30 March 2011

Introducing the Camden Depot Oriole Book Club

It is my pleasure to announce a new feature at Camden Depot: the book club.  We are hoping this is something you can actively take part in with us as we read through some books I am quite excited to review.  The criteria for the inclusion of books in this activity is pretty simple: it has to be about baseball and in some way can be applied to discussion about the Baltimore Orioles.  Those vague qualifications open up some great choices to read during the first half of the baseball season.  We are planning to go through a book every two weeks, so the pace is somewhat accelerated.  Feel free to come along on the ride with us or to pick and choose on books you really want to read.  Although the majority of these works are items I have never read before, they have all come highly recommended to me from various folks in baseball. 

The first book we will read is Weaver on Strategy.  It should be required reading for any Oriole fan.  Nick Faleris (of Camden Depot and DiamondScape Scouting) and I will be publishing a podcast on our thoughts on the book the third week of April with an open live chat during the fourth week of April.  By putting a podcast out first, it may help focus some conversation for the live chat or kindle new ideas to raise.

Here is a list of books we have scheduled so far.  I have included links to potential places where you can find them.

April (one book)

Weaver on Strategy: The Classic Work on the Art of Managing a Baseball Team
by Earl Weaver and Terry Pluto

This book is Earl Weaver handbook on how to run a baseball team.  He dives into the inning to inning tasks as well as what he thinks needs to be considered over the course of the full season.  Personally, I have no read this work and have been told by many that this is essential reading for not only any Oriole fan, but also for any fan of baseball.

May (two books)

The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First
by Jonah Keri

This is Jonah Keri book on how the Tampa Bay Rays success story.  It is about how the worst team in baseball looked to find any and every advantage, no matter how small.  By slightly exploiting areas more efficiently than the Yankees or Red Sox enabled them to be successful.  Studying the Rays' success may provide some perspective to how the Orioles might be better run.

Built to Win: Inside Stories and Leadership Strategies from Baseball's Winningest GM
by John Schuerholz, Bob Costas, and Larry Guest

Schuerholtz tells some stories about his career and throws down some of his knowledge.  As I know his strategies, he considers himself to some extent an anti-Moneyball-ist . . . which is not exactly something I understand what it is.  We figure this is a good book to read about a successful general manager with ideas that differ from those with the Rays and, to some extent, Earl Weaver.

June (two books)

Dollar Sign on the Muscle: the World of Baseball Scouting
by Kevin Kerrane

This book is sadly out of print, but look around and try to find it for a good price.  Nick Faleris suggested this one and with it being in the first half of June . . . it fits in nicely with the Amateur draft.  From what I have been told, it is the history of baseball through a scout's eyes.

Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit
by Matthew McCarthy

Matthew McCarthy was a left handed pitcher who was selected late in the draft by the Los Angelos Angels.  This book is about his first and only season in professional baseball.  There has been some dispute over the veracity of aspects of the book, but, for the most part, it is considered a reasonable portrait of minor league ball.

July (first half of July)

by Milton Jamail

Reiner is currently with the Tampa Bay Rays breaking into Brazil.  In this book, it describes his effort in tapping into the talent available in Venezuela when almost all teams were ignoring the country.  His finds of note include Johann Santana, Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen, Bobby Abreu, and former Oriole Melvin Mora.  The explains how the scouting system works and how Reiner has excelled at it.


The second half of the book club season will be announced some time in June to let anyone who is taking part in it to have ample time to buy the books.  We hope some of you out there will find this as interesting and exciting as we do.


W.R. said...

Funny--I just ordered "Dollar Sign on the Muscle" a few days go

Jon Shepherd said...

Excellent . . . I am told it is quite good.

Looks like we will have at least three people reading it.