Monday, March 20, 2006

Book Review: The Last Nine Innings

If you are looking for a book which takes you inside the modern game of baseball, I recommend
The Last Nine Innings
by Charles Euchner. The book gives a play by play account of the seventh game of the 2001 World Series between the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks but that game is really not what the book is about. Rather, the author uses that contest as a springboard for discussions of many aspects of baseball in general. Using interviews with players, managers, scouts, researchers and others, Euchner reveals facets of the game which may not be obvious to the typical observer or even the more avid fan.


He examines the inner workings of the game both on and off the field and describes how the latter influences the former. From the on field perspective, he gives insights into the thought processes and body movements of fielders as they track, catch and throw balls. There are also chapters on the relationships between catchers and pitchers, the mechanics of hitting and pitching and much more.


From the off field perspective, he talks about how advanced statistical analysis impacts player evaluation, team building and managerial strategy. Another example is a discussion of how scientific analysis of body movements is being used to improve batter’s swings and pitcher’s deliveries and to reduce injury risk. As the book progresses, it becomes more evident how this modern research is changing the way the game is played on the field. Baseball observers from the casual fan to the aficionado will be entertained and educated by this book.

5 comments:

  1. have you read 'baseball between the numbers' yet?> its pretty sweet.

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  2. No but I'll probably read it over the next couple of months. So many books so little time for reading right now.

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  3. I'm methodically reading through and making notes on every profile in BA's Prospect Handbook. BEAT THAT. :P

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  4. That is very impressive Sam. I don't have the patience/time to read every single profile...at least not methodically.

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  5. They're perfect for those weird pockets of time I find myself with when I'm stuck on North Campus between classes and there's not quite enough time to actually DO anything. I figure, if I'm gonna be wasting time in the art school, I may as well waste it while either blogging or learning about the top 30 prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks system.

    ReplyDelete

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