczyk is missing this year. I guess it is part of being in business with ESPN? Anyway, as someone who is pretty well indoctrinated into sabermetrics, I’m not prone to epiphanic experiences while reading new stuff, but he did it for me in just about everything he wrote.

    I agree that it’d be fun to look back at Oliver as a part of the annual. Brian’s specialty is prospects and I thought he did quite well with them last year so it’d be cool to see comparison’s of specific parts of the system.

    As long as we’re on the topic of constructive criticism, the best improvement to Oliver would be pitcher groundball rates, especially for minor leaguers. I think it is adversely affecting Oliver’s pitcher home run projections and just having groundball numbers and projections would be helpful to do it yourselfers like me who are only using some of the component numbers.

  12. Dave Studeman said...

    Brian, thanks for the feedback on the book.  I asked Greg about contributing to the Annual, but he never replied.  Not sure what’s up.

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