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Book Review: Watching Baseball Smarter: A Professional Fan Guide for Beginners, Semi-Experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks by Zack Hample

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Watching Baseball Smarter – A Professional Fan Guide for Beginners, Semi – Experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks by Zack Hample reveals many game details that most people either do not know or at least don’t really understand.

Hample discusses the basics of the game, pitching and catching, baserunning, fielding, unique stadiums, umpire calls, scoring statistics, awards, player habits and baseball slang.

There’s history: For instance, the first World Series was played in 1903 as a best of nine contest. The Boston Americans (Red Sox) beat the Pittsburgh Pirates five games to three.

And there’s technical details. The book depicts classic throws like the split-finger fastball. This throw is  done  with the index and middle fingers spread apart so that the pitch travels almost as fast as a fastball and drops as it reaches the plate. Hample describes how the batter executes the weight shift. Most of the power is generated by shifting the weight onto the back leg and leaning back. Then he steps forward to attack the ball.

Hample’s description of baserunning includes some very important fine points. For instance, the hook slide depicts how the runner eludes the fielder by sliding past the base and then reaching back with the foot to touch the base.

Hample does a good job of explaining important unwritten game rules. Samples include not trotting too slowly around the bases, not acting too excited after striking out a hitter and not hiding in the dugout if others run onto the field for a brawl. The author has an excellent section that explains classic baseball slang terms; such as the atom ball, crew chief, deek, leave the building, pea and yardwork.

Overall, this is an excellent guide for everyone.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.
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