Still hurt that the Mariners chose to trade Cliff Lee to the Rangers? Want to impress all the guys at the water cooler that are dead-set on Dan Haren or Roy Oswalt by telling them that Tom Gorzelanny will be the cheaper and much easier to acquire option?* Maybe you’re a free-thinker and would rather see the Twins improve their offense? Well then, the 2010 Trade Deadline Primer is perfect for you!
* Or in my case, boggle the minds of all my friends with suggesting players they’ve never even heard of. “Tom Gorze-who? Sorry Andrew, I’d much rather have Haren; at least I can say his name.”
Courtesy of our friends at TwinsCentric and other bloggers around the country, they put together a whopping 174 page e-book that covers not only the Twins, but every single team in MLB. The e-book costs $9.95 (that’s less than a high-quality baseball!), or you can download the “quarterbook” (literally about 1/4 of the full-size book) for free. The TwinsCentric Primer and quarterbook are available at the TwinsCentric website. Are you a fan of a different team? That’s perfectly fine, as you can also buy the Deadline Primer that focuses on your favorite team, which is available here.
Now, I’ll put away my salesman suitcase and put on my reviewing spectacles. I had the good fortune to win a free 2010 Trade Deadline Primer last week at the TwinsCentric release party at Park Tavern, so with some gentle prodding from Nick Nelson and Parker Hageman, I am offering up my opinion of the Primer.
At first glance, the Primer is not very flashy. But why should it be? As my high school chemistry teacher demonstrated with the class textbook that he wrote himself, as long as you give high-quality content that is easy to understand and you include useful, but not distracting diagrams and pictures, you don’t need the bright colors and excessive visuals to educate the reader. Likewise, the Primer provides excellent content and although I would have preferred a few more visuals, the e-book does just fine without them. Every article ranges from less than a page to about three pages long, so even if the 170+ page e-book seems a bit intimidating, it’s very easy to break it up into chunks.
If you purchase the TwinsCentric Primer (the other Primers are likely written differently), you are greeted by a review of the 2010 season for the Twins. Written by Nick, he gives a brief first-half review of the 2010 season, then moves on to some of the team’s positives and negatives from the season, and then ends with some predictions and expectations for the second half. There are also some potential trade targets listed for the team (Gorzelanny!), and some players are highlighted that could possibly help your fantasy baseball team for the rest of the season. In the middle of the e-book, the reviews continue for the remaining 29 MLB teams.
It would have been simple for the TwinsCentric guys to write all these reviews on their own, but they enlisted the help from many bloggers around the country to chip in. For example, Daniel Moroz of Camden Crazies wrote the review of the Baltimore Orioles, and Joe Aiello of View From The Bleachers took care of the Chicago Cubs. Honestly, I’m really pleased that this was done. It’s not a knock against the TwinsCentric guys, but I see a great sign of respect by allowing the “insiders” to write about their teams, rather than the “outsiders” that need to research the teams before writing up the reviews. By my count, 31 people (including the 4 TwinsCentric guys)* contributed to the e-book, so it was truly a team effort.
* At the end of the e-book, there is a listing of every person that helped out, along with a short paragraph of everything else each person has done.
In between the Twins review and the reviews of the other 29 teams are some features that again focus on the Twins. Parker gives a report card for the starting lineup and prominent members of the pitching staff, and John Bonnes devotes a page and a half to why he doesn’t think the Twins will trade for Roy Oswalt. Would it be nice to acquire him? You betcha. Will it happen? John doesn’t think so.
After all the team reviews, the focus goes into my favorite portion of the e-book: trade targets. Every team has 4 to 8 players – regardless of level in the organization – that could possibly be traded sometime this season. Then, all the players are sorted by position. If the Twins are unable to trade for Haren or Oswalt, this section is handy to find other starting pitchers that could be available. Oh, and if that already wasn’t enough, then the e-book covers every player that was just listed as potentially being on the trade block. Yes, even the minor league players (I have to think Seth Stohs did a little work here). There’s also a separate section for minor league prospects that are likely still a few years away from the majors. The Twins aren’t likely going to be sellers this year, but if they were, the prospect lists would be a good place to find players that may become a part of the Twins’ future.
The last part of the Primer has four articles written about the other teams in the AL Central. I find these articles to be very interesting, and they can help you learn about what to expect from our rivals during the second half of the season. I promise you, it’s a little more complex than just Trust The Process, Rebuild the Tribe, and the Tigers and White Sox wondering if they have enough to fend off the Twins.
Overall, I really like the 2010 Trade Deadline Primer. Some changes I would have preferred was if the e-book was an actual hard copy, because it would be much faster to flip from the beginning to the end if I was looking for a certain article. However, I understand that the TwinsCentric guys likely saved a bunch of money by releasing the book online, which as a result keeps their asking price down as well (plus no shipping and handling fees!). Plus, if finding a certain nugget of information is critical, then I’d recommend just hitting CTRL and F together, then typing in your keywords and hitting Enter. It definitely helped with finding the paragraph about Brian Bannister. I also would have liked a few more graphics in the e-book, but I attribute this to all the stuff I read on FanGraphs and other blogs, where visuals are much more common.
Like I said before, though, the content of the Primer is very easy to read. Whether you’re a fan of BABIP and FIP or just a person that wants to brush up on available names around the league, this book does not favor one side or the other. The information on every MLB team is very helpful, and as I said earlier, my favorite part is the listings of all potential trade targets, regardless if they are major league veterans or kids just a few years into their minor league careers. The 2010 Trade Deadline Primer is worth much more than its $9.95 price, and I definitely recommend picking one up. Even if you’re unsure about purchasing the e-book, you can still download the 1/4 version, which is essentially a sneak preview of everything that’s in the full version.