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Who's on Worst?

A book by Filip Bondy

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Worsts up first

  • Sep 8, 2013
Baseball invites books like this with its long history and cross-generation comparable  data. Sports columnist Bondy looks at the players, managers, and owners from the bottom up, sometimes using stats to rank his records of infamy, sometime biographies and histories.

This is both the strength and weakness of this kind of list.  No matter how many stats Bondy uses  and how he uses them (not very consistently) these are always purely subjective lists based on the author's biases, sources, time, and place.  But with that caveat, this is a fun set of lists because of the bottoms up look.  No Rose vs. Cobb, no Ruth vs. Aaron here.  These are guys famous for their blunders (Merkle, Buckner), incompetence (Mendoza, Giambi), and general idiocy (Rocker, Finley).

Bondy does sometimes use sabre stats to justify the inclusion of names on the lists, but isn't consistent in using them.  As I said above, these are personal lists so that is his prerogative, but some consistency might have better proved his case in the arguments  these kind of lists invariably start.

But as a set of argument starters, this set is as good as any of the many that have been published about baseball.  For me the failure to include Bonds and Clements on the list of cheaters is an impossibly large blind spot.  You can read the lists and pick your own arguments.

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review by . August 22, 2013
I know I'm merely reiterating a sentiment that's been recorded a million billion times in the past, but there isn't much of a better way to start a review of a book like this: Part of the big reason people are drawn to baseball is that it seems so humanized. The folks who go to the plate at the very highest levels of the game are are still hoping to be good enough to hit the ball three times out of ten, if even that. Baseball is human. Humans are very prone to mistakes. Baseball is such a challenging …
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Todd Stockslager ()
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I love reading and writing about what I have read, making the connections and marking the comparisons and contrasts. God has given man the amazing power to invent language and the means to record it which … more
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