Forget the first robin; this is my measuring stick.
I’m savoring this. Every year I promise to study these annuals, to really get a better grip on who’s who and what’s what. This time I mean it.
One of the first things I look at every year is the list of milestones, a holdover from the days of Street & Smith, which TSN took over some years back. One sad note: even though I’m not a big Alex Rodriguez fan, I’m a bit sorry to see how close he is to some targets, but because of his injury which will keep him out of a good chunk of the season (if not the whole thing), he will fail to move up significantly. For example, he’s just 50 RBIs short of 2,000, which would put him behind just Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth. Similarly, Rodriguez had a reasonable chance to bypass Willie Mays’ 660 home runs and move into fourth place.
There are no other “sexy” milestones in reach, save for Albert Pujols, who is 25 homers shy of the 500 mark. No pitchers are close to 300 wins (even over the next couple of years) or 3,000 strikeouts (Jamie Moyer, who is still listed as active, has 2,441) , or even 400 saves Francisco Cordero is closest with 329). Borrring.
The rest of the magazine is fairly standard, with the usual team profiles (which takes up most of the “real estate” and what young players to look out for. But of special note is Michael Bradley’s “The war over WAR and more,” a comprehensive look at how “new age” statistics are insinuating themselves into the vernacular of broadcasts and print pieces. And you can tell, especially on the former, that some of the guys are not particularly comfortable in discussing the new material.