The groundbreaking book about the world of baseball scouting returns to print this year.
It started with Sam Miller's blog post Names of Baseball Men as Recorded In Dollar Sign On The Muscle, published earlier this month. For years, I've been wanting to get my hands on a copy of Dollar Sign On The Muscle, Kevin Kerrane's seminal 1984 book about the world of baseball scouting, which was named one of the five best baseball books by the The Wall Street Journal. My partners and friends at Baseball Prospectus have long said nothing but good things about it while lamenting how difficult it was to obtain, as Ben Lindberghdid last April. The book was long out of print, the secondary market was a little hot for my pocketbook, and I'm a chronic underutilizer of the library system (which was often short of copies itself, depending on the area).
But after the most recent wave of positive comments about the book that Sam's blog post inspired, rather than mope over the secondary market listings one more time, I decided to investigate why a book that sells for $50 used has been out of print for so long. Through the magic of the Internets, we were able to get in touch with author Kevin Kerrane, and I'm happy to announce that Prospectus Entertainment Ventures has reached an agreement with Kerrane to bring a revised, updated edition of Dollar Sign on the Muscle to bookshelves, e-readers, and computers everywhere in 2013. We'll have more news about its availability, as well as more background on the book, in the coming weeks. But for now, we hope you'll be as excited about the new edition's impending arrival as we are.
Want to know what qualities scouts value in a player? Consult Jim LcLaughlin's chart.
A new paperback copy of Kevin Kerrane’s Dollar Sign on the Muscle: The World of Baseball Scouting costs $141.12 on Amazon. A new hardcover copy will run you $284.94. That’s a shame, since it’s worth reading. Not many people have upwards of $100 to drop on a baseball book, especially after buying copies of BP2012 and Extra Inningsfor all of their friends, family members, and co-workers.*
Now that we've had some time to reflect on the new CBA's rules about the amateur draft, does it still seem like death to small-market teams?
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Dustin Palmateer once played division III junior college baseball, finishing with a career batting average below the Mendoza Line. He now writes about the game. You can reach him via email.
Finding ideal landing spots for Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford and others.
Some 176 players became potential free agents when the World Series ended, and other big names are always rumored to be on the block for their respective teams. Within the context of all this, there are moves that seem to be "musts," and in this case, they all involve teams that didn't make the 2010 fall classic. Here are five options:
The Injury Expert's magic number is down to two for a career column milestone and he has further discussion of a controversial supplement.
On Monday, I wrote about the conflict of interest between Liberty Media owning a supplement company that sells substances on MLB's banned list and owning the Atlanta Braves. I want to clarify a couple things. First, Liberty Media is a giant conglomerate of assets, of which both Bodybuilding.com and the Atlanta Braves are just a small part. It's not "wrong" to sell supplements, just a conflict of interest if you also happen to own a baseball team. Also, I want to be very clear that I'm not removing the responsibility for taking the banned substance from those players that have tested positive. MLB provides a list of products and Jack3d, Oxy Elite Pro, and "any product that contains Methlyhexaneamine, DMAA, dimethylpentylamine, geranamine, Geranium oil, or extract" are specifically noted. Agents were warned as well in a memo sent out from the MLBPA with specific warning about "Jack3d" after a series of recent positive tests. MLB teams have athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, and more resources available for athletes to check substances before taking them and putting themselves at risk.
A look at 10 men who should be considered to run a baseball operations department.
Welcome to Top 10 Week. All week long, various BP authors will be revealing their Top 10s in various categories. Today we start off with Will Carroll ranking the 10 best general manager candidates.
A couple years back, I did a list of the "next GM" crop. It's one of those innocuous exercises that nonetheless tells us a lot about what's going on inside of the front offices. We hear about GMs, about trades, about drafts, but even in Moneyball and earlier in Dollar Sign on the Muscle, we seldom hear about the day-to-day operations carried out by a group of people that is overworked, underpaid, and most importantly, vastly overqualified. This is a group that years ago would be more likely to be putting together a hedge fund, working for the State Department, or something a bit more "important" than the game of baseball. With the money of the modern era, teams got smarter, fast.
The Indians' injury woes mount with Cabrera going to the DL and Sizemore hurting, along with other medical news from around the majors.
Asdrubal Cabrera (broken forearm, ERD 7/10) Grady Sizemore (bruised knee, ERD 5/21)
I started to link to the video of the play that snapped Cabrera's arm, but I decided against it. For the squeamish, it's not pretty and it's easy enough to find if you want to see it. The collision with Jhonny Peralta had enough force to snap his ulna at or near the midpoint of the bone, necessitating a plate and/or screws to make sure it heals properly. I say ulna from the video, but it's a bit unclear and there's been no official word from the Indians. It's semantics, since fracturing either of the major bones in the arm in this manner would cause the same sort of lost time. Some are blaming the defensive shift for this injury, but it feels like this one's just bad luck rather than being in an unfamiliar position. Then again, I can't think of a single incident of a third baseman/shortstop collision, let alone one with these kinds of consequences. Cabrera should be out until about the All-Star break, but shouldn't have any long-term consequences. As a lot of young kids can tell you, arm bones heal pretty cleanly. I am curious to watch the timing on this with a lot of the interesting research on bone stimulation coming out of the Cleveland Clinic. The Indians are all about the bones right now, as Sizemore had an MRI to see what his problem is. His knee was thought to be just bruised, but he has had severe pain and some inflammation. He'd had some minor issues with this same knee back in April, so there may be some connection or we could be seeing some underlying pattern that suggests a problem. While the Indians don't sound too concerned, Sizemore's unavailability hurts the Indians' chances of turning things around, even if it's for just a few days.