At the other end of fandom, there's Tim McCarver's Baseball for Brain Surgeons and Other Fans: Understanding and Interpreting the Game So You Can Watch it Like a Pro, (written with Danny Peary). McCarver, who appears on New York Mets and FOX telecasts, is another former star who has become one of the game's foremost commentators and analysts. Where Dummies spends more time on the rudiments of the game, McCarver and Peary delve deeper into strategy and nuance. This is perhaps the best book I've ever encountered to understand how a pitcher decides what to throw; what goes through a hitter's mind as he steps into the batter's box with the game on the line; how an outfielder positions himself; or how a speedy runner uses his savvy to know when not to steal a base. Readers will be nodding their heads and saying "Ahhh. So that's how (and why) they do that." McCarver offers plenty of examples and anecdotes drawn from nearly 40 years of experience. Those who prefer watching the game from the comfort of their living rooms will find a new appreciation for television broadcasts as McCarver explains how the director puts the action together, what he looks for, and what is not seen on the screen.

Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

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