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Who are you?

I have been a baseball fan for over thirty years. I am a Human Resources Management professional by trade and live in New Jersey.  I have been an online Baseball Analyst since 1997.  Having read a few hundred baseball books in my lifetime, and after receiving positive feedback on my web endeavors, it was time for me to take a stab at coming up with a book that fellow baseball fans would enjoy.

Why should I buy The Baseball Same Game?

If you enjoy baseball and welcome the experience of learning more about the careers of specific baseball players from the game’s past while being entertained with novel statistical comparisons, keen analysis and intriguing anecdotes, then you should consider obtaining The Baseball Same Game.

What makes this book different from any other baseball player comparison book?

I have not found a single book that aims to identify, couple, and analyze similar career performance data of both baseball batters and pitchers using the metrics detailed in The Baseball Same Game. 

© 2005 Stephen M. Lombardi.
All rights reserved.

 


Why did you choose to self-publish this book?

There are some advantages to the self-publishing route.  First, I maintain editorial control over the book's content.  As this is a book written by a baseball fan for baseball fans, retaining full rights to what was finally printed was important to me.  Secondly, with the Print on Demand technology that comes with self-publishing, the book will not go out of print.  If someone wanted a copy of the book, it would have broken my heart for them to be potentially shut out some day with the reason being that it was "out of stock."

Plus, it is nearly impossible for a first time author to get a book published through a publishing firm.  Actually, just getting any book published is difficult.  I believe I once saw a statistic that said (something like) 98% of all manuscripts sent to publishers are rejected.

Bill James, who has written some incredible best selling baseball books, self-published his first 5 Baseball Abstract annuals.  And, not until Dan Okrent was finally able to get Sports Illustrated to do a feature on James did publishers began to recognize the value of James' writing and they signed him to a deal.

My goal was to make this book available to baseball fans.  Rather than waste time pounding the pavement with the various publishers of baseball books, and hoping to get a lucky break somewhere, it made sense to me to self-publish.  

Is there a story behind the title "The Baseball Same Game"?

Having two children under the age of 2 1/2 when I started writing this book is to blame for the title.  There's a claymation show on the cable channel Noggin for Pre-K kids called "Miffy and Friends."  It's based on the books of artist Dick Bruna.  One of the segments that the characters do on the show is where they play "The Same Game" - with the goal being that they end up with the same number of certain things.  It's a mechanism to help kids learn how to count and do some simple math.  If you have kids, and you watch this stuff hundreds of times, over and over, it starts to stick in your head.  As I started to think of a title for the book, thanks to Miffy and her friends, "The Same Game" was the phrase that kept popping into my head.  The more that I thought about it, the more it seemed to make sense to go with it.  It's the best description for what the book aims to accomplish.

How much time went into the preparation of this book?

Writing this book was my New Year's resolution for 2005.  And, I literally started on New Year's Day.  In the end, it took about 3 months to complete the manuscript.  Having a "real" and demanding full-time job, as well as two children (one 8 months old and the other 30 months old when I started this) at home, basically left me with two hours per day to write, edit, etc.  Essentially, this book was composed in what I began to refer to as "the ten to midnight" shift - working just about every night for the 3 months.

During this time, caffeine and I became great friends.

Where can I find samples of your previous writing on the web?

Below are a few links to some of my previous work:

Slip Sliding Away - as it appears on baseballanalysts.com
Say It Ain't So Mo - as it appears on BaseballLibrary.com
King Of The Sweeps - as it appeared in an issue of BaseballInk.com
Flipping Tomorrow's Fenway Tarots - as it appeared in the Scrawling on The Scorecard features that I used to publish.
The Curse of Enrique Wilson - as it appears on NetShrine.com
An edition of "RotiAdvice" - as it appeared on Express-stats.com

In the book, is consideration given to fielding position and skill required to man a given position when comparing players across positions?

Actually, the cases in the book are solely batter and pitcher focused - and the pairing of players in the book is based on relative career offensive value or relative career pitching performance.  At times, in various cases, all-around play of the players may be discussed, but the basis for the cases where players are paired is not from the result of examining players in terms of all-around play - only their performance at the bat or on the mound. 

Since records/metrics are not as reliable in terms of fielding performance/skill and much of what anyone thinks about the importance of playing one position over another (or the importance of defense as a whole, for that matter) is somewhat subjective, it made more sense to stick to batting and pitching alone - where the cases made in each pairing could be supported with trusted data.

How are percentage differences calculated in this book?

In comparing career totals in a statistical category between two players, you may bump into the question of "Do I compare the number for Player A to Player B - or the number for Player B to Player A"? 

Rather than make a call on going left to right or right to left, it made more sense to take the "high" number and use that as the expectation and then determine the haircut between that and the next number.  Suppose the "high" number was one dollar.  Since this is "the same game" you would expect to see another dollar (in order for it to be the same).  But, say, in reality, what you see in the other number is ninety cents.  So, then the question here to me was "How much is the percentage difference between the dollar that you would like to see and the ninety cents you actually received?"  And, we know the answer there is 10%.  Therefore, applying this to baseball statistics, if Player A had 5,000 Plate Appearances and Player B had 5,263 Plate Appearances, I would say that there was a 5% difference between the two players.

[If you are reading this before you read the book, it will probably make more sense when you read the book.]