Review – Ducksnorts 2008 Baseball Annual
March 23, 2008 2 Comments
Being the huge baseball fan I am—I read baseball books for breakfast—when Geoff Young told me his 2008 annual was released it instantly found itself in my Lulu.com shopping cart. After reading his entries on the process and his life-changing experiences, I had to do what I could to help a fellow blogger that went so far as to quit his own job to further his sports-writing. Truth be told I am not a Padres fan. Not to say I have anything against them, but growing up in Philadelphia and being the son of the former Phillies TV producer has made me a devout Phillies fan. Still, I felt a connection to the Padres this past season because Greg Maddux joined their rotation. Since I was eight years old (1993) Maddux has been my idol and, while I am skeptical about religion in general, I religiously watch his starts. So, this past season marked the first time I ever really “followed” the Padres.
Upon opening Young’s book I became instantly hooked. The book features so much useful information that, if I were an executive in the Padres organization, it would be required reading for all employees. Still, despite the plethora of information Geoff still maintains his personable writing style. I felt as though I was having a conversation with him regarding the Padres as opposed to reading. No matter how many times you read this book there will still be more to learn and take away.
As an intense baseball fan I wish books like this were published for my own team, as it proves to be far more valuable than year-in-review or preview books written by authors detached from the team or game. Geoff goes into such great detail about all of the players, without fear of poking fun at certain players or decisions that did not quite work out. It was also very refreshing to hear a Padres fan realize that Matt Holliday not touching home plate really did not matter; that was the Rockies game regardless.
The section on the Padres farm system, as well as every other section in this book, is so well-researched that Padres play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian, in the Foreword, put it best – “I plan on keeping a copy of this with me in the broadcast booth all year.”
My favorite section of the book is the Kevin Towers trade tracker. Young, via Win Shares, has detailed the outcome of every trade Kevin Towers has made since taking over the GM post in 1995. In addition to being extremely interesting this also proves to be a very valuable tool in evaluating Towers’ performance; has he historically had success in a certain area of players than another?
Whether it be in-depth player reviews, what to expect in 2009 and beyond, or even the details of a trek from California to Cooperstown (some guy named Gwynn was doing something there), the Ducksnorts 2008 Baseball Annual has everything that Padres fans and non-Padres fans alike would ever want to know about those friars from San Diego. I’ve read through the book three times and feel there is still more I can learn and take away from it; while that may prove a daunting task with other books, I look forward, with much zeal, to go dive right back in.