Baseball Best-Sellers, Nov. 6, 2015

November 6, 2015

NOTE: I have been posting these things long enough now that a few have commented that the introductory section isn’t necessary anymore. But I’m leaving it in because, to paraphrase Joe DiMaggio when asked why he played so hard all the time, there may be people who’ve never read the best-seller entries before. So on with the show…

Caveat 1: Print editions only (at least for now); because I’m old school.

Caveat 2: Since the rankings are updated every hour, these lists might not longer be 100 percent accurate by the time you read them. But it’ll be close enough for government work.

Caveat 3: Sometimes they’ll try to pull one over on you and include a book within a category that doesn’t belong. I’m using my discretion to eliminate such titles from my list. For example, for some reason a recent listing included Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended the “The Carolina Way,” which, far as I can tell, is not at all about baseball, at least not in the main.

  1. http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51b8lRGtxpL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe Bill James Handbook 2016
  2. More Than a Season: Building a Championship Culture, by Dayton Moore.
  3. Pitch by Pitch: My View of One Unforgettable Game, by Bob Gibson with Lonnie Wheeler (you can listen to a Bookshelf Conversation with Wheeler here).
  4. The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball, by Charles Fountain.
  5. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis. (My review of Moneyball in the Elysian Fields Quarterly.)
  6. Baseball Prospectus 2016
  7. The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond, by Jerry Silverman
  8. The Best Team Money Can Buy: The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Wild Struggle to Build a Baseball Powerhouse, by Molly Knight
  9. 2016 Baseball Forecaster: & Encyclopedia of Fanalytics, by Ron Shandler
  10. The Mental Game of Baseball: A Guide to Peak Performance, by H.A. Dorfman

Joining the Bill James annual are two perennial favorites: Shandler’s Forecaster and the Baseball Prospectus. Neither will be available until next year, yet they rank high on the list. I guess some people can’t wait to play armchair GM. Can’t help but think how much better sales could be if they published a bit faster to take advantage of the holidays. I mean, the leg work (the stats) are all there, aren’t they? Just a matter of putting the narratives together. In this age of blogs and social media and instantaneous reportage, that shouldn’t be much of a problem. This is especially true when it comes to books like these, which follow the same general format year after year.

New York Times: Only one title appears in the top 20 and it’s Jeter’s Unfiltered, coming in at Number 14. And considering it’s not much from a literary standpoint (all due respect), that’s even more sad.

Not on either list? 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die. This week: 1,105,961. Last time: 1,068,873. What’s up with that? Landing past one million is like the Mendoza Line for me. Like I said, the holidays are just around the corner.

If you have read 501, thanks, hope you enjoyed it, and please consider writing a review for the Amazon page; it’s never too late. There haven’t been any in awhile. Doesn’t have to be long (or even complimentary, if you didn’t like it), but anything would be appreciated. And thanks to those who have.

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