Sit down and get comfy. Like, real comfy. Okay, not that comfy — put on a robe or something, will ya?
With luck, this is the last update I’ll provide on the Ducksnorts 2008 Baseball Annual that doesn’t end with the phrase, “go buy it.” I’m expecting to deliver the manuscript to the publisher on Thursday or Friday. While we’re all waiting for that to happen, here are some things you should know:
- The book is 207 pages long, possibly 208 depending on the index (I keep thinking of other terms that should be included). The actual content is almost exactly the same length as last year’s (193 pages), with the difference resulting from a glossary and index that I believe will make this version even better in terms of serving as a reference source into the future. The lack of an index in last year’s book bothered me and although building a good one requires time and effort on my part, I’m hopeful that its inclusion will save you the same.
- Matt Vasgersian, television voice of the Padres, has written the foreword. As I was last year when Sandy Alderson graced these same pages, I am humbled beyond words by Vasgersian’s contribution to the Annual.
- While I’m at it, here’s the entire table of contents:
- Foreword by Matt Vasgersian . . . . 7
- Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . 9
- 2007 in Review . . . . . . . . . . 10
- Player Dashboards . . . . . . . . .41
- Padres Farm Report . . . . . . . . 84
- Overlooked ex-Padres. . . . . . . 126
- Driving to Cooperstown. . . . . . 134
- Padres Best by Position . . . . . 157
- Kevin Towers Trade Register . . . 164
- Glossary. . . . . . . . . . . . . 191
- Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
- And here’s a quick summary of each of those chapters:
- 2007 in Review
- Season recap, including key games and players, from the hiring of Bud Black as manager to the heartbreak of Game 163 at Coors Field.
- Player Dashboards
- Graphical representation of key players’ statistical output for 2007 and, where applicable, the previous two seasons to show trends, including comparisons with league norms by position.
- Padres Farm Report
- In-depth examination of the Padres farm system, including discussion of each team and league’s environment, capsules of more than 70 players, and the obligatory top 10 prospects list.
- Overlooked ex-Padres
- Brief look back at four players who played for the Padres in decades past and whose contributions may have been forgotten by some over time.
- Driving to Cooperstown
- Account of my 12-day drive from San Diego to Cooperstown and back for Tony Gwynn’s Hall of Fame induction, including stops in several towns along the way for the complete baseball geek road trip.
- Padres Best by Position
- Continuation and extension of work begun in the 2007 Annual, going 10 deep for position players and relievers, and 20 deep for starters.
- Kevin Towers Trade Register
- Continuation and extension of work begun in the 2007 Annual, listing every trade Towers has made since assuming the general manager role in November 1995, including the number of Win Shares exchanged in each, as well as the number of trades made by team and division.
- I’m not sure about the exact pricing yet, but it will be comparable to last year’s version.
- The book is dedicated to victims of the fires that ravaged San Diego county in 2007. In that spirit, I’ll be donating $1 from each book sold during the calendar year 2008 to the San Diego Red Cross. It’s not much, but something is better than nothing.
- Several people have asked about pre-ordering. First off, thank you. Second, because my publisher does “print on demand,” there’s no advantage to this. Seriously, it would create more work for me and delay delivery to you, which would piss everyone off to no end.
- The book will be available in print version and as a downloadable PDF. The pricing will be set so that my cut is the same either way; in other words, if the print version is out of your price range or you’re not into killing trees, then get a PDF. Makes no difference to me.
- If you’re not sure whether the book in either form will be worth your time, money, and trouble, I’d encourage you to take advantage of the free sample PDF I’ll be releasing next week. It will run about 20-25 pages and contain excerpts from each chapter. Download it, read it, decide whether you want more of it. I’m betting that you will, but I’m biased.
- If you end up buying the book and you like it, I’m thrilled to have you let me know, but I’m even more thrilled to have you let other people know. This is as close to a guilt trip as I ever hope to lay on y’all, and maybe nobody gives a crap, but I quit a damn good job to write these things and I’d like to keep doing it. That said, I’ve got a mortgage to pay. Again, this isn’t your problem, and I sure as heck don’t want you pimping my stuff if you find it unfit to line Polly’s cage or whatever, but if you’re digging it, please spread the word.
Okay, I got a little carried away there. Anyway, we’re shooting for the week of February 25. No guarantees on that date, but believe me when I say that I’m doing everything in my power to get this thing out the door because, frankly, I’m sick of working on it. (Oops, I’m informed that I wasn’t supposed to say that part out loud.)
So, yeah. Talk and stuff…