We're a little over a week away from our official Amazon ship date, but I'm holding a bona fide copy of Baseball Prospectus 2011 which was overnighted from our publisher (Wiley). The express purpose of this express shipment is that I'm going to be making a television appearance this weekend. I’ll be a guest on the Fox Sports Extra show — that’s channel 5 and 705 (WNYW) here in New York City, at least on Time Warner Cable — on Sunday night at 10:30 PM Eastern, talking about the Yankees and Mets with host Duke Castiglione. This will be the third time I’ve been the guest on Duke's show, and while my appearances have been brief, it’s an honor to get any kind of air time in a major market, not to mention a whole lot of fun. It's also great exposure for our annual book, which will be making its way to you shortly.
First off, I can confirm that the 16th edition of our annual contains a chapter on the St. Louis Cardinals, something that was true of only 14 of our previous 15 editions. It's also got chapters devoted to the other 29 teams, as well as most of the stuff Steven Goldman promised you back in December, including a foreword by the fabulous Joe Posnanski. Alas, the one thing I'm aware of that's missing is the promised JAWS-related content, something which owed to the enormity of Colin Wyers' task as the book's statistical guardian. For more info, including where to order this online, please see our BP2011 page.
Two things you'll notice once you get this book into your hot little hands. First, it consists of fewer pages than our previous books, 584 where last year's was 652, and second, the player comment pages have undergone a facelift. Those two developments go hand in hand. Because we decided to pare down the array of statistics we provide in the book — there's no VORP in here, for one thing — I suggested to Steve that we seize this opportunity to tighten up the presentation. You can get a rough idea from these iPhone photos:
The biographical data which was loosely strewn around each player's stats has now been corralled into the gray boxes to the left of those stats, and the type size on all of the text has been decreased a bit. The result is that we're able to provide more commentary on each player than ever before, yet do so on the same number of players (more than 1,600, as the book cover promises) in less space. For example, on the two spreads above, both of Yankee hitters who fall in the first half of the alphabet (Robinson Cano, Francisco Cervelli, et al.) we've got 59 lines of commentary this year, where we had 45 lines last year, with more words per line as well.
Yes, I'm afraid it's true. Moreso than CC Sabathia, Pablo Sandoval, or this humble wordsmith, the Baseball Prospectus annual is in the best shape of its life. If you're in the New York area, tune in on Sunday to see for yourself.