I recently received both books that our very own, Al Yellon, has worked on. Since I hadn't seen any posts on it, I decided to let people know my thoughts on the books. Hopefully, this'll help sway people who are still undecided.
Maple Street Press Cubs Annual 2009
The Cubs Annual provides stats and articles on the Cubs and Cub related by-products through 120-plus pages of.
I got this book a coupla weeks ago, and was immediately impressed with a wealth of statistical information. For example, with batters, while you get the normal batting line, you also get great analysis into where swings were taken and player's hot zones. I noticed how polished of a strike zone Soto has, how 2009 Fontenot has the potential to be 2008 Fontenot and how Soriano likes the low pitches WAY too much.
The articles are well written and describe various forms of Cubdom. In fact, the only articles I didn't like were the looks at the 2008 season, because I don't like depressing endings to my stories.
My favorite article was the look at Len Kasper's regular routine. Getting a look at a guy who I listen to for 3 hours a day was very interesting (probably since I have better chances to a broadcaster than a Major League baseball player).
Other highlights included Al's examination on Wrigley Field past, present and future, an indepth examination of our minor leaguers and a statistical view on how Fukudome might not suck as much as we know he sucks.
All in all, the annual is a great read for all Cubs fans. Everyone will learn something because of it, and you might have an opinion or two changed as well.
If interested, the annual can be found here.
Cubs By The Numbers
I got this book a few days ago, and dove right into it. Cubs By The Numbers throws random facts and stories about Cubs throughout history at you in an orderly fashion.
Each chapter shows a specific number's players through time. They start with anecdotes and facts on the most recognizable Cub and progress through the random in-betweeners. Each chapter ends with the "Most Obscure Cub to Wear" the number followed by the "Guy You Never Thought of as a Cub Who Wore" the number.
For example, who remembers Larry Bowa wearing #1.
As a whole, the book throws a wide range of stats and tales at you in bunches. So, for me, it's the perfect bathroom book. (In fact, the reason that I finished it in three days involved two meals of Buffalo Wild Wings and one meal of White Castle.) Pick this book up if you're looking for a collection of anecdotes arranged in an interesting manner.
If interested, Cubs By The Numbers can be found here.
Hopefully you enjoyed the review.
P.S. Just in case it seems forced, I haven't been asked to do this by anyone, I was bored and felt like writing about these books.
P.P.S. If there are incorrect spellings or punctuation, understand that I'm ornery and in a rush, since I accidentally deleted the finished review and this is attempt #2. Grrrr.