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The Book on The Book

A Landmark Inquiry into Which Strategies in the Modern Game Actually Work

Bill Felber

St. Martin's Griffin

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ISBN10: 0312332653
ISBN13: 9780312332655

Trade Paperback

416 Pages



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The Book on the Book is a comprehensive collection of baseball strategies, analyses, statistics, and studies. This approach to understanding the "tried and true" methodologies of the game of baseball examines conventional elements like the steal, hit and run, and line-up construction. Bill Felber also offers an exciting critique of baseball by placing an actual dollar value on player performance and rating managers based on their on-field moves to determine who are the smartest tacticians.

No corner of the ballpark is left unturned as author Bill Felber explores the various methods of team-building, on-field values of players, the role and influence of the general manager in team success, and the importance of park effects. In a more controversial section, new tactical approaches to the use of the pitching staff contradict the more generally accepted practices. In the vein of the late Leonard Koppett and Bill James, Felber uses mathematical and statistical principles to evaluate the wisdom of standard baseball strategies.


Praise for The Book on The Book

"Well thought out and soundly based, this book could be used as a text for most current teams, who should be trying to keep up with those few enlightened ones that are using logic rather than guesswork and hope."—Pete Palmer, coeditor of The Baseball Encyclopedia and co-author of The Hidden Game of Baseball

"Baseball's 'Book'—the ever-expanding cloud of common wisdom about how the game should be played—has resisted challenge in part because it is unwritten. Ever since baseball began, experts have not been reading from the same page, let alone the same book. But now Bill Felber comes along to poke holes in the clouds and let some sunshine in. Picking up where Michael Lewis left off in Moneyball, he addresses the central questions of risk, reward, and value—on the field and off—and reveals what it takes to win."—John Thorn, editor of Total Baseball

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt

The Book on the Book

When Albert Spalding wrote one of the first histories of baseball in 1911, he deliberately sidestepped any discussion of strategies....

About the author

Bill Felber

Bill Felber is executive editor of The Manhattan Mercury. A native of Chicago's south side, he graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in journalism and has worked in that field for more than three decades. A baseball historian and researcher for twenty years, he has authored studies for Total Baseball and other publications on numerous on-field and off-field aspects of the game.