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  1. I have a section on my bookshelf with some old ones. When I was in high school and college, I used to put a dollar bill in an envelope and send it to NY, then wait for my copy. I believe it came around Dec 1, before the Sporting News Guides, and much cheaper.

    I can dig one out to double check, but I believe everything can now be found on Baseball-Reference, thebaseballcube, or a few other places.

    Comment by Brian Cartwright — February 26, 2009 @ 3:11 am

  2. Chass is the epitome of the old guy who yells at the kids every time a football or a wiffle ball lands in his yard.

    I understand that most people don’t like change and as one gets older, there is less of a motivation to adapt to it, but Chass doesn’t have to fight it kicking and screaming.

    I know what I’ve said is kind of age-ist, but that’s really the crux of the matter: time has passed Mr. Chass by and he doesn’t like it. Those books are superfluous, there are no two ways around it. It’s smart economically and it’s smart environmentally to relocate the publications entirely to the Web.

    Comment by Bill B. — February 26, 2009 @ 3:36 am

  3. Is Murray trying to force Ken Tremendous out of retirement?

    Comment by Russell — February 26, 2009 @ 7:14 am

  4. It’s not the fact that the information can’t be found on the internet. It can. There was just something special about those book, and the old hard copy of the Baseball Enclyclopedia.

    It’s a nostaligia thing, and we all do it. Even if you don’t yet, you will. I have fully embraced the internet entirely, and check stats sites every day. But there is something about the books I still like, and I still buy them.

    Besides, books are transportable, and you don’t need a connection to read one.

    If Bill James has said that, everyone would fall all over themselves agreeing with him. It’s only because it’s someone like Chase that’s it being made fun of.

    Comment by Ron — February 26, 2009 @ 9:41 am

  5. Ron, I get the nostalgia part and if not for that last paragraph I probably wouldn’t have even bothered mentioning this , but for Chass to criticize young writers for not caring about the information in the books is just lunacy.

    Comment by David Appelman — February 26, 2009 @ 9:59 am

  6. The point is that it’s now print-on-demand. Murray loses nothing, other than the glossy cover, and that he has to absorb the printing costs instead of MLB.

    Ron’s point only makes sense if MLB.com stopped producing the PDF format. Only then does Chass (and Ron) have a point. As it stands, there is no issue.

    Comment by TangoTiger — February 26, 2009 @ 10:03 am

  7. It’s been pointed out in multiple places before, but aside from the fact that Murray seems to think that what he decides to label his medium has any effect on the content, it’s hilarious that he denounces profanity, but specifically applauds Buzz Bissinger for what he did to Will Leitch on Costas Now.

    Comment by Kevin — February 26, 2009 @ 11:27 am

  8. As someone who works in the publishing business, I’m familiar with this kind of commentary. The critical thing that Chass fails to recognize is that a book, at it’s essence, is simply content and information. The essence of the book isn’t changing, as the information remains the same.

    I enjoy a good soft/hard cover book, too. But I enjoy searching by keyword even more. =)

    Comment by shibboleth — February 26, 2009 @ 11:48 am

  9. QOTD

    Comment by scatterbrian — February 26, 2009 @ 1:46 pm

  10. And I prefer to have BOTH, which is exactly what MLB.com is offering here: the option to print or the option to search, or both.

    So, Chass’s sole complaint is that he has to hit the print button.

    Comment by TangoTiger — February 26, 2009 @ 1:48 pm

  11. If Bill James has said that, everyone would fall all over themselves agreeing with him. It’s only because it’s someone like Chase that’s it being made fun of.

    But Bill James wouldn’t say that, because Bill James doesn’t allow nostalgia (which he clearly has) to lead him into making statements which are obviously silly.

    Comment by joser — February 26, 2009 @ 3:01 pm

  12. Somebody needs to buy Chass a Kindle and show him how to move PDFs on to it.

    Comment by joser — February 26, 2009 @ 3:04 pm

  13. but it won’t have a shiny cover! That’s not a book, that’s just a printout from the internet.

    Unconscionable.

    Comment by JH — February 26, 2009 @ 3:22 pm

  14. “Younger writers, more attuned to the use of the Internet than their older colleagues, may not have a problem with the disappearance of the books. But in past years they didn’t have the Internet as an alternative reference site. They apparently just didn’t feel the need for any information the books provided.

    That says more about them than it does about baseball’s decision.”

    This is the thing that gets me. I understand him to say that the younger people don’t appreciate books, or don’t know how to read if it’s not on the Internet. They were uneducated before the Internet.

    I’m not that young, I can remember the 70′s and 80′s when I would send in the mail for the Red and Green books, and The Sporting News Guides, and later the Bill James Abstracts. It’s all we had. Batting averages would be in the newspaper once a week, Even when USA Today started doing Baseball Weekly.

    The internet is great. I can find stuff, I can share stuff. I have grown with the world. From one of his earlier posts, I think Mr. Chass, as a well established newspaper journalist, doesn’t like that he now has competition from people like me and all the other Internet “bloggers” who are not professional writers, and I will admit my prose is likely not up to his, but every one of the writers here, at BP, THT, etc has ideas to share, and there is a market. Evidence of that is Baseball-Reference.com selling less a less than 50% share for seven figures, while MLB finds it too expensive to print a pamphlet for journalists, which contains essentially the same information.

    Comment by Brian Cartwright — February 26, 2009 @ 6:17 pm

  15. Not only is all the info available on the Web, it has been available in a dozen other formats (Baseball America pubs, baseball encyclopedias, Total Baseball, Bill James annuals) for more than 20 years.

    They are cute, though. Long horizontal rectangular shape.

    Plus, only the “informed” had them. Perhaps Murray is concerned about his status being reduced. God forbid the
    gain

    Comment by ChapelHeel66 — February 27, 2009 @ 8:56 am

  16. oops…unfamiliar computer.

    Anyway, perhaps he thinks he is being marginalized.

    Comment by ChapelHeel66 — February 27, 2009 @ 9:02 am

  17. Always entertaining to find Chass railing at the latest sign of the apocalypse doing donuts on his front lawn. If it weren’t for those meddling kids, he’d never have to use the damn computer in the first place.

    Comment by Jay Jaffe — February 27, 2009 @ 1:42 pm

  18. Does he actually know that his “columns” get posted on the internet, or does he still send hand-written manuscripts over to NYT, which set up a separate website for them because they were embarrassed by the association?

    Comment by Kevin — February 27, 2009 @ 2:26 pm

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